In a ruling that The Jerusalem Post declared “one of its most important decisions of the era,”, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled this week that Israel’s Finance Minister can “impose fines and withhold funding from Israeli NGOs calling for boycotts of businesses in all or parts of Israel and the power to file lawsuits against those NGOs.” The organizations who sought the permission to boycott are organizations funded — in part — by New Israel Fund (NIF) including Gush Shalom, Adalah — the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
In court, Justice Hanan Meltzer described boycotts as “political terrorism” — and much as one cannot shout “fire in a crowded theatre”, hate speech is not protected speech.
The NIF’s Web site and annual report still proclaims that NIF will “not exclude support for organizations that discourage the purchase of goods or use of services from [West Bank] settlements.” The Scarlett Johansson-SodaÂStream debacle centered on this exact issue — and the Jewish world at the time applauded Johansson for supporting Israel. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time, “Everyone should know what the letters B-D-S really stand for: bigotry, dishonesty, and shame. And those who oppose BDS, like Scarlett Johansson, they should be applauded.”
To make it very clear, NIF-funded organizations challenged — and lost — in Israel’s High Court for the permission to boycott the State of Israel. And while Birthright Israel no longer partners with The New Israel Fund, one wonders how American Jews can stand with NIF and stand against Israel.
While the ruling Likud Party calls the NIF “Anti-Zionist”, Israel’s Economic Minister says the organization must be boycotted due to the dangers they create for soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces, and Israel’s High Court says their actions are “political terrorism”, American Jewish leaders blame those of us who criticize them as those in error. They are wrong — and we are right.
We say shame on Alisa Doctoroff of the UJA-Federation, shame on The Jewish Communal Fund and Karen R. Adler, Shame on the Jim Joseph Foundation, shame on The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Sally Gottesman, The Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Murray Koppelman, The Leichtag Foundation, Joan & Irwin Jacobs & all the others who fund haters of Israel.
Supporting the New Israel Fund is standing against the State of Israel.
The author of this article, Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur and author.