The Ford Foundation and Anti-Semitism
Supporting vile Palestinian propagandists and their western enablers.
CBS-TV's 60 Minutes featured an interview (August 1, 2021) by Leslie Stahl with Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. Throughout the interview the pandering was clearly observable. She was seemingly thrilled with what she presented as Walker’s marvelous story of rags to riches, and relished the tale of Walker’s mother who broke protocol with President Obama in the White House. Stahl seemed to marvel at Walker’s changes at the foundation, including “reducing funding to marquee names like Lincoln Center, while increasing grants to the Apollo Theater, and Studio Museum in Harlem.” While portraying Walker as a man preserving cultural diversity, she avoided asking Walker critical questions about the legacy of Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism, and most critically, the Foundation’s funding of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic organizations.
Henry Ford was one of the most notorious anti-Semites of the 20th Century. Henry Ford’s tract, The International Jew, had inspired Adolf Hitler. On his 75th birthday (1938), the Nazis awarded Henry Ford the Grant Cross of the German Eagle, the highest award given to a foreigner. In 1920, Ford began publishing a weekly series called The International Jew: The World’s Problem, in the Dearborn Independent, a weekly newspaper he founded in 1901. The series was based on the anti-Semitic hoax known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion; a forgery concocted by the Tsarist regime. Ford distributed this anti-Semitic tract to all of his Ford car dealerships. Hitler was a great fan of Henry Ford, and mentioned his name in his 1925 anti-Jewish manifesto known as Mein Kampf.
During the 1946 Nuremberg Trial of Nazi war criminals, Baldur von Schirach, the German Reich youth leader of the Nazi Student League, described his own radicalization. “The decisive anti-Semitic book which I read at the time and the book that influenced my comrades…was Henry Ford’s book The International Jew.”
The Ford Foundation and its current president, Darren Walker, oversee a $14 billion endowment. Stahl however, was particularly delighted to report that Walker, a Black man, sold the foundation’s old art collection – “400 works by White artists, all but one of them men, and bought new works by more diverse, contemporary artists like this Kehinde Wiley portrait of a (Black) woman from Brooklyn depicted as royalty.”
The politically correct, and feminist Stahl wouldn’t dream of asking Walker such a question as; wasn’t it racist to replace White artists with mostly non-White ones? Or for that matter, is “diversity a moral value or is it a political statement?” But, CBS-TV News, with its liberal bias (see Bernard Goldberg’s book Bias) couldn’t possibly contemplate color and gender neutrality. And, for CBS-TV News, anti-Semitism is hardly an issue of critical justice.
Referring to Henry Ford’s known anti-Semitism, Philanthropy Roundtable’s Debi Ghate wrote (May 26, 2021), “If one took Henry Ford’s prejudice and replaced ‘Jews’ with ‘those with privilege,’ then the message of today’s Ford Foundation would sound very close to that of Ford’s in the 1920’s.” Ford Foundation’s President Darren Walker’s emphasis on racial and social justice work, with its underlying message of blaming our social problems on those with so-called ‘privilege,’ meaning White people, amounts to reverse discrimination.
Ghate pointed out that in contrast to Henry Ford’s rabid anti-Semitism, “To the extent that the Ford Foundation of today is committed to fighting racism and tribal thinking, this is an admirable goal. But if it fights only select forms of racial injustice and ignores others such as anti-Semitism, which is still a problem in the United States decades later, (following Henry Ford’s time), the goal becomes far less admirable.”
NGO Monitor, based in Jerusalem, released a report on donations by the Ford Foundation, which included a number of Palestinian organizations. NGO Monitor specified that the Ford Foundation “violated its own funding guidelines.” In 2001, the Ford Foundation funded Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) who launched the highly-pitched anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist campaigns. Following widespread criticism of the Ford Foundation over the funding of such radical organizations, the foundation pledged to stop supporting organizations whose conduct is antithetical to its objectives of “promoting peace, justice, tolerance, and understanding.” Nevertheless, many of Ford’s funded NGO’s continued to violate Ford’s terms by using anti-Semitic and anti-Israel smears.
One such NGO was the Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO), which called for the need to organize Palestinian arms against Israel, and for the Palestinian refugees “right to return to Israel,” a formula for the demographic destruction of the Jewish state. The PHRO has been actively demonizing Israel. Although the Ford Foundation funding of the anti-Israel NGO’s paled in comparison to that provided by the European governments and their NGO’s, it nevertheless enabled the anti-Israel groups to wage low-key, diplomatic, and economic warfare against Israel.
According to NGO Monitor, the Ford Foundation grantees include Adalah (Palestinian NGO), and in Israel such anti-Israel groups as Breaking the Silence (anti-Israel Defense Forces), B’Tselem, Bimkom, Rabbis for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), to name a few…
Adalah engages in active lawfare campaigns. It accuses Israel of “war crimes,” and it promotes arms embargos against Israel. Adalah was among a group of NGO’s who called for a UN Committee of Inquiry into the events of the 2014 (Protective Edge Operation) Gaza War. Adalah was involved in the creation of the Movement for Black Lives (MBL), whose platform supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, it also calls Israel an “apartheid state committing genocide.” The Borealis Philanthropy of the Black-led Movement Fund (BLMF) funds the MBL, which receives it support from the Ford Foundation.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is another organization that is actively engaged in lawfare campaigns against Israel, and Israeli officials. It promotes the BDS campaign, and accuses Israel of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” CCR works closely with the Palestine Legal, an NGO that is highly active in BDS campaigns, particularly on college campuses. In 2015, CCR received $342,500 from the Ford Foundation.
It should be known to a foundation such as Ford, that anti-Semitism and hate crimes against Jews in America are proportionally much higher than such crimes against either Blacks or Muslims. Mark Perry, a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), cited the 2019 FBI data showing that Jews were 2.6 times more likely than Blacks, and 2.2 times more than likely than Muslims to be victims of hate crimes in America. Perry wrote, “Hate crimes data released last November by the FBI for 2019 revealed that there were 2,391 Black/African-American victims of hate crimes, 1,032 Jewish victims, and 227 Muslim victims. Adjusting for the population of each group in 2019 (43.98 million Blacks, 7.5 million Jews, and 3.61 million Muslims) the hate crime victimization per 100,000 population of each group were 13.8 for Jews, 6.3 for Muslims, and 5.4 for Blacks.”
In view of the racist and anti-Semitic legacy of the Ford Foundation founder, and the subsequent support the foundation has given to anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organizations, it would be the decent and morally corrective thing for the foundation to devote its resources to combating the injurious effects of its anti-Semitic founder. The Ford Foundations continuous support for the vile and anti-Semitic Palestinian propaganda, and their American enablers, while ignoring pervasive anti-Semitism on US campuses and in cities, is hardly an admirable reflection on the Ford Foundation and its president, Darren Walker.