Opposes New Israel Fund, But…
Submitted by Richard Allen on Wed, 05/20/2015 – 21:01.
The Jewish community in America that loves Israel certainly merits the attention of Rabbi Heshie Billet, in his letter “Oppose New Israel Fund, But…”
The rabbi rightly explains how the New Israel Fund backs boycotts of Israeli products from Judea and Samaria, and how the NIF finances BDS through many small non-profits that aim to destroy Israel with a thousand cuts to its legitimacy among the nations.
The BDS-loving NIF has been included, again, in this year’s Israel Parade, and I, too, encourage all to attend and participate, as I hope as many Jews as possible come to show their love and support for Israel.
When the rabbi gets to JCC Watch and the change we seek from the Jewish communal organizations, unfortunately, he gets it wrong. JCC Watch, in the demonstration we led in front of the UJA-Federation on May 11, noted that Alisa Doctoroff, UJA-Federation President, is a major donor to the NIF, ergo, she supports BDS. We never said that UJA-Federation donates to the NIF – it’s worse than that!
Doctoroff heads an organization that raises $209 million in contributions, yet retains $1.273 billion in assets, and has annual payroll of close to $43 million, including $4.5 million for the top dozen executives. What we’re asking for is accountability.
Their mission is to provide for the needy and support Israel and Jewish continuity. Giving cover to the NIF to defame our homeland should not be on that list.
The UJA-Federation purposely has no guidelines, so the movement to boycott, divest and sanction our beloved Israel is free to use our Jewish charitable institutions for their nefarious ant-Israel activities.
To show how verkakte the thinking is at the UJA-Federation, none of their over-paid money managers ($662,000.00 for the Chief Investment Officer) ever thought of actually investing their funds in Israel. You might be surprised to learn that of their nearly $1.3 billion in assets, just $13 million, or 1%, were in the Israel Bonds that defends our nation if the global financial markets dare to close us out. UJA-Federation only holds those Israel Bonds because they came in as a donation. I mean, really.
As for the Jewish Community Relations Council, it’s just an appendage of the UJA-Federation; its board does not set policy for the Israel Day Parade, it all comes down direct from the UJA-Federation. JCRC exists as a separate organization on paper only.
What we’ve learned at JCC Watch is that our people want our charities to support Israel, FULL STOP.
JCC Watch started in November 2010, with our first internet post — a smiling photo of Uri Zaki, U.S. director of B’Tselem, standing behind a table provided for free by the JCC in Manhattan, raising money to promote an anti-Israel agenda, handing out literature that defames our people and soliciting contributions to “continue their important work.” This is how our enemies battle us from within.
Our protests of the Klinghoffer opera at the Met was actually funded by a big Met donor who couldn’t believe that the organization he had been donating to all these years would support such drivel. I’m asking that all of those who donate to UJA-Federation speak up today and tell them to take a stand for what’s right.
The buck stops here.
I love Israel and the Jewish people, I know Rabbi Billet feels the same way, as do the readers of the Jewish Week.
My question is that in a time of rising hatred from the nations, 70 years after our near destruction, let us all say the buck stops here. Let’s say no to the NIF, no to J-Street, no to the divisions that have ripped through the Jewish people since our very beginning.
Let us join hands, without BDS, as brothers and sisters at the Israel Parade, and leave this whole idea of the “big tent” for the people who enjoy the circus.
Richard Allen, Founder
There has been much ado once again about the inclusion of the New Israel Fund (NIF) and affiliates in the Salute to Israel Parade, taking place May 31. This year, the parade requires that participants disavow BDS.
NIF’s website states:
“NIF will not fund global BDS activities against Israel nor support organizations that have global BDS programs. However, NIF opposes the occupation and subsequent settlement activities. NIF will thus not exclude support for organizations that discourage the purchase of goods or use of services from settlements.”
So by their own admission NIF supports BDS of products from Judea and Samaria. Furthermore, Shatil, the NIF Initiative for Social Changes, is a platform for organizations that support the BDS campaign. And NIF has provided funding to NGOs that actively advocate BDS. Furthermore, NIF backed NGOs like Adallah and Breaking the Silence, which are responsible for the UN investigation of Israel for alleged war crimes in Gaza this past summer. In my view, NIF is not a pro-Israel organization and has no place in a pro-Israel parade.
That said, I fully support the parade despite the participation of NIF. It is the largest pro-Israel event in the world. The parade’s demonstration of support for Israel is noticed in Washington, D.C. and contributes to vital congressional support of Israel. The parade is the most unifying Israel event in any Jewish community anywhere in the world.
JCC Watch in its publicity has falsely accused UJA-Federation of New York of funding NIF. UJA does not give one penny to the NIF or its pro-BDS affiliates. Furthermore, JCC Watch has maligned the Jewish Community Relations Council and UJA-Federation, two vital organizations that unify all streams of Jews to work for Israel and the Jewish people.
Young Israel of Woodmere Woodmere, L.I.