The New Israel Fund (NIF) recently received a grant to “research and report on anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses.” On the surface, this appears to be a welcome development—a progressive group being mobilized to confront a major social malady plaguing institutions of higher education.
Beneath the surface of the Sept. 27 grant, however, are vested interests seeking to use this issue to cover up their role in fomenting the atmosphere that is hostile to Jewish students. The NIF is being paid by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)—a main backer of the anti-Israel activism that contributes to, enables and devolves into anti-Semitism on college campuses.
RBF’s choice of NIF to conduct this study should be considered in this light. As opposed to the researchers and experts at Brandeis, the various Jewish organizations that focus on Jewish life on campus, and groups that closely monitor anti-Semitism in the U.S., NIF has no significant history of studying and commenting on anti-Semitism or campus activity.
Given RBF’s extensive funding of BDS and delegitimization of Israel, it is reasonable to ask if the fund is using its financial power to whitewash its grantees’ involvement in fanning the flames of anti-Jewish hatred. What is less clear is why NIF would lend its name to such a charade.