New Israel Fund Updated

August 1, 2011 by Ron Weiser
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The New Israel Fund (NIF) sought credibility in the eyes of our community by claiming that it had ceased funding organisations involved in the global BDS Movement…writes Ron Weiser.

Ron Weiser

One focus was on the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP).

You will recall that this organisation had crossed over any acceptable red line and was behind the infamous “Who Profits?” website for example.

I campaigned quite heavily that if the new guidelines announced by NIF were to be credible, then NIF should cease funding CWP.

At the time of this debate, the audited accounts of NIF for 2010 were not yet available but we had repeated statements by NIF Australia and indeed the head of NIF itself Naomi Chazan, even on a panel I shared with her at Limmud Oz, that basically said that NIF was no longer funding CWP and that this practice had stopped some years ago.

In effect – NIF agreed with me that CWP crossed even their red lines.

When we pointed out that both on the NIF website and on CWP’s website – funding was still directed via NIF to CWP – we were told that this had stopped and that just the web sites were in error.

When we discovered that a donation for CWP had been accepted by NIF on the 16th of May this year we were told that this was a “clerical error”.

Here are just some comments from NIFA that you might recall:

Statement by Robin Margo S.C. to J-Wire – 16 May 2011

“If Dr Weiser had attended Professor Itzhak Galnoor’s address at Shalom College last month, or made direct enquiry of Naomi Chazan, he would know that the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), one of the organisations he repeatedly cites as evidence that NIF is on the wrong side of his so-called “red lines”, had not received any NIF grant for two or three years and had also been removed by NIF from its list of approved donor-advised organisations.”

Statement by Robin Margo S.C. to J-Wire – 19 May 2011

“NGO Monitor now acknowledges (per its Communications Director, Jason Edelstein, J-Wire 19/5/11) that NIF does not provide funding to the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) and has not done so since 2009, though Dr Ron Weiser is still suggesting publicly, with no evidence and for motives known only to him, that funding may have continued into 2010 (Weiser, J-Wire 17/5/11, para 2).”

The New Israel Fund has just released its audited accounts to end December 2010.

In the NIF audited accounts it now appears that at the end of 2009, NIF still owed CWP $22,373 that had previously been promised but not disbursed.

Then in 2010 further new money was earmarked for CWP, totaling $20,130.

So that until 31st Dec 2010 – and all paid during 2010 – $36,503 was actually paid by NIF to CWP.

Then this leaves a balance of $6,000 to be paid in 2011 according to the NIF accounts even if no further allocations are made.

I do not know what convoluted justification NIFA will now use, but what seems clear to me is that NIFA attempted to create an impression within the Australian Jewish community, that it had severed any financial connection to CWP some years ago.

That was certainly what I understood was the NIFA claim.

It seems that those like myself who queried whether NIF had continued to provide funds to CWP beyond 2009 (and were publicly criticised for raising this query) were entirely justified.

The fact is that NIF had a direct financial connection to CWP which continued to the end of 2010 (the last date that financial records are available) and at least into this year.

I understand that NIF’s current position is that CWP has not been entitled to receive any further money from NIF, core grant or donor-directed, since earlier this year and there is no ground for believing that NIF continues to be a conduit of any kind for money to CWP.

I sincerely hope that that is correct.

It is regrettable that this level of explanation and clarity was not evident in earlier statements made on behalf of NIF.

Ron Weiser is the Immediate Past President of the Zionist Federation of Australia and Hon Life President of the Zionist Council of NSW.



3 Responses to “New Israel Fund Updated”
  1. Makailee says:

    An intelligent answer – no BS – which makes a plsenaat change

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    While Ron Wiser has built an impeccable case re CWP and Robin Margo is, once again, attempting to shift the posts getting bogged down on irrelevant details, we must not detract ourselves from more NGOs still fully financed by NIF,being NGOs IDENTICAL in policies to CWP. NIF is responsible for ADALAH, SHEIK JARRAH SOLIDARITY, to name just a few. These two viciously anti Zionist NGO are still escaping our vigillance while causing real Israel damage with impunity !
    One other serious concern is that NIF willmost definitelt attempt to join the NSW Board of Deputies, as there is a quite visible degree of sympathy for NIFA at the NSWJBD and even ECAJ !!!! A very NIF type motion is on the cards at the September plenum of the JBD calling for a condemnation of the current Knesset anti boycot laws. NIFA members, who are also deputies,are being active while “monitored” from the wings by their (NIFA) President,seemingly ” uninvolved in the mechanics….
    If at present we are having just polite exchages about balancing accounts, soon enough we aill wake up with a NIF/NIFA fully fledged an entity causing us far greater “legitimate” problems by reducing a NSWJBD as their formal platform in prommoting the same campaigns aimed at weakening Israel’s image.

  3. Paul Winter says:

    In May this year I read an email from CWP in which it whined that NIF should have given it more notice of its intention to cease acting as a bagman for them. In other words, as Weiser points out, NIF was collecting money for a prime BDS gang and not only denying that it was doing so, but attacking anyone as ill-informed and/or ill-willed who exposed their little game. The problem that we are facing is that anti-Zionists are pretending to be Zionists to better attack Israel. We are witnessing a reprise of the Zionist/Bundist dispute, where the pretend Zionists seek to destroy Israel as a Jewish state for two reasons: to ingratiate themselves to their left-wing identity groups and to make their live and living in the Diaspora easier. They pretend that the Shoah and the establishment of Israel has not settled the Zionist/Bundist dispute. They forget that one can debate the rights and wrongs of abortion, but infanticide is clearly wrong; so too is politicide. They forget that Jews are responsible for each other. But then again, to my humble mind, they have forgotten to be Jews.

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