Indyk’s ties to the New Israel Fund (NIF) have raised concern over the
long-time Mideast diplomat’s impartially as a potential broker for upcoming
peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Martin Indyk. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Department has yet to confirm Indyk’s rumored appointment as mediator. In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, who according to the New York Times approved of Indyk’s
selection, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon opposed the rumored selection of
Indyk due to his ties to the NIF.
“The former ambassador, Mr. Martin Indyk, is the Chair of the
International Council of the New Israel Fund, which provides funding to
anti-Zionist organizations that accuse Israel of war crimes,” Danon in the
“I request that you ask the American administration for an
honest broker for these negotiation,” Danon added.
The NIF, a U.S.-based non-profit whose
self-described mission is for “advancing democracy and equality for all
Israelis,” has been heavily criticized in the past for its alleged funding of groups
involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as described in
a 2010 report compiled by the pro-Israel group Im Tirtzu. But the NIF denies
supporting organizations with BDS programs.
Meanwhile, the rumor
of Indyk’s appointment is also drawing criticism from anti-Israel elements. Stephen
Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby and
U.S. Foreign Policy, which promotes conspiracy theories on Jewish
involvement in U.S. politics, slammed Indyk on Twitter, comparing his
appointment to “like hiring Madoff to run ur pension.” The anti-Israel blog Mondoweiss also questioned Indyk’s impartiality
due to his prior experience working for the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee and his failure during Camp David peace talks in 2000.