New Israel Fund

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States

Activity

  • Since its founding in 1979, as a political framework following the 1977 Israeli elections that brought Likud to power, the New Israel Fund (NIF) has provided over $300 million to more than 900 Israeli organizations. NIF is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, the UK, Switzerland, Australia, and Germany.
  • Shatil is the Israel-based “operating arm” of the NIF,” that creates and nurtures coalitions of NGOs, attempts to influence laws and bills in Israel, and holds workshops for staffers of NIF-funded NGOs.
  • Declared objectives: “to strengthen and expand the pro-democracy, progressive forces in Israel” and help “Israel to live up to its founders’ vision.” According to the NIF, the Israeli government and public have strayed from the vision of Israel as a “Jewish homeland and a democracy.”
  • To achieve these goals, the NIF “brings the broad range of civil rights, social justice and religious tolerance issues to the attention” of individuals and institutions, including the media and the Knesset. It presents itself as the “only” group working on such issues, attempting to restore Israeli democracy to its founders’ vision.
  • A common theme of NIF fundraising and campaigning is the supposed “erosion of Israeli democracy.” In September 2016, the Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland refused an invitation to participate in an NIF event, titled “Is Israeli democracy in danger?” The Israeli Foreign Ministry explained that the “provocative” title and NIF involvement were the reasons for the refusal.

Finances

  • In 2019, total income was $33.4 million; total expenses were $34.9 million. (See table below for further information regarding NIF’s funding.)
  • According to its 2019 Annual Report, donors include Foundation for Middle East Peace, Moriah Fund, and Kathleen Peratis (co-chair of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division.)
  • Total authorized grants to all NGOs were approximately 17 million in 2019. (See Appendix 1)
  • Although NIF grants are for organizations based in Israel, the organization is not registered with the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits.

Grantmaking

NIF-Funded organizations are involved in:

Troubling Partnerships

Lawfare/ICC

  • In December 2019, Adalah applauded the decision of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to launch an investigation against Israel stating that “the ICC prosecutor has made the right decision given the facts. No other decision could have been possible. We welcome her position, and we believe that the ICC has full jurisdiction to decide on the concerned criminal cases.”
  • In March 2020, B’Tselem stated that “The ICC can – and must – investigate the situation in Palestine.” According to an email, “Israel may finally have to start considering the price for its crimes against the Palestinians. We hope the court will make the right decision to back the Prosecutor’s position and rule: there is jurisdiction, and there will be an investigation.” B’Tselem also published a press release and position paper that accused Israel of using the Holocaust to justify its policies vis-a-via the Palestinians, “the very values that the ICC is meant to safeguard – the values that the world has been trying to promote since the end of World War II, in response to the unspeakable atrocities committed during that dark chapter in history. With shameless cynicism, Israel is trying to use these very horrors to justify continued oppression, land grab and killings at its own hands.”
  • In a January 30, 2020 statement, Yesh Din alleged, “the State of Israel is unable or unwilling to take resolute action in keeping with its legal duties to eradicate violence and harm to Palestinians and their property…For this reason, we believe that the international community, which shares in the responsibility for protecting the rights of Palestinians living under occupation, has an obligation to intervene and take action.” (emphases added)

BDS

Demonization of Israel

  • In March 2013, Adalah launched a “Discriminatory Laws in Israel” database on its website (or “Racist Laws,” per Adalah’s English Facebook page). NGO Monitor’s analysis demonstrates that many of the claims are false or misleading.
    • Adalah’s rejection of the legitimacy of the Jewish State and its attempt to portray Israel as racist are integral components of the Durban Strategy that it helped formulate. Consistent with its political goal of eliminating Israel’s Jewish character, in 2007 Adalah drafted a “Democratic Constitution” that called for replacing the Jewish foundation of Israel with a “democratic, bilingual, and multicultural” framework.
  • NIF grantee Breaking the Silence makes repeated allegations of “war crimes” and “violations of international law.” Despite claiming to address Israeli society, BtS’ lobbying and media advocacy focus on international audiences, including appearances in Europe and the United States.
  • NIF grantee +972 Magazine, regularly features writers that accuse Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “racism,” “land confiscation,” “discrimination,” “displacement,” “fail[ing] to prosecute violence against Palestinians,” and “perpetrating another Nakba,” as well as deriding “American Jewish hypocrisy.”
  • NIF funds Molad, a highly partisan and openly political NGO that promotes a narrow, intolerant agenda, without providing diverse views or showing respect for other political opinions.
  • Both Mossawa and Baladna refer to the founding of the state of Israel as a “Nakba” [“catastrophe”], promote a 1948 agenda, and a Palestinian “right of return,” which, if implemented would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.
  • NIF funded NGOs were featured centrally in the discredited 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.

Gaza War 2014

Partial List of NIF Authorized Grants 2012-2019 (Amounts in US Dollars)

NGO2019201820172016201520142013
Adalah97,26189,88192,62867,571101,170201,02270,948
Akevot20,6179,7465,000----
Bimkom267,236286,755228,443340,500295,000177,000248,000
Baladna-----25,00025,000
Breaking the Silence629,926510,942359,219438,766104,304138,88283,993
B'Tselem243,727365,756392,879360,659252,208276,271107,048
Combatants for Peace37,63625,44921,18022,86220,2435,000-
Emek Shaveh41,15029,80031,27520,35040,350400-
Gisha: Legal Center for the Protection of Freedom of Movement97,79082,51637,8036,68729,15044,49122,771
HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual78,189104,11983,3751,30037,45031,40014,800
Haqel: Jews and Arabs in Defense of Human Rights30560,590140,97278,375---
Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)200,550116,892175,98421,7695199,00091,30075,920
Ir Amim147,794170,392178,334180,498105,587146,97895,131
Mehazkim23,90013,186
Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Democracy25,00047,20668,857101,196417,69461,6000736,000
Mossawa3209,98440,07540,25094,075200,000191,477
Kerem Navot (Naboth's Vineyard)5,0005,00012,61040,902---
Negev Coexistence Forum59,76682,00073,40661,67249,88869,86149,339
Nine Seven Two: Advancement of Citizen Journalism313,219151,540127,53117,33238,11754,12031,378
Parents' Circle: Bereaved Parents2,66613,45673,4064,97216,9022,80714,225
Physicians for Human Rights - Israel274,997317,17486,894102,90691,679185,26271,380
Rabbis for Human Rights43,98537,12042,775107,648296,420243,464295,493
Reut Sadaka Jewish-Arab Youth Movement4,0504,04911,0506,84438,43027,56413,691
SISO - Save Israel. Stop the Occupation.--101,242120,100---
Social TV40010,2878,0702,000-4,00039,000
Standing Together224,512102,52891,021
Terrestrial Jerusalem10,0005020,000-10,00020,000-
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel45,80035,55038,45036,00041,6435,0151,670
Women's Fund for Human Rights (Machsom Watch)117,171112,234129,39787,077243,53569,968118,788
Yesh Din138,999140,040176,214121,87174,74051,23650,063
Zazim - Community Action327,793190,948314,022182,013---
Zulat50,000
Total$3,529,759$3,125,190$3,000,374$2,768,046$2,496,415$2,674,055$2,372,089

Appendix 1

Table 1: Overview of NIF Finances 2015-2019 (Amounts in US Dollars)

 20192018201720162015
Total Expenses34,887,48531,443,71230,304,73330,785,90830,976,640
Total Revenue33,403,32232,674,57529,231,84628,139,39733,062,783
Grants Authorized17,366,60315,038,26413,626,81613,541,42713,851,614
Grants Paid17,366,69814,996,83714,903,61613,582,49214,519,759

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