Regulation and Enablement Division
Charity Commission for England and Wales
13-15 Bouverie Street
London EC4 8DP.
14th April 2005.
I am writing to make an official complaint about the New Israel Fund – registered charity no. 1060081, company limited by guarantee registered in England no. 3296825 – based at 25-26 Enford Street, London W1H 1DW (registered office First Floor, Bouverie House, 154 Fleet Street, London EC4a 2JD). I am requesting your intervention on the grounds that, in spite of representations made to its officials both on an individual and on an organisational level, a number of the individuals and organisations which continue to be financially supported by this charity are engaged in activities which are not only incompatible with its stated aims, but also cause "serious detriment to the people or causes" it is supposed to serve – as referred to in paragraph 8 of the May 2003 guidelines of the Charity Commission. It is quite likely that many donors are unaware of this situation.
On its official website, http://www.nif.org, the New Israel Fund describes its mission as follows:
The New Israel Fund (NIF) works to strengthen Israel’s democracy and to promote freedom, justice and equality for all Israel’s citizens. For twenty-five years, NIF has been a leader in building a just and strong Israel, believing that Israel’s strength depends as much on its commitment to democratic principles as on its ability to defend itself against physical and military threats.
If the New Israel Fund supported only those groups which genuinely strive to foster harmonious relations, understanding and tolerance among all Israel’s citizens, Jewish, Moslem and Christian, it would certainly be promoting its declared goal to "strengthen Israel’s democracy and to promote freedom, justice and equality for all Israel’s citizens". This is not however the case.
Adalah – The Legal Center (sic) for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, represents a striking example of an organisation which continues to benefit from significant financial backing from the New Israel Fund, while being one of those which have been actively working with those enemies of Israel who wish to impose crippling and wide-ranging boycotts upon this country. Its representatives actively participated in the NGO Forum at the time of the so-called World Conference against Racism held at Durban in 2001 which saw the distribution of much anti-Semitic hate literature and which produced numerous incidents involving not only verbal, but also physical intimidation against many of the Jewish participants.
The representatives of Adalah were involved in the drafting of the sections of the WCAR NGO Forum Declaration which dealt with Israel and the Palestinians – as for example clause 124 of the "action plan":
Call upon the international community to impose a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state as in the case of South Africa which means the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel. Call upon the Government of South Africa to take the lead in this policy of isolation, bearing in mind its own historical success in countering the undermining policy of "constructive engagement" with its own past Apartheid regime.
In support of my complaint I enclose copies of the documents which a) state the New Israel Fund’s official aims b) list its grantees c) constitute recent publicity material for this charity – as well as photocopies of the pages on Adalah’s official website which report its delegates’ participation in the afore-mentioned World Conference against Racism and of the relevant pages of the WCAR NGO Forum declaration and of two reports – relating to an individual grantee – by NGO Monitor.(According to its mission statements this organisation was "founded to promote accountability, and advance a vigorous discussion on the reports and activities of humanitarian NGOs in the framework of the Arab-Israeli conflict", "to end to (sic) the practice used by certain self-declared ‘humanitarian NGOs’ of exploiting the label ‘universal human rights values’ to promote politically and ideologically motivated anti-Israel agendas.").
In urging that the appropriate measures be taken to put an end to the above abuses of funds donated to the New Israel Fund, I thank you in advance for your interest and attention.
Dr. P.L. Leslie.