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Friday, December 14, 2012

Im Tirtzu blasts New Israel Fund again

The Right-wing NGO Im Tirtzu sent a letter this week to the New Israel Fund, the financier of all anti-Israel causes in Israel. The letter appears above. I am reproducing the text below.
Dear Mr. Lurie:
We write to ask a simple question: Do you stand by the latest accusations NIF-funded groups are making against Israel?
After Operation Cast Lead in 2009, groups funded by the NIF led a campaign that sought to portray Israel as a war criminal and human rights violator. That campaign culminated in the Goldstone Report, a ruthlessly biased attack on Israel that cited NIF groups hundreds of times. Even Judge Goldstone himself has disowned it.
Now, in the weeks after the latest conflict in Gaza, NIF groups are once again making misleading and unfounded accusations against the IDF.
B’tselem, Adalah, Gisha, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel are claiming that the IDF targeted journalists and civilians, violated international law, and is perpetrating “collective punishment,” a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.
In the weeks leading up to Israel’s response, as terrorist rockets forced thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters, none of these groups criticized the attacks or stood up for Israel’s right – its human right, and its right under international law – to defend itself.
Despite this troubling record, we hold out hope for your leadership as the new president of the New Israel Fund. We ask that you hold the groups you fund responsible for the veracity of their accusations, and that you demand just as much accountability from them as they do from the IDF.
And if you do not stand by their latest false accusations, Israelis deserve to know: What will you do to reform the New Israel Fund?
Sincerely,
Im Tirtzu
The Zionist Student Movement
Here's a fact sheet from Im Tirtzu:
“After Operation Cast Lead in 2009, groups funded by the NIF led a campaign that sought to portray Israel as a war criminal and human rights violator. That campaign culminated in the Goldstone Report, a ruthlessly biased attack on Israel that cited NIF groups hundreds of times.”

Thorough documentation of NIF’s involvement in producing the Goldstone Report is contained in the 2010 NGO Monitor report, “NIF-funded NGO’s: Goldstone’s Building Blocks.” (HERE

As the report notes, “After the Goldstone commission was established, three major and long-time NIF grantees (Public Committee against Torture in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and Adalah) participated in a May 2009 NGO ‘town hall meeting’ in Geneva that helped shape the course of Goldstone’s ‘investigation’. In addition, seven NIF-funded NGOs (including the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Gisha, HaMoked, and Yesh Din) submitted a joint statement to Goldstone, and a representative from PCATI ‘testified’ at the July 2009 Goldstone hearings, referring to ‘collective punishment’ and ‘[Palestinian] martyrs.’ 

“The resulting Goldstone report referenced B’Tselem more than 56 times; Adalah, 38; and Breaking the Silence, 27. Significantly, many of these citations referred to speculative issues unrelated to the conflict in Gaza, seeking to brand Israeli democracy as ‘repressive,’ and to widen the scope of the condemnations and the resulting political campaigns.” 

After the Goldstone Report was released, “B’Tselem, Adalah, and PHR-I, among others, have lobbied Israeli and foreign governments to support Goldstone’s report and its recommendations.”

The executive director of one of NIF’s flagship groups, B’Tselem, went so far as to boast of her organization’s contributions to the Goldstone Report. B’Tselem, Jessica Montell said, “provided extensive assistance to the UN fact-finding mission headed by Justice Goldstone—escorting them to meet victims in Gaza, providing all of our documentation and correspondence, and meeting the mission in Jordan.” (HERE

“Even Judge Goldstone himself has disowned it.”
 
In a 2011 Washington Post op-ed, Judge Richard Goldstone rescinded the central claim of the Goldstone Report, that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians in Operation Cast Lead. (HERE)

“Now, in the weeks after the latest conflict in Gaza, NIF groups are once again making misleading and unfounded accusations against the IDF.


B’tselem, Adalah, Gisha, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel are claiming that the IDF targeted journalists and civilians, violated international law, and is perpetrating ‘collective punishment,’ a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.”

B’Tselem statement the day after Operation Pillar of Defense began accused Israel of targeting civilians: “As was the case four years ago [in Operation Cast Lead], Israeli officials are now using the conduct of Palestinian organizations to justify harm to Palestinian civilians….The fact that one side violates the law does not give the other side the right to violate it as well.” (HERE) Days later, B’Tselem accused Israel of targeting journalists (HERE) despite the fact that the “journalists” were well-known senior terrorists in Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (HERE)

Adalah, another flagship NIF grantee – it seeks as an official position the end of Israel as a Jewish State – accused Israel of “a serious violation of the laws of war.” (HERE)  

Sari Bashi, the executive director of Gisha, accused Israel of “collective punishment” during the conflict. (HERE) Collective punishment is a war crime under Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel signed a statement claiming, without offering any specifics, “concrete evidence indicating the commission of war crimes” by Israel. The statement also blamed Israel entirely for Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and called for another Goldstone-style “investigation” of Israel at the United Nations. (HERE)
The New Israel Fund's (pathetic) response is here. Elder of Ziyon demolishes them here.

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