NIF Considering Making Acceptance of Jewish Homeland a Grantee Requirement

JERUSALEM – Reports that the New Israel Fund (NIF) is discussing new guidelines for its grantees are a positive development for the organization, says NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem based research institution.  The potential new guidelines would require grantees to accept the idea of Israel as a Jewish homeland.

“Adopting these proposed guidelines would be a significant change for NIF,” says Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Some of NIF’s grantees have been more than critical of Israel – they have participated in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and invoked the rhetoric of “apartheid” and war crimes.”  The proposed grant guidelines would allow NIF to implement its own “red lines” regarding demonizing attacks against Zionism and Israel.”

NGO Monitor has chronicled NIF grantees that have crossed these red lines.  Some examples include:

  • Adalah ($500,000 in 2008) promotes a “Democratic Constitution” calling for eliminating Israel’s Jewish framework, and based on the “one-state solution.”
  • Five grantees – Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against Violence, Social TV, and Mossawa – signed a divestment letter in May 2009 that was sent to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund.
  • NIF funded NGOs were featured centrally in the 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 – all groups that receive NIF funding.

Further analysis of NIF and groups that receive funding can be viewed here.

“Were NIF to adopt these guidelines, it certainly would have a major impact on stopping the de-legitimization of Israel,” Steinberg adds.  “NIF plays a major role in the public discussions about Israel, both here and in the international community.  We will see if the organization now moves from words to deeds and we will continue to monitor the developments surrounding the guidelines.”