New Israel Fund Leader: “Disappearance of a Jewish State Would Not Be A Tragedy”
September 9, 2011


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has renewed its calls for American Jews to reconsider their support for the so-called New Israel Fund (NIF), following stunning revelations that the NIF Associate Director in Israel, Hedva Radovanitz, said that “she believed that in 100 years Israel would be majority Arab and that the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic.”


The admission came in one of several U.S. diplomatic cables summarizing discussions at meetings between U.S. officials and leaders of NIF, B’Tselem, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), published by Wikileaks. (The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once described ACRI as the Organization for the Rights of Hamas Terrorists).


Radovanitz, who manages grants to 350, often fiercely anti-Israel NGOs, totaling about $18 million, also noted the “disappearance of the political left wing” in Israel. She said that ACRI membership had dropped from 5,000 when she had headed ACRI’s Tel Aviv office, to a mere 800 today.


The leaked cables also reveal the following:


·         Leaders of these anti-Israel NGOs told U.S. officials the Israeli legal system is incapable of investigating claims against the Israeli government and military, despite Israel’s judiciary being among the world’s most independent.

·         Limor Yehuda of ACRI argued that military police investigations could not resolve the main issues of how Israel conducted the operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008-9 and that “she believed only international pressure could influence the GOI [Government of Israel] to create an independent investigation that could hold senior leadership accountable for alleged violations.”

·         Jessica Montell, the head of B’Tselem, said she wanted the senior Israeli leadership to be shackled by world opinion in all military decisions, including the Military Advocate General. “Her aim, she said, was to make Israel weigh world opinion and consider whether it could ‘afford another operation like [Operation cast Lead].’

·         Montel estimated her 9 million NIS ($2.4 million) budget is 95% funded from abroad, mostly from European countries. (Noah Pollak, ‘Wikileaks Bombshell: New Israel Fund Official Endorses End of Jewish State, Commentary, September 6, 2011).


The NIF for years has held itself out to be a liberal, pro-Israeli group, righteously promoting the building up of civil society and aiding minorities in Israel, is a leading promoter of organizations that advocate boycotting, divesting from, and imposing sanctions upon, Israel (BDS). Last year, NIF even admitted on its website that, while it opposes BDS “as a strategy or tactic … we will not reduce or eliminate our funding for grantees that differ with us on a tactical matter. NIF will … will support organizations that conform to our grant requirements if their support for BDS is incidental or subsidiary to their significant programs.” (A list of anti-Israel organizations and individuals that NIF has funded over the years can be found in the ZOA press release, ‘ZOA: New Israel Fund Admits It Funds Groups That Promote Boycotting, Divesting From, & Sanctions Upon, Israel’).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It has been clear for some time that the New Israel Fund pursues an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist agenda of funding and supporting numerous organizations that are working hard to demonize Israel in the international arena and also working diligently within Israel to hamper Israel’s ability to defend its citizens and even to maintain itself as a Jewish state. Now, we have it straight from the horse’s mouth that NIF leaders are not only comfortable with Israel as a Jewish state disappearing, but in fact would welcome this development as a positive outcome.


“It is clear from the leaked cable that the NIF’s associate director is falsely stating Israel is not genuinely democratic. This is of course nonsense. Israeli Arabs not only enjoy more rights than Arabs in neighboring countries, but enjoy the rights of all Israeli citizens to vote, to be represented in the Knesset, to belong to trade unions, to form political parties and to attend universities like other Israeli citizens. Twelve Arabs sit in the Knesset, an Arab judge sits on the country’s Supreme Court, numerous Arab judges sit on lower courts,  there have been Arab government ministers, the current Knesset Deputy Speaker is an Arab MK and Arabs have represented Israel abroad as diplomats.


NIF misleads many sincere, liberal supporters of Israel into thinking that, in supporting NIF, they are supporting Israel, but this isn’t true. If NIF were honestly a pro-Israel organization, it would exclude groups that seek to boycott, divest from or promote imposing sanctions upon, Israel. Above all, its leadership would be dedicated to Israel’s well-being, not its eventual non-being. The NIF, just like J Street, wants to tell the Jewish world that they are pro-Israel when their policies and actions show they are not.


“American Jews need to be aware of the actual causes that the NIF have been lavishly funding for years. The ZOA renews its call for American Jews who have made contributions to NIF to reconsider their support in light of the latest stunning revelations surrounding NIF and some of its egregious grantees.”

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