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Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy

Profile

Country/TerritoryIsrael
Websitehttp://www.molad.org/en/indexarch.php
Founded2012
In their own words“An independent, non-partisan research institute and think tank dedicated to the fundamental political and social issues of Israeli life.” Composed of “experts, policy makers and activists” who aim “to inject quality content into the Israeli public discourse” by “developing a comprehensive vision for the State of Israel that is equitable and, in tandem, seeks peaceful integration of Israel into its geopolitical environment.”

Funding

  • 2013 annual budget of NIS 3,122,047 (latest available; accessed November 2, 2014).
  • In 2012-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $1,171,000 to Molad (2012, 2013). In 2014, the NIF allocated an additional $300,000 to Molad.
  • Molad received two grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund totaling $150,000 (2012-2015).
  • According to the Anna Lindh Foundation, Molad has also received funding from the Skoll Global Threats Foundations.

Activities

Political Advocacy and Activities

  • While Molad claims to be “The Center for the Renewal of Democracy,” it promotes a narrow, intolerant agenda, without providing diverse views or showing respect for other political opinions.
  • Publishes a political satire, “Sixty One”, in conjunction with the graphic artists Ido, Nissan, and Sanny, which consists of prejudicial posters, aimed at denigrating Israeli politicians with whom they disagree. These graphic artists were responsible for  the highly offensive “Vaseline rape poster,” which used crude imagery, including the rape of a woman in one version, to critique settlements.
  • A June 2013 report claims that the proposed Basic Law declaring Israel the “nation-state of the Jewish people” is “both illegitimate and dangerous” and “undermines the original values of Zionism.” According to the report:  “It is illegitimate because its formulators and backers are attempting to… decide on issues of profound controversy regarding identity, culture, and society.”
  • Published a 2014 report making unsubstantiated allegations that the state transfers hundreds of millions of shekels to illegal settlements and that Israeli taxpayer money is funding violations of international law. Chaim Levinson, a Haaretz reporter known for his criticism of Israeli settlement policy, accused Molad of publishing research based on fundamental errors.
  • Published a December 2013 report, “Alliance in Crisis: Israel’s Standing in the World and the Question of Isolation,” placing sole responsibility for the continuation of the conflict and unfavorable international opinion on Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza. Molad failed to account for deep-seated antisemitism, BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), Palestinian rejectionism, the refusal of a large portion of the Arab and Muslim worlds to recognize the existence of a Jewish state and the accompanying Arab boycott, UN initiatives of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and other phenomena that are not caused by the occupation.
  • On October 29, 2013, founder and then staff member Avrum Burg published an opinion article on Mondoweiss, an extreme anti-Israel blog, promoting a “one-state” framework for the Arab-Israeli conflict (“We must enter a new Israeli discourse based in equality, justice, and freedom”). The article was part of a series on the blog, “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm,” initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a U.S.-based NGO that views itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement and seeks to create “a wedge” in the Jewish community over support for Israel.

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Further Reading