Will Anti-Israel Groups Be Allowed in Israel Parade?
On June 3, the New York Jewish community will gather on Fifth Avenue for the Celebrate Israel Parade, and several groups that promote boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against the Jewish state will officially be marching.
The New Israel Fund is a non-governmental organization funded by such non-friends of Israel as the Ford Foundation and the European Union. According to NGO Monitor, New Israel Fund has given away more than $200 million to more than 800 organizations in Israel, including $40 million received from the Ford Foundation for “peace and social justice” programs. New Israel Fund’s grantees also include five Israeli groups that begged the Norwegian Government Pension Fund to divest from Israel (Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against Violence, Social TV, and Mossawa).
New Israel Fund also funds B’Tselem, whose chairman, Oren Yiftachel, called for "effective sanctions" against Israel, and whose CEO, Jessica Montell, accused Israel of enforcing an apartheid “worse than apartheid in South Africa.” B’Tselem’s staff member Lizi Sagie resigned after writing: “Israel is proving its devotion to Nazi values. … Israel exploits the Holocaust to reap international benefits.“ She also claimed that Israel’s Memorial Day for its military is a “pornographic circus.”
B’Tselem was among the New Israel Fund grantees that helped create the infamous Goldstone Report, which falsely accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza -- charges that author Richard Goldstone himself has now withdrawn.
Last year, the Israel Parade granted the New Israel Fund permission to march. They did, along with B’Tselem, Partners for Progressive Israel, and others.
The website for Partners for Progressive Israel (also known as Meretz USA) suggests readers “boycott … settlement products sold in the U.S." They include a list of Israeli products to boycott, including Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream products, and wine from nine Israeli vineyards.
The Jewish Community Relations Council, which organizes the parade, wants these groups to march again. Pro-Israel activist Richard Allen is spearheading a campaign to evict New Israel Fund and its affiliates from this year’s parade. Says Allen:
Who’s going to march next year? Hamas?
The bottom line is that groups that promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel should not be allowed to march with the pro-Israel community. Jews who try to economically sabotage other Jews should not be in the parade.
When Jewish groups hear that the parade’s organizers have allowed these groups to march, they’re astounded and puzzled. How could this outrage be allowed to happen?
Allen believes that the problem starts with John Ruskay, CEO of the UJA Federation of New York. Allen’s research unearthed Ruskay’s early affiliation with Noam Chomsky in CONAME (Committee on New Alternatives in the Middle East), one of the first Israel-bashing political groups.
Ruskay’s radical past seems to influence his current priorities: he gave over one million dollars of UJA Federation donations to Jewish Funds for Justice, a far-left, George Soros-funded group which -- in its own words -- utilizes “a social change strategy developed by Saul Alinsky.”
Many leaders of the Jewish community have publicly endorsed Allen’s cause, including President of Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel Ron Carner and eight prominent rabbis.