Now that a new academic year is upon us, pro-Israel advocates are gearing up for another round of boycott/divestment/sanctions (BDS) blather on many an American college campus. As the most recent Israeli elections taught us, if you want to know who you’re up against, just follow the money. As The Algemeiner reports:
The controversial New Israel Fund and its social change and political lobbying organization – known as SHATIL – have received more than $1 million from the State Department under a program designed to create political change, reform, and activism in the Middle East.
The program, called Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), operates in countries including Algeria, Libya, Lebanon, and Yemen. Not exactly stable and economically prosperous democracies like Israel. Yet, the New Israel Fund/SHATIL are among the leading recipients of MEPI grant dollars.
Vocal critics in both the U.S. and Israel charge that the New Israel Fund has knowingly financed groups that support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement, and worked to get Israeli soldiers prosecuted for so-called ‘war crimes.” Benny Yanay of an Israeli military organization called Consensus, representing some 3,000 members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), stated, “The New Israel Fund acts against Israel—against the soldiers of our country. It is supported by foreign governments and organizations so that Israeli soldiers will be weakened.” Other Israel military men and women have alleged that the NIF is trying to “destabilize the IDF.”
Knesset Deputy Speaker Yoni Chetboun added that the NIF was bent on “erasing the Jewish identity from the Jewish State.” Chetboun adds that through its SHATIL subsidiary, NIF represents the biggest left-wing political lobby in Israel.
In February 2015, spokesmen for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett’s nationalist Jewish Home party both derided the NIF as “anti-Zionist.” Both political parties cancelled participation in a Haaretz newspaper conference when they learned NIF was a sponsor. The Jewish Home party was quoted in the Jerusalem Post stating, “We will not take part in a conference in which an anti-Zionist organization that invests all its time and money in harming IDF soldiers and the State of Israel as a Jewish State is involved.”
The New Israel Fund does not distinguish between a boycott of Judea and Samaria and a generalized boycott of Israel. Bottom line: American tax dollars are funding organizations that seek to delegitimize the State of Israel in its entirety.