Read Weiser then Read Margo

September 8, 2011 by  
Read on for article

Knowing you cannot keep a good debater down, J-Wire asked NIFAu President Robin Margo if he had a response to the article by Ron Weiser published below. He did….

Robin Margo

Dr Ron Weiser has made a number of incorrect and misleading public statements about NIF this year and his latest article in J-Wire contains more.

NIF has expressly based itself, from its foundation in 1979 to the present day, on Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which speaks unequivocally of a Jewish state that is also democratic and does not discriminate against minorities, Jewish or non-Jewish.

That commitment is a matter of record, was restated publicly on several occasions by Prof Naomi Chazan, speaking as President of NIF, during her visit this year to Australia and was underlined by her in highly public fashion at the Sydney Opera House in June when, again speaking as NIF’s President, she emphatically rejected the Palestinian speakers’ demands for a Palestinian right of physical return, because implementation of a physical right of return could mean the end of the Jewish State and “we are not in the business of committing suicide”.

It is simply not correct to say, as Dr Weiser does, that the statement NIF issued this week is “a first and is a radical departure from previous NIF positions” or that NIF’s Australian branch needs to be convinced “to also come on board with the same vision”.

Six weeks ago, four representatives of NIFAu explained NIF’s longstanding support for a Jewish democratic state in detail at a open meeting with Dr Weiser and I then sent him a lengthy email which referred to the Opera House debate, listed other similarly emphatic public and private statements by both NIF and NIFAu in support of a democratic Jewish state, and concluded on this topic with the following:

“Now that you have read the above analysis of the NIF principle [stated on NIF’s website], and been reminded of these multiple public statements, I trust you will not assert again, as you did at Emanuel Synagogue on 17 July, that NIF or NIFAu does not support Israel as the Jewish State.

You also agreed at our meeting last Thursday that if we do support Israel as the Jewish State, we are within your red line, from which it follows that disagreements between us and you about whether or not NIF should be funding certain grantees – there are sure to be some – should fairly be characterised as disagreements between well-intentioned people about what is the best way to support Israel as the Jewish State. I hope that will be acknowledged by you in any future discussion you participate in about NIF or NIFAu. “

Mercifully, in his latest comment, Dr Weiser has at last conceded that NIF does support a Jewish state and is thus within his only “so called red line”.

Now that this “red line” sideshow is over, we in Australia will continue to support the important work that NIF does as the leading organisation committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis.  Recent developments in Israeli civil society offer encouragement and renewed hope in that regard.

Robin Margo S.C.

President, New Israel Fund (Australia)



8 Responses to “Read Weiser then Read Margo”
  1. Ron Weiser says:

    Irving, it seems to me af if my agenda could not be more open – as it has been from the outset.

    Initially it was to get NIFau to agree to support the concept of the “Jewish State”.

    And to agree that this is both a moral and legitimate ideal.

    NIFau used all manner of reasons as to why it could not actually use that term – didn’t want to alienate its recipients etc etc.

    Now that you have come on board verbally, the agenda is open and clear and as it always has been – prove it!

    Fund according to your now declared principles. Accept that you cannot be both for a “Jewish State” and at the same time fund organisations that work for the Palestinian Right of Return and/or that give oxygen to BDS etc.

    Words are cheap Irving. Stand behind your words with deeds – fund only organisations that build the Jewish State and stop funding organisations who wish to end it by calling for and working for a BiNational State.

    Oh and by the way – stop trying to wrap the tent protests in Israel of the recent past in any NIF flag.

    The leadership of the tent protests asked NIF to stop trying to politicise them and to stop trying to make the protests about something they are not. Good advice in my view.

    Re The Emanuel fct, it was in fact the audience that lost patience with Robin as you well know and the end result was that the Rabbi stepped in and asked him to stop and me to continue.

    The open agenda is to stick to truth and facts.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    It is somehow hard to decide whether Irving Wallace is prommoting his own,very private, “logic” and argumentative strategies, or he is simply following loyally “party” rhetorical discipline. One thing is painfully evident. Both Irving and what we are seeing time and again from all passionate advocates of NIF/NIFAu practices an incredibly unskilful avoidance of hard facts and , mainly numbers so much in the public domain that I must betry an additional wonder, i.e. are these vacuous NIF partisans really coming out to face the daylight every now and again or do they concoct their absurdities, their raw, unbaked arguments from the comforts of the darkness found only under solid rocks where they seem to reside intellectually !!!!???
    Irving heard at Emmanuel what he wanted to hear and now is hailing obidiently and just as ridiculously,what,the hollow trumpeting of meaningless vocal escapades of….Zionist passions by….Robin, the dependable champion of all matters palestinian in Israel and beyond !!! I stopped listening to Robin’s diatribes years ago,mainly because before the Board plenums I used to have those free biscuits and coffee. One must not attend NIF meetings on a full stomach, if one is so poorly inspired to pay them any atention.
    Irving,mate, tell us some basic facts re money, mullah,mezuma, dinari, soldi, penz, strict dollars in brief that the leaders you follow so ardenlty spend on NOG devoted to destroying Israel. Otherwise you have no spelling mistakes,unlike me !

  3. Irving Wallach says:

    I was at the Emanuel Synagogue meeting on 17 July too, Janet. I heard Robin Margo say clearly that both NIF and NIFAu support a Jewish state and had made express public statements to that effect. It was so clear and obvious that many in the audience lost patience with Ron’s absurd claims and hair-splitting.

    If you want to see chapter and verse about those statements I suggest you look at the full text of the email that was subsequently sent to Ron Weiser, which lists them and is published on under Media Releases.

    The fact is that the tent protests have bypassed the Diaspora armchair generals who want desperately to look backwards and not to the future. They wish to conjure up non-existent issues and then debate them.

    Of course NIF and NIFau support Israel as the Jewish State. No amount of saying so will satisfy Ron and his acolytes because it would seem they just have no interest in hearing it. Apparently, it is inconvenient to deal with the facts.

    One has to wonder exactly what is Ron’s hidden agenda?

  4. david singer says:

    To Robin Margo

    I have sought an explanation from you on at least six occasions to justify the following statement of policy appearing on the NIF website:

    “NIF will not exclude support for organizations that discourage the purchase of goods or use of services from settlements.”

    Yet the same web site states:

    “The New Israel Fund is dedicated to the vision of the State of Israel as the sovereign expression of the right of self-determination of the Jewish people and as a democracy dedicated to the full equality of all its citizens and communities.”

    Opposing BDS when applied to goods and services produced by Jews lin Tel Aviv but supporting the funding of organizations that call for BDS of goods and services produced by Jews in Ariel amounts to discrimination and the lack of full equality between all of Israel’s citizens.

    Refusing to answer my query will not result in it going away.

    Please explain this inconsistency in NIF policy and how it can possibly be justified.

  5. Otto Waldmann says:

    As “verba volant”,or “words are cheap” or “money talks and empty words walk (sic)”, the MASSIVE concession NIF/NIFAU are now making in recogising that Israel is, in fact, a Jewish State has only one purpose.To avoid the necessary reasoning on what really TALKS, id est the MONEY dished out by NIF in supporting a large number of NGO bent on destroying the Israel founded with the said Constitution NIF claim they adhere to.
    Treating the evidently well informed inquisitive minds like idiots by NIF/NIFAu is not going to let any Margo type advocates for NIF legitimacy in the famous Jewish tent persist in their hubris.
    More seriously, is not just the seemingly endless argument about what Robin said to Ron, when a ceratin letter was sent etc., but how do we treat an intruder in our tested Zionist existence. If we allow this to be reduced to semantic exchanges and more or less polite academics regarding the semnificance of terms and chapters of a constitution or two, if we shall continue to tolerate the sermons of tolerance of sworn enemies of everything we hold dear and essential in our Jewish existence, then one day we shall wake up with the sledge hammer of NIF demolishing the said Zionism we struggle to keep alive.I think time is clear ar ripe to invite NIFAu out the communal door while reminding our elected communal leaders that their precious positions are not a life lease (miss)appropriation and that they should come out with courage and genuine commitement and state the necessary position of denial to NIFAu a place in our midst !!

  6. Paul Winter says:

    Robin Margo is again misleading us about NIF. He starts out by stating that Ron Weiser made incorrect and misleading statements, but not once – not once – does he give an example of one. He then claims that NIF’s policy has always been based on Israel’s Declaration of Independence which stipulated that the state was going to be democratic and that it would not discriminate against minorities. But if a USA mob is set up to compel Israel to live up to its declaration, than that same mob believes that Israel is falling short of those commitments. So who gave some Americans the right to judge Israel, to work to change its society and to arrogantly presume that their interpertation of what Israel pledged itself to be was truer than the way people living there understood that state’s founding principles? In short, the NIF – the Non-Israeli Fraud, has as its goal the subversion by foreign paymasters, of the Israel’s electoral process. To claim, as Margo does, that NIF supports Israel as a Jewish democratic state means that if Israel is not the form of democracy that NIF approves than it is justified in workinf for its downfall. And work for its downfall it has and does. The 2010 funding of Adalah shows that NIF collects money for and supports a gang that refuses to recognise Israel as the state of the Jewish people, a gang that is active in BDS with Norwegian divestment a mark of its success. Very clearly NIF’s public statements are meant for public consumption while behind the scenes, it is business as usual, undermining the will of the electorate, increasing foreign pressure on Israel and funding Israel’s internal enemies. If NIF was not the fraud that it is, it would denounce the subversive activities of its anti-Israel fundees and it would lead the demand that the Knesset rid itself of Arab members who vilify Israel and cooperate with their fellow mohammedans and communist revolutionaries to kill off Israel. But of course, the notion that only in the Israeli form of democracy would disloyal representatives, hostile to the state which pays and gives them their freedoms be allowed to serve, is one that NIF could not comprehend. But Janet’s comment above, gives the best reason not to believe anything Margo or NIF/NIFAu has to say: they simply cannot accept that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination. The NIF, conceived during the Carter era, should follow that peanut farmer plunge, having lost all relevance and credibility with Jews and just fade out of existence.

  7. Peter says:

    Robin, how can you believe in a Jewish state and then raise funds for organisations which want to destroy the Jewish state? You can pretend as much as you want, but a lot of the money you raise goes to organisatiosn that want to destroy the Jewish state. There is no reason at all to fund such groups. Continuing to do so whilst claiming otherwise is just hypocritical.

  8. Janet says:

    Now now Robin, I was at the Emanuel fct where you asked a very very long question but despite Ron Weiser repeatedly asking you to just say NIF supported a “Jewish State” you gave every reason why you could not use those words, but claimed other words used by you meant the same thing. Listening to you made me understand why you were being asked to commit to a “Jewish State” but apparently couldn’t. I didn’t understand what Weiser was going on about till I heard you that afternoon and then it became clear.

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