NGO Monitor to NIF: Explain Funding for Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement
Group calls for “liquidation” of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund
JERUSALEM – In contrast to its recent moral guidelines, the New Israel Fund (NIF) is involved in the funding of a group that calls for the “liquidation or fundamental change of organizations that contribute to the dispossession of Arabs, including the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, and the Israel Lands Authority.” NIF currently channels funds to the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, which has embraced this radical agenda, notes Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor.
“The New Israel Fund claims to love Israel and to oppose boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS),” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “But at the same time, NIF also provides funding to a group that campaigns for the “liquidation” of organizations such as the Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund (JNF). One of NIF’s new funding guidelines states that funding will not go to groups that ‘promote anti-democratic values.’ NIF must end the secret funding processes and publicly disclose how they see funding of the Sheikh Jarrrah Solidarity Movement as contributing to coexistence and mutual understanding.”
NGO Monitor notes that Sara Benninga, an organizer for the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Group, accuses Israel of “fascism,” “ethnic discrimination against its residents,” “blatant injustice and discrimination,” and “national and racial prejudices.” Protesters at the group’s rallies also have held signs declaring “Apartheid is here.” (Note: This page has been removed from the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity website.)
“NIF has made an important and positive contribution to Israeli society,” Steinberg adds. “But this does not excuse funding for radical political advocacy groups involved in demonization. NIF must choose between ending this relationship with the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, and repudiating the group’s offensive rhetoric, or ending the pretense of promoting a pro-Israel and pro-Zionist agenda.”