The New Israel Fund funds highly problematic groups in Israel, some of which unapologetically promote the dissolution of Israel as a Jewish state. Indeed, some of these groups are among the grantees that receive the largest sums of money from NIF — a fact about which many NIF donors are likely unaware.
Adalah, which was granted $510,150 by NIF in 2008, had the previous year drafted a “Democratic Constitution” that calls for the erasure of Israel’s Jewish character. It calls for implementing the right of return for Palestinian Arabs, while doing away with Israel’s Law of Return for Jews. More recently, Adalah’s staffers were listed as “principal contributors” to a pseudo-academic study which concludes that Israel’s “occupation of [Palestinian] territories has become a colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid.”
Another NIF grantee, Mada al-Carmel (which was allocated $200,000 in 2008) co-sponsored [a] November 2009 conference with two other NIF grantees [which] was publicized with an inflammatory poster showing an Israeli soldier reaching suggestively toward the chest of a Palestinian woman with the caption: “Her husband needs a permit to touch her. The occupation penetrates her life everyday.”
Mada al-Carmel also was behind the 2007 “Haifa Declaration,” which claims that Israel’s “policies of subjugation and oppression” are “in excess of those of the apartheid regime in South Africa” and accuses Israel of “exploiting” the tragedy of the Holocaust to “legitimize the right of the Jews to establish a state at the expense of the Palestinian people.”
Anticipating criticism of some of the most controversial grantees, NIF’s CEO, wrote in The Jerusalem Report: “We don’t support everything these organizations say, but we strongly support their right to say it.”
I also support “their right to say it.” Israel is a democracy, after all. But this is not the same as helping them “say it” with grants of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.