New Israel Fund
September 02, 2012
- Website: www.nif.org
- Founded in 1979. Executive director Daniel Sokatch, appointed 2009.
- Mission statement: “The New Israel Fund (NIF) works to strengthen Israel's democracy and to promote freedom, justice and equality for all Israel's citizens […] NIF is committed to addressing the internal challenges that also affect the long-term survival of Israel's democracy.”
- Funding focuses on: “Civil and Human Rights,” “Social and Economic Justice,” “Religious Pluralism & Tolerance,” “Israeli Arabs & Bedouin Citizens,” “Environment,” “Immigrants,” and “Women’s Rights.”
- “Since its founding in 1979, NIF has granted more than $200 million to more than 800 organizations in Israel.” This includes $40 million from the Ford Foundation for “peace and social justice” programs.
- Ford support is channeled through the “Ford Israel Fund,” a “grant making partnership.” “Grant recommendations are considered and approved by the Board of the New Israel Fund.”
- In 2008, NIF distributed over $20 million to over 300 NGOs in Israel. Approximately 20% goes to NGOs that engage in political activities related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including some that reject the legitimacy of Israel as Jewish democratic state, and are active in boycott and similar campaigns.
- Five grantees – Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against Violence, Social TV, and Mossawa – signed a divestment letter, which was sent to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund.
- Adalah ($500,000 in 2008) promotes a “Democratic Constitution” calling for eliminating Israel’s Jewish framework, and based on the “one-state solution.” Adalah officials were also involved in writing and editing a May 2009 South African publication “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel´s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law.” The document refers to Israeli occupation as a “colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid.”
- NIF funded NGOs and their groups were featured centrally in the Goldstone report, which focused on alleged Israeli “war crimes” in the 2009 Gaza war. The report referenced B’Tselem more than 56 times; Adalah, 38; and Breaking the Silence, 27.
- NIF’s Shatil project provides Israeli NGOs with “consulting, training, coalition-building assistance and other services”, including a number of politicized groups.
- A confidential US government cable (February 2010), released by Wikileaks, contained comments by NIF Associate Director in Israel Hedva Radanovitz 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.” In response, NIF claimed that “her comments...are her personal views. They do not reflect the policies or positions of the New Israel Fund.”
- CEO of NIF-Israel Rachel Liel rejected an invitation to participate in a November 2009 Knesset conference on “Foreign Government Funding for NGO Political Activity in Israel.” Instead, NIF published a position paper, distributed at the conference, falsely charging that the “purpose [of the conference] is repression and silencing of voices.”
- In February 2010, Israeli student group Im Tirzu launched a public campaign criticizing NIF for its grantees role in promoting the Goldstone Report and their involvement in “lawfare” cases in foreign courts. The campaign included personal attacks against NIF President Naomi Chazan.
- Presumed Guilty: NIF's NGO Network Promotes War Crimes Myths Again, NGO Monitor Reports, November 19, 2012
- Questions Remain for the New Israel Fund on the Signing Anew/Haaretz “apartheid” poll, NGO Monitor Reports, October 25, 2012
- NIF 2011 Funding: One Step Forward, One Step Back, NGO Monitor Reports, August 31, 2012
- Wikileaks Bombshell: New Israel Fund Official Endorses End of Jewish State, Noah Pollak, Contentions (Commentary Magazine), September 6, 2011
- NIF Announces End of Support for CWP, Confirming NGO Monitor Research, NGO Monitor Reports, May 16, 2011 (Timeline of the controversy)
- NIF's Old-New-No Funding Guidelines: Substance or Spin?, NGO Monitor Reports, September 22, 2010
- NIF Whistleblower Exposes NIF´s Role in Demonization, NGOs in the News, July 21, 2010
- Ethical Guidelines for the New Israel Fund, June 22, 2010
- NIF Has Crossed the Line, NGO Monitor Reports, May 14, 2010
- NIF-Funded NGOs: Goldstone’s Building Blocks, NGO Monitor, February 9, 2010