Deeply troubled by the excessive philanthropic funding of a plethora of anti-Israel and left-wing non-governmental organizations by such umbrella charities as the Ford Foundation, the New Israel Fund and such polemical personalities as billionaire financier George Soros, the Israel Independence Fund has stepped up to the proverbial plate in a call to patriotism.
Established in 2007 by a board of directors consisting of Israelis and Americans concerned with the “cultural shift” in Israeli society, the Israel Independence Fund is a philanthropic fund whose objectives are to combat a “left-wing assault” on Israeli public opinion. The IIF distributes grants to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Israel with patriotic, pro-Israel bents in an effort to offset the litany of left-wing groups that have cropped up in the Jewish state over the past several decades.
Aharon Pulver, the executive director of the Israel Independence Fund explains, “The main goal of the Israel Independence Fund is to advocate on behalf of the protection of the Jewish, Zionist and democratic character of the State of Israel. It is our job to secure and organize the necessary philanthropic support for projects and institutions that cherish the destiny of the Jewish people in Israel and will support like-minded grass roots organizations and movements both in Israel and in the Diaspora.”
As such the Israel Independence Fund now supports such organizations as the Arzei HaLevanon, Ma’alei Efraim Pre-Military Academy for Leadership in the Israel Defense Forces. The pre-military preparatory courses (Mechinot) are supervised and accredited by the Israel Ministry of Education and supervised by the IDF for Israeli youth about to begin their obligatory military service. The courses, imbued with Jewish ethics and conducted in an atmosphere of general academic excellence, pave the way for meaningful service in the Israel Defense Forces. They cultivate a cadre of socially conscious, well educated and uniquely motivated IDF officers and future community leaders.
Other recipients of IIF funding include Hatzala of Yehuda and Shromron, a voluntary humanitarian organization that provides emergency medical services and support for security activities in conflict areas throughout Israel – every day – 365 days a year, the Heritage Association of the Upper Galilee, MiBirashit, an educational movement that seeks to make Jewish knowledge and Zionist education accessible to Jews of all ages and was founded by Rabbi Mordechai Elon, head of the world renowned Yeshivat HaKotel in the Old City of Yerushalayim, Mishmeret Yesha, a non-profit organization provides Jewish towns and villages with life saving anti-terror training, security equipment and emergency medical equipment, and the Irgun HaShomer HaChadash (the New Israeli Guardsmen), a volunteer organization dedicated to protecting and defending Jewish farmers by helping to prevent incursions onto agricultural lands by hostile neighbors who steal crops, herds and farm equipment, often using arson as an effective tool.
Lauding the diligence of the New Israeli Guardsmen, Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick said of them in a March 26. 2010 article, “Recognizing that the long-term solution to the problem is to increase the public’s dedication to classic Zionist ideals of Jewish control over the Land of Israel, in addition to building and manning guard posts, the Guardsmen organize courses and lectures on Jewish history, Zionism, Jewish philosophy and other relevant topics at their guard posts for the general public.”
The need for an organization such as the IIF is clarified in this July 6, 2010 statement by Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. He said that there are “many organizations that use US tax-exempt status to demonize and wage political war against Israel. In addition, European governments provide tens of millions of dollars annually, and without transparency, to opposition groups in Israel, many of which are behind the Goldstone Report.” He cites “relevant foundations” and NGOs transferring funds to radical groups in Israel or with 501(c)(3) status as the Ford Foundation, the New Israel Fund, the Open Society Institute, ICAHD-US, Friends of Sabeel, Middle East Children’s Alliance, AJ Muste, Deir Yassin Remembered, Grassroots.org, Advocacy Project, the Rachel Corrie Foundation, Birthright Unplugged, WESPAC, Groundspring.org, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition and Jewish Voice for Peace.
The Ford Foundation achieved the dubious distinction of funding such NGOs as the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), an organization that played a major role in the UN sponsored World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa in September of 2001. This conference and the subsequent known as Durban II held in Geneva in 2009, posited Israel as the world’s “punching bag” for several thousand purported human rights activists spanning the globe. The PCHR has demonstrated that its primary objective is the political and ideological demonization of Israel, in sharp contrast to its claims to promote universal human rights.
A July 2008 JTA report states that, “Ford today is funding several organizations that engage in the “Durban strategy” – a two-pronged tactic launched at the ‘01 conference to paint Israel as a “racist, apartheid” state and isolate the Jewish nation through boycotts, divestment and sanctions.”
Mr. Pulver said, “We are currently seeking contributions both small and substantial for the invaluable organizations that we support. It is time for those who truly support the fortification of Israel’s standing as the fulfillment of Jewish national aspirations and the center of world Jewry to come forth and join us.”
For further information, please contact Aharon Pulver at: email@example.com or visit the Israel Independence Fund web site at: www.fundisrael.org.
Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.