New Israel Fund Australia announces patrons

February 23, 2012 by  
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Martin Indyk, who was raised in Australia and was a two- time United States ambassador to Israel, and Ronni Kahn, founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, have become inaugural patrons of the Australian branch of the New Israel Fund.

Ronni Kahn

The co-patrons met recently in Sydney and accepted the unanimous invitation of the NIF Australia board, its president, Robin Margo, said this week.

“We are delighted that such high-calibre people support our mission helping Israelis make Israel a better and more just country,” Mr Margo said.

“Martin’s outstanding international diplomatic record and Ronni’s highly-acclaimed grassroots work in Australia, coupled with her extensive years living in Israel, make them very worthy inaugural patrons of NIF Australia.”

Mr Indyk is the Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC and co- chair with Talia Sasson of the International Council of the New Israel Fund, which now includes Amos Oz, a former Israeli Attorney General, two Brigadier Generals, five Israel Prize laureates, Nobel Prize Laureate Prof Aaron Ciechanover, and many other leading personalities in law, the economy and society in Israel.

Ambassador Indyk holds a PhD from the Australian National University and is the author of “Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East,” and most recently, “Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy” (with Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Lieberthal).

Martin Indyk

Ms Kahn, who lived in Israel for 18 years, founded OzHarvest in 2004, with the dual purpose of feeding those in need and helping the environment by saving good food from going to landfill.

The South African-born activist was named Australia’s Local Hero in the 2010 Australian of the Year Awards. She said she is passionate about helping Israelis building a socially just and democratic Israel in which all its citizens are treated equally.

“I am a firm supporter and believer in the State of Israel, the Jewish homeland,” Ms Kahn said this week. “I want to do all I can to promote the values on which Israel was founded.”
The Australian branch of NIF, the leading organisation committed to democracy and equality for all Israelis, was officially launched in June last year during a high-profile visit to Australia by NIF president Naomi Chazan, which garnered major media attention.
Former Haaretz editor-in-chief David Landau visited Australia on a highly successful speaking tour last November.

Comments

2 Responses to “New Israel Fund Australia announces patrons”
  1. Peter says:

    Fabulous.

    The 2 “new” patrons of NIF Australia are Martin Indyk who is already one of NIF’s most senior leaders internationally and the other who is a partner of an NIF Australia founding board member.

    Wow! That’s news??

    Martin Indyk’s position is already well known, he was even part of NIF before it tightend up its more recently stated grantee policy to cease funding organisations that support BDS, so I guess he had no objection to NIF funding the “Who Profits” website, as NIF did, when used by Marrickville Council in its BDS campaign to identify organisations to target when it was led by Fiona Byrne.

    Nor apparently did Ambassador Indyk object to NIF funding CWP.

    Nor numerous NIF grantees who participated so happily in the discredited Goldstone Report.

    Some NIF grantees even publically called for Goldstone to retract his retraction!

    Well Ambassador Indyk obviously thought there was no problem funding those organisations at the time, those who played a role in BDS and the Goldstone Report, it is a wonder that NIF Australia today is so happy to have him as a patron.

    It puts the lie to Mr Margo’s constant refrain that “NIF has changed its grantee policy and no longer supports organisations that support BDS etc.

    Where is the good judgement here?

    Indeed that is the NIF story, lack of judgement, and only ceasing funding for some distasteful organisations when pushed by public scrutiny.

    Great to read however, that Ronii supports Israel as the “Jewish Homeland”.

    Hopefully she can ensure that NIF cease funding organisation opposed to Israel being the Jewish Homeland. If so, then we could all get behind NIF.

    But as long as NIF continues to fund organisations who oppose Israel’s existence as the Jewish Homeland, people should continue to oppose funding NIF.

    The values Israel was founded on in no way resemble NIF’s grantee policy. We all look forward to Ronii changing NIF policy so that Ben Gurion can stop spinning in his grave at how NIF misrepresent his views.

    Now that would be news.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    The most impressive undeclared detail is that NIF is “that” NGO responsible for pouring millions of dollars into “those” subservient ( who’s who in subserviency here !!!) NGO themselves responsible for strongly attacking Israel with the clear intent of deligitimising OUR existential soul, Eretz Israel !!!
    Well may President Margo be proud of his new recruits for now we know with greater clarity who NOT to trust in matter Zionist any more !!
    Any more “have-beens” !!??

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