The New Israel Fund in the UK went ahead with a September 3 appearance by Danny Rubenstein (Ha’aretz columnist), despite his labeling Israel as an “ apartheid state” at the EU/UN “International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.” (The British Zionist Federation dropped him as a speaker following this statement.) This is consistent with previous NIF policies supporting individuals and organizations working to demonize and delegitimize Israel. (In 2004, Shamai Leibowtiz used his status as an NIF Law Fellow to promote divestment and a single-state solution. More recent NIF grantees include Adalah and Mousawa, who have submitted papers to the UN accusing Israel of apartheid, referring to Zionism as racism, and distributing an alternative constitution for Israel that would abolish the concept of a Jewish state.)

On September 6, the Ford Foundation announced a second $20 million grant to extend its partnership with NIF to support civil society, human rights and social justice organizations in Israel. The partnership was launched in 2003 with an initial Ford grant of $20million, following the exposure of Ford’s funding for the NGOs participating in the Durban conference. (NGO Monitor published a detailed report on the Ford Foundation’s funding for political NGOs active in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict including Ford’s funding of the NIF.)

Many NIF and Ford funded NGOs are likely to take part in Durban 2009, a follow up to the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, which spawned the use of the apartheid analogy to undermine and eliminate Israel.