Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy
|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.”
- In 2020, total income was NIS 2.5 million; total expenses were NIS 2.1 million.
- In 2020-2022, Molad received €600,000 from the European Union to “promote conditions for a negotiated settlement of the conflict based on the two-state solution, by shifting prevailing attitudes and stances of a key constituency in Israeli society partition sceptics.”
- In 2015-2020, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $695,786 to Molad.
- In 2018-2022, Molad received $190,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for “general support.”
- According to documents apparently leaked from the Open Society Foundation, since 2013, Molad has received two grants from OSF totaling $200,000.
- Molad describes itself as an “independent, non-partisan Israeli think tank.”
- According to its website, “[w]hile Molad maintains intellectual independence and does not identify with political parties, personalities or organizations, it does not claim to be ‘apolitical’.”
- 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.
- In July 2021, Molad research fellow Arnon Degani published an article titled “Yes, Israel is a Settler-Colonial State. Just Like America, Canada, and Australia,” claiming that “settler-colonialism explains the violent aspects of Zionist entrenchment in Eretz Yisrael/Palestine and, paradoxically, uniquely accounts for certain democratic tendencies that Zionism and Israel held throughout the years.”
- In June 2015, Mikhael Manekin, current Fellow and former Executive Director at Molad, stated that “If settlement labeling teaches us anything, it is that there is an overwhelming consensus in the world that Israel’s control of the West Bank is illegitimate… a measure against Israel’s presence in the West Bank.”
- 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.
- 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.”
- In June 2012, Avraham Burg, supporting the BDS movement, wrote in The Independent that “I have decided to not buy any product that comes from the settlements. I do not cross the Green Line, not to promote public causes and not for family events. Because everything happening across the Green Line is the dark alter ego of Israel. Its hidden personality is manifest there. Evil, aggressive and impenetrable. This personality threatens to take over the good and humane parts of the legitimate Israel. With international help, we must return these demons to their bottles, or rather to those positive domains for which this state was established.”
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