Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and Government Relations Director Dan Pollak released the following statement:
The ZOA is appalled at the conduct of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Thomas Nides, who personally approved a proposal to grant nearly $1 million to anti-Israel NGOs to delegitimize and stigmatize Israel. According to the Washington Free Beacon, in January of 2022 Nides signed off on a proposal to seek up to $987,654 to demonize Israel and to provide “accountability” for “atrocities.”
The ZOA previously condemned the grants in March, 2023, but it is now established by government-released documents that Ambassador Nides personally endorsed the proposed grants. This action is not consistent with the expected diplomatic conduct of an ambassador to any friendly country but is completely unacceptable bias when the target of the delegitimization is a close ally like Israel. Especially in light of the rising scourge of Jew-hatred and Israel-bashing. This is how the new Biden/Lipstadt plan to fight antisemitism is being implemented? Shame!
Although Nides is planning to leave the post sometime this summer, he should resign immediately.
According to a grant notice posted in February 2022, $987,654 is to be supplied to an NGO by the Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) to charge Israel with human rights abuses in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. The content of the notice is disgraceful. It includes a “focus on […] survivors of atrocities.” The only atrocities the United States government has ever documented are terrorist attacks on Jewish civilians and human rights violations by the terrorist dictatorship Palestinian Authority, which pays Arabs lifetime pensions to murder Jews or Americans. The grants are supposed to be ‘locally led,’ which is Washington-speak for affiliated with radical elements in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Israel took action against six NGOs with direct links to terror organizations last year, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
No money for these grants was ever paid by the State Department, but only because of publicity generated by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other members of Congress.
Ambassador Nides has been aptly called ‘Israel’s Arsonist-in-Chief’. He stated, “I really think that most Israelis do not want America to stay out of their business.” He has interfered repeatedly in Israel’s domestic, internal affairs and works for an administration that provided taxpayer funds to directly support partisan protests against the Netanyahu government this spring. Nides is urging that Israel stop its reform plan which would make its Supreme Court more diverse and not overwhelmingly left wing and end Israel’s Supreme Court from ignoring and overriding passed Knesset laws. He has also proclaimed he will not go to Judea/Samaria where 600,000 Jews live. Nides always criticizes Israel publicly but never the terrorist dictatorship of Mahmoud ABBAs and his Arab regime, while supporting giving them $800 million of U.S. aid, ignoring the Taylor Force Act.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:
“ZOA has condemned Ambassador Nides before for his undiplomatic activities, but this memo is irrefutable proof that Nides cannot continue to serve as ambassador to Israel.
“One million dollars of taxpayer money for anti-Israel propaganda is outrageous, but this is unfortunately typical of the policies inside the Biden Administration. ZOA has documented the numerous Biden nominees and appointees who are overtly hostile to Israel in the Department of State, USAID, and frankly throughout the executive branch of government. Once the anti-Israel NGO produces a report funded by this grant, it would be used as supposed justification for BDS and other measures against Israel from the Europeans and at the UN. Congress did not intend for any funds to be used in this way. A robust Congressional reaction is required to investigate Nides and the other administration officials who are responsible for this U.S. government antisemitism.
“These payments are symptomatic of the larger problem with administration policy towards funding the anti-peace Palestinian Arab regime, and violating the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits such funding. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being sent directly and indirectly to the corrupt terrorist dictatorship of the Palestinian Authority, which continues to pay terrorists generous lifetime pensions to murder Jews with fungible monies supplied by European and American governments. Senator Ted Cruz said of this policy simply and powerfully: ‘This is a disgrace.’
“This is not the only offense committed by Ambassador Nides. As the ZOA has repeatedly documented, he has engaged in political interference repeatedly. The administration cannot simply ignore this outrage and allow Nides to celebrate the transition to a new ambassador as though nothing has happened. Whoever is selected to replace him as ambassador needs to assure the Senate that grants like this will never be considered again.”