The New Israel Fund is Bad News NGO Monitor


Editor’s note: In 1990 AFSI was the first to expose the New Israel Fund in our pamphlet The New Israel Fund: A New Fund for Israel’s Enemies by Joseph Puder.  Calling itself “non-partisan” and “non-political” the New Israel Fund, the pamphlet noted, “embraced a startling variety of extremist crusades” for which Puder provided chapter and verse. The Fund has only grown more deceptive since, collecting much more money (over $30 million a year) much of which it siphons to ever more blatantly anti-Israel NGOs within Israel—while claiming its objective is only “to strengthen and expand the pro-democracy, progressive forces in Israel.”

That there are Jews in Israel who have created and staff NGOs whose aim is to defile and destroy their state is a disgrace to Jews and Israel; that there are wealthy American Jews who allow themselves to be taken in by the phony claims of the New Israel Fund to support Israel is equally appalling.

The following are excerpts from NGO Monitor’s recent report on the Fund.


The New Israel Fund (NIF) is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, the UK, Switzerland, and Germany. Since its founding in 1979, NIF has provided over $300 million to more than 900 Israeli organizations.

Shatil is the Israel-based “operating arm” of the NIF,” that creates and nurtures coalitions of NGOs, attempts to influence laws and bills in Israel, and holds workshops for staffers of NIF-funded NGOs.

Approximately 20% of grants go to 25 advocacy NGOs active in political campaigns that involve, to different degrees, demonization of Israel, including BDS and lawfare, under the headings of “Civil & Human Rights;” “Religious Freedom;” “Social & Economic Justice.”

The NIF claims that it “will not fund global BDS activities against Israel nor support organizations that have global BDS programs.” The NIF claims that it “firmly opposes attempts to prosecute Israeli officials in foreign courts [so-called lawfare.]

In practice, NIF continues to fund NGOs such as Adalah, Breaking the Silence, +972 Magazine, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel that are primarily active in campaigns that contribute to BDS and [Israel’s] delegitimization.

On June 29-30, 2015, Adalah co-sponsored and participated in two side events at the UN Human Rights Council along with pro-BDS and lawfare NGOs. Two of Adalah’s co-sponsors, Badil and Medical Aid for Palestinians, in addition to extreme demonization of Israel, have also engaged in overt antisemitism.

During the wave of terrorism that began in October 2015, NIF grantees Adalah and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) released statements criticizing Israeli policy and actions without even noting the attacks against Israeli civilians.

Adalah’s rejection of the legitimacy of the Jewish State and its attempt to portray Israel as racist are integral components of the Durban Strategy that it helped formulate. Consistent with its political goal of eliminating Israel’s Jewish character, in 2007 Adalah drafted a “Democratic Constitution” that called for replacing the Jewish foundation of Israel with a “democratic, bilingual, and multicultural” framework.

NIF grantee Breaking the Silence makes repeated allegations of [Israeli] “war crimes” and “violations of international law.” Despite claiming to address Israeli society, BtS’ lobbying and media advocacy focus on international audiences, including appearances in Europe and the United States.

NIF grantee +972 Magazine, regularly features writers that accuse Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “racism,” “land confiscation,” “discrimination,” “displacement,” “fail[ing] to prosecute violence against Palestinians,” and “perpetrating another Nakba,” as well as deriding “American Jewish hypocrisy.”

NIF funded NGOs were featured centrally in the discredited 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.

As with the Goldstone process, a number of NIF-funded NGOs were active in repeating unsupported allegations of “deliberate, systematic, and widespread targeting of Palestinian civilians”; “war crimes and crimes against humanity”; “grave violations of international humanitarian law,” and similar claims regarding the 2014 Gaza war, as well as claiming that internal Israeli investigations fail to meet international standards. Such allegations are central in efforts to justify international intervention, including ICC prosecutions and unprofessional UN reports.

On July 21, 2014, 10 NIF-funded NGOs, including Adalah, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), B’Tselem, Gisha, Hamoked, Machsom Watch, Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I), Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Rabbis for Human Rights, and Yesh Din, sent a public letter to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein alleging “serious concern of severe violations of international humanitarian law, and specifically the laws of war…at the level of offensive policy and the rules of engagement.”

On January 21, 2015, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) published “Gaza, 2014: Findings of an independent medical fact-finding mission,” alleging Israeli violations of human rights and international legal norms during the 2014 Gaza War. As stated in the report, PHR-I “believes that the prima facie evidence collected and presented in this Report should be used for the purposes of legal determination of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, whether through local or international justice mechanism.” (See NGO Monitor’s report, “Physicians for Human Rights Israel Gaza Mission: No Independence, No Facts, No Evidence”)

On January 28, 2015, B’Tselem published “Black Flag: The legal and moral implication of the policy of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014,” alleging that there was a “black flag of illegality flying over” Israeli military tactics during the 2014 Gaza War. B’Tselem also demonized Israel with a series of publications during the war that repeated false or distorted factual and legal allegations. (See NGO Monitor’s report, “Emotion, Not Law: A Critical Reading of B’Tselem’s ‘Black Flag’ Report”)

Adalah submitted a report to the UN Commission of Inquiry claiming that “Israel’s investigations into its 2014 Operation Protective Edge fall far short of the international standards of independence, impartiality, effectiveness, promptness and transparency.”

In an October 2014 submission to the UN Human Rights Committee, Israeli NGO Yesh Din alleged that the “Israeli military investigation system is marred by structural failures that render it incapable of conducting serious investigations into offenses committed by soldiers against Palestinians.”


This appeared on January 15 in


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Article by Ruth King

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Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

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