The world seems full of people and organizations who do their best to oppose the state of Israel. This is somewhat unique for such a small country. Compare, for example, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (which is actually a parliamentary democracy). OK, it is one-twelfth the size of Israel with about a half million inhabitants, but it is infinitely less controversial.
Anyway, Israel has Hamas and Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, and most of the Arab and Muslim world aching for its demise; it has boycott and divestment movements throughout the world; and the United Nations and possibly hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) constantly beating up on it for alleged human rights violations.
The NGOs, unlike Hamas, do not try to appear bloodthirsty. They aspire to represent civilization at its most highly evolved, altruistically helping the oppressed and disadvantaged. But in many cases they act as auxiliaries to the terrorist militias, chipping away at Israel’s legitimacy and setting the stage for her physical destruction.
Accusations of ‘apartheid’, exaggerated accounts of human rights violations, and ignoring the context of the continued terrorist war being waged against Israel are part and parcel of the ‘Durban strategy’ to delegitimize Israel and force it to make concessions — like total cession of the West Bank and accepting Palestinian ‘refugees’ — that would lead directly to the conversion of Israel into another Arab state.
The Durban strategy (which refers to the 2001 Durban conference against racism which was turned into a anti-Israel hatefest by pro-Palestinian NGOs) is the political struggle, whose weapons are boycotts and divestment, public censure, legal action, and so on that works side by side with the military ‘resistance’ of Hamas and Hezbollah. The efforts complement one another.
What is shocking is that in many cases the NGOs are funded by organizations like the EU or the UN which are theoretically opposed to aggression against legitimate nations. And what is even more infuriating is when they are funded by…Jewish charities.
Take the New Israel Fund (NIF).
- In 2006-07, two NIF grantees entered Israel’s national debate over a constitution with their own proposals: Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, with its “Democratic Constitution,” and the Mossawa Center’s “An Equal Constitution For All?”. These two groups propose a “binational” state that would couple an unlimited “right of return” for Palestinians with abolishing the Jewish Law of Return. Some Israeli Jews advocate a binational state, but the overwhelming majority of Israelis views it as tantamount to eliminating the state’s Jewish character and adamantly opposes it. In addition, some NIF-Ford grantees weighed in on a third such proposal, the “Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel” which appears to oppose Israel being a Jewish state.
- In March 2007, eight groups that promote human rights for Israeli Arabs and Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation successfully petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice against what it labeled the “Apartheid order” to create an “Apartheid road” on which Israeli police would restrict Palestinians from traveling in Israeli cars in the West Bank. The petition did not mention Israel’s justification for the directive, which it said was to prevent the transport of possible terrorists. Seven of the petitioners were NIF grantees: Yesh Din, Bimkom, Machsom Watch, HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.
- In March, The New York Times quoted a lawyer for the Association of Civil Rights in Israel — a flagship grantee of the NIF and a prime recipient of its funding — explaining, “There is already a separate legal system in the territories for Israelis and Palestinians … With the approval of separate roads, if it becomes a widespread policy, then the word for it will be ‘apartheid.’ “
- Adalah’s April 2008 newsletter contains an article by the group’s general-director, Hassan Jabareen, titled “The Israeli Regime of Hafradah (Separation in English and Apartheid in Afrikaans).” With no mention of Palestinian attacks, Jabareen alleges that Israel “aims to redefine the Jewishness of the state.” Also in April, five Adalah board members joined an Israeli Arab delegation to South Africa in a visit the group itself portrayed as commiserating with fellow victims of apartheid. — JTA
In addition to its solicitations to liberal Jews (I’ve received NIF literature, probably because of my membership in a Reform congregation), the NIF has received large grants from the Ford Foundation (a $20 million 5-year grant in 2003 which is being renewed this year). The Ford Foundation has a history of being associated with anti-Israel causes, having funded many of the NGOs at the 2001 Durban conference.
The NIF, along with J Street, Tikkun, and other similar Jewish groups represent people of Jewish extraction who have set aside their Jewish identity — except perhaps for laughing at jokes about Ashkenazi Jewish-American food — and have found a different one based on principles of democracy, rule of law, human rights, fairness, tolerance, helping the disadvantaged, non-violence, peace, etc.
All these are wonderful things, but their naive Jewish champions are being cynically exploited by those — like Hamas — who are extremely violent, intolerant and undemocratic.