The New Israel Fund’s View of a “New Israel”

When it was reported that the New Israel Fund (NIF) was paying around $8 million to organizations that provided the Goldstone Report with all of its condemnations of Israel, it became clear that the “New Israel” desired by the New Israel Fund is one with more than 9 years of consistent rocket fire.

Our organization, Sderot Media Center (SMC), with a yearly budget of close to $200,000, worked tirelessly on a formal report that was requested by the Goldstone Commission itself, which encompassed the impact of the rocket fire on the residents of the Sderot region. We sent this formal report accompanied by photographs and videos to depict to this UN committee, which did not visit Sderot, what it is like to live under either daily rocket fire or the threat of daily rocket fire over the course of then eight years. The Goldstone Committee then flew our director, Noam Bedein, to the UN Headquarters in Geneva to give a 30-minute presentation/testimony in front of the committee on this daily reality lived in Sderot.

The New Israel Fund paid around $8 million to organizations that provided information to the Goldstone Report. As a cited provider of information for the Goldstone Report, I guess our New Israel Fund check got lost in the mail.

As the only organization providing the human story of the near decade of rocket fire on Israeli men, women and children, the NIF clearly had no intention of helping sponsor our work.

A clear majority of the organizations mentioned in the Goldstone Report, 77%, are organizations that were paid by the NIF. Amongst those organizations, an overwhelming majority of the ones that were in favor of the report, 92%, are organizations that were paid by the NIF.

The New Israel Fund, an organization that supposedly prides itself on democracy and human rights, “We fight inequality, injustice and extremism because we understand that justice is the precondition for a successful democracy,” as defined in their “About Us” — strategically and financially ignores the human rights of Sderot men, women, and children that have endured this rocket lifestyle since 2001. The one organization located in Sderot that was paid by the NIF was an organization called the Other Voice — that led a bike ride from Sderot to the Gaza border. Apparently, organizations in Sderot are only worth NIF money if they are speaking out for Gaza residents and riding a bike.

The head of the NIF, Naomi Chazan, has led the response to this Im Tirtzu report by touting terms like “democracy” to describe what she is supporting, and “fascists” is what she has called those who criticize the NIF. A well educated professor like herself should know that democracy is not achieved by Hamas viciously controlling a prisoner population and using them as shields from a sovereign army and paying the UN to enable Hamas to further persevere doesn’t help. A democracy does not put over 100,000 Gaza children through summer military training camps. So, in attempting to bring down the only democracy in the world with international war crimes, Chazan hopes to create her “New Israel” democracy where Hamas can cause the death of more of their children, train more of them to fight Jews, and freely fire rockets at neighboring Israeli children.

A well educated professor like herself, Chazan should know that calling people and organizations that criticize the NIF “fascists” is embarrassingly hypocritical — while she pays and supports the ongoing actions of terrorists who use their own civilians to target other civilians. The Sderot Media Center criticizes the NIF and Naomi Chazan. So are we that risk our lives day-in and day-out to show the world that rockets are targeting civilians, and whom the popular liberal newspaper Haaretz described as a “tiny organization that fights to make Sderot’s voice heard” — are we fascists? Our center runs a therapeutic drama program, in which traumatized high school girls share and express themselves with psychology professionals. Are these traumatized Sderot girls fascists?

If one reads the report put out by Im Tirtzu about the NIF paying for 77% of the Israeli condemning UN Goldstone Report, one will see how NIF paid more than half a million dollars to Physicians For Human Rights-Israel to send an Israeli condemning report to the Goldstone Committee that completely ignored the over 9,000 psychological patients in Sderot. This is just one example of the strategic financing of biased information that shaped the Goldstone Report.

If the public and donors of the New Israel Fund allow this organization to continue, it will be an upside-down “New Israel” where girls expressing  their trauma are considered fascists and a democracy is where children are put through terrorist training and used as human shields.

I guess, along with an invitation to last week’s Islamic Revolution anniversary rally in Teheran, our New Israel Fund check got lost in the mail.

Jacob Shrybman is a writer for the Sderot Media Center (

  • jacob

    Isn't the FORD FOUNDATION one of the contributors to the NIF ??

    Seems old HENRY FORD was sentenced to apologize for his Judeophoby in both his newspaper and his THE INTERNATIONAL JEW book but sure as hell his "foundation" kept up his "good work" in this respect…

    And by the way, wasn't that Arab genius FORD MOTOR CO. had as CEO the one responsible for the Lord only knows how many mosques in Detroit… ????

  • poetcomic1

    There is a word for people like Naomi Chazan. Evil.

  • Ben Murane, NIF

    I doubt Shrybman read Im Tirtzu's report, much less the qualified discrediting of its contents, if he says "all" the damaging information came from New Israel Fund grantees.

    The JTA revealed that Im Tirtzu's report says only 14% of footnotes in the Goldstone report come from NIF grantees — a far cry from 77%. Furthermore, there are nearly as many footnotes from Israeli military leaders as from NIF grantees. Shrybman either didn't read the report (with its very easy to read pie charts) or he's misrepresenting it.

    The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday, Im Tirtzu's report triple counted citations of NIF grantees. Plus, two of the sixteen grantees aren't our grantees at all; a third hasn't been for four years. Most citations were lifted out of publicly available material — unlike the SMC which flew out to Goldstone. In the end, only 3.8% of citations have anything to do with NIF grantees and Gaza.

    Shrybman is either part and parcel of the campaign to smother Israel's vibrant democracy or he needs to read the report.

  • Teresa

    Oh Ben Murane… what a sad sad response by an obviously guilty person. Your response is laughable. I hardly think Shrybman wants to smother Israel’s vibrant democracy.

    How do you sleep at night knowing you work day and night defending a truely evil organization? Don’t try to delegitimize Shrybman’s wonderful piece that clearly illustrates the truth. Admit your guilt and resignation from the NIF. You will feel much better.

    Maybe instead of touting the NIF you should read about a real organization that helps Israel, its called the Sderot Media Center.

  • xman

    It is pretty clear that if Israelis want to see the future through carrying out the wishes of the West and its own traitors, they need only look at their northern neighbour Lebanon, because that is the future that awaits Israelis until or unless the Israelis start putting the survival of their country first. And that means ignoring the whim of pansified Westerners and the loony liberal left.

  • Mr. X

    You have to notice how many women you have in the peace movement. Isuspect that since the Western male, including but not limited to Israeli men are emasculated and cannot stand down the emblodened Western woman, the girls developed a sexual craving for the enemy to win.

  • Edip Yuksel

    I keep noticing open racist remarks against Arabs on this site. Who are these racists? Ironically, these same people have the audacity to cry anti-Semitism. Pathetic hypocrisy.

    Israel was the closest ally with racist South Africa and was the last one that cut its relationship with the apartheid regime. This pattern of racist remarks against Arabs and the pattern of associating with racists is a sure sign that Zionism is the number one enemy of Jews. Zionism is a fascist ideology and will ultimately be condemned by the entire world, including ignorant wrong-wing Americans. It will be listed next to fascism and communism as an example of a diabolic ideology.

    Zionists are no different than their counterpart Taliban or Anti-Semite Arab nationalists. Peacemakers should unite against these fascists that are trying hard to hurl humanity to another genocide or world war.

  • Steven

    To Edip Yuskel: Please tell me where you find one single racist remark against Arabs in this article. More importantly, to compare Israel to the apartheid regime of South Africa is a completely ignorant and therefore irrelevant statement. In case you were not aware, roughly 20% of Israel's population is Arab. They can vote, they can run in the Knesset, they can wear religious garbs in any public setting (something they can not do in France or even Tunisia), and they enjoy freedom of speech including the right to protest against the government. If they were to protest against their "government" in say…Gaza they may not make it home for dinner. If these practices are comparable to those of apartheid South Africa then I have surely missed a history lesson somewhere along the way.

    Categorizing Zionism as fascism further exposes your ignorance. I do not disagree that Zionism is a type of nationalism; however, fascism is devised of two main components – it is both nationalist and authoritarian. If an authoritarian state was ever a component of Zionist ideology from the time of Herzl until this day then I have once again failed to remain awake through some history lesson along the way…and let me assure you that I love history.

    To reconstruct the last sentence of your second paragraph:
    Zionism is a nationalist ideology (claiming the right to a Jewish homeland in Israel) and will ultimately serve as the unifying factor for Jews around the world, including both right-wing and left-wing citizens of the Diaspora.

  • Ben Murane, NIF

    Is there a reason my response was deleted from this page? Or is Shrybman interested in suppressing the factual errors in his reportage?