NGO Monitor: NIF Network’s Campaign on September Protests

September 13, 2011
Naomi Chazan
This NIF seems to go to a lot of trouble to claim they are not involved with things. They left a comment on my blog and it isn’t like I’m a big fish. They must have a huge social media campaign financed by who knows? What I do know is that it costs a lot of money to go to supposedly Conservative blogs, which is something I really am not (can’t you tell by the raunchy offensive jokes?), but the NIF assumes I am because I support Israel and think totalitarianism is a nightmare.
B’Tselem’s report on Nabi Saleh a pretense to discuss September JERUSALEM (Daled Amos)
In advance of the Palestinian “September initiatives” at the United Nations, the New Israel Fund (NIF) network of organizations are conducting a coordinated campaign that accuses Israel of “infringing” on the “right to demonstrate” and ignores Israel’s legal obligations to maintain public order. As a pretense to promote this agenda and pre-judge Israeli responses to predicted mass demonstrations, B’Tselem today published a politically motivated “report” on “Weekly Demonstrations in a-Nabi Saleh,” according to Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor. “The timing of the B’Tselem report suggests that the objective is to undermine the policies of the democratically elected government of Israel,” noted Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Along with Adalah, Mossawa, Yesh Din, CWP, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and other members of the NIF network, B’Tselem is perpetuating the myth that these protests are non-violent.” In its report, B’Tselem alleges that “security forces denied the residents their right to protest the infringement of their rights, and completely prohibited them from demonstrating…even in the absence of any violent act by the demonstrators.” To match its political aims, this NGO also claimed that “forces made excessive use of crowd control measures.” NGO Monitor notes that, in addition to this B’Tselem publication, ACRI sent an open letter (to generate publicity) in August to Defense Minister Ehud Barak alleging that “military legislation governing protests and demonstrations in the West Bank denies Palestinian residents the right to demonstrate.” Similarly, ACRI and Adalah pubished a joint letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Minister of Internal Security, and the Chief of Police entitled “Police Preparation for the Expected September Demonstrations” (August 28). And, in June 2011, Mossawa released an inflammatory statement condemning Israel for preparing for possible violence in September, satirically entitled “Mossawa Center calls [on Israel] not to send security forces to train in Daraa [Syria] and Tripoli.” The comparison between Israel and the regimes of Assad and Qaddafi is particularly odious. In addition, Yesh Din, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), and the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) are hosting a “Lawyers workshop for representing arrested demonstrators” on September 15, 2011. This workshop, run by NIF-funded groups, is being held in order to counter an alleged policy of “police repression of demonstrators.” “The aim of these statements and activities is to constrain the Israeli government, and distort the legitimate responses to violence, by painting these actions as non-violent. In actuality, extensive evidence shows that many of these confrontations, such as in Bilin, Nilin, and Nabi Saleh, include significant acts of violence by protesters,” continued Steinberg. “If the planned demonstrations include or exceed these levels of violence , or that of the ‘Nakba’ and ‘Naksa’ riots of earlier this year, Israeli security services are required to act to protect civilians from injury.” “NGOs claiming to promote human rights and the rule of law are wrong to erase the very real threats to public safety and human life,” said Steinberg. “In media campaigns pre-condemning the Israeli response, the NIF network is attempting to handcuff Israeli security forces.” Examples of this campaign: * On September 12, 2011 B’Tselem published a report titled “Show of Force Israeli Military Conduct in Weekly Demonstrations in a-Nabi Saleh.” * ACRI sent a letter to defense Minister Ehud Barak titled “The Proper Security Forces Preparation for Expected Palestinian Protests and Rallies in September” (August 8, 2011). * ACRI and Adalah sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the minister of interior security and the chief of police titled “Police Preparation for the Expected September Demonstrations” (August 28, 2011). * Yesh Din, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), and the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) are hosting a “Lawyers workshop for representing arrested demonstrators” on September 15, 2011. * “Mossawa Center calls [on Israel] not to send security forces to train in Daraa and Tripoli” (June 14, 2011).

New Israel Fund Continues to Fund BDS Groups

August 2, 2011

NGO Monitor

  • In July 2011, New Israel Fund (NIF) published its 2010 Financial Statement. This document details NIF funding for Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) in 2010, and indicates that funds were also earmarked for 2011. (CWP is a leader of anti-Israel BDS campaigns.)
  • The statement reveals that in 2010, NIF authorized an additional $20,130 for CWP, and disbursed $36,503, including $16,373 authorized in previous years that had not been transferred. (NGO Monitor reports show that NIF provided approximately $300,000 to CWP in previous years.)
  • On May 12, 2011, an official NIF statement declared that “NIF provided its last direct grant to CWP in 2008” and subsequent transfers were “donor advised.” NIF’s financial statements do not distinguish between direct and donor advised grants, making NIF’s claim unverifiable.  Nevertheless, under U.S. tax law, and as reflected in NIF’s 2009 and 2010 financial documents, “donor advised” grants are within the sole discretion of the NIF Board of Directors.  No money may be distributed to any grantee without the approval of the NIF board, and donors are notified in advance that disbursements require that approval. NIF has full responsibility – morally, legally, and financially  for the 2010 $36,503 disbursement to CWP.
  • NIF’s May 12, 2011 press release was headlined: “NGO Monitor attacks New Israel Fund based on information it knew to be wrong.” NIF’s release of its 2010 funding information unequivocally reaffirms the accuracy of NGO Monitor’s reports. (NIF has not apologized.) 
  • In a May 20, 2011 statement, NIF-Australia head Robin Margo declared that CWP “has received no further funding from NIF since 2009” and criticized Dr. Ron Weiser (Zionist Council of New South Wales, Australia) for “suggesting publically… that funding may have continued into 2010.”
  • According to the NIF financial statement, $6,000 remained to be granted to CWP in 2011. This is consistent with CWP’s statement that NIF continued to provide funds in 2011. (NIF later claimed that “Due to a clerical error, $100 was processed to CWP in May.” NIF did not relate to the $6,000 amount.)