To read this article, click here.
Well, this is certainly disconcerting: The New Israel Fund, a left-leaning organization I admire (it funds all sorts of civil liberties groups in Israel), states that, on the one hand, the anti-Israel boycott movement (the BDS movement, for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is pursuing a counterproductive and inflammatory strategy, but on the other, it will continue to fund groups that support BDS, so long as they don’t support BDS too much. Here are the weasel words, so you can judge NIF’s position for yourself:
NIF supports an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories as a central tenet of the strategic framework in which we operate. The tactics known as ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ (BDS) are designed to pressure Israel to end the occupation, but NIF believes these tactics to be unproductive, inflammatory and ineffective because of the difficulties in defining an approach that is not overly broad, does not delegitimize Israel and will achieve the long-term goal.
Although we will continue to communicate publicly and privately to our allies and grantees that NIF does not support BDS as a strategy or tactic, we will not reduce or eliminate our funding for grantees that differ with us on a tactical matter. NIF will not fund BDS activities nor support organizations for which BDS is a substantial element of their activities, but will support organizations that conform to our grant requirements if their support for BDS is incidental or subsidiary to their significant programs.
The way I read this, the NIF does not support the attempt by anti-Israel activists to turn the world’s only Jewish country into a pariah state, and Jews into a target — once again — of a broad-based economic boycott. Except when it does, a little. It would seem that if the New Israel Fund believes BDS to be immoral, then it would defund grantees that support BDS, even incidentally. This is one of those bright-line issues, and if NIF wants to get on the wrong side of that line, it should not call itself a pro-Israel organization.