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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Why I Won't Be Going To Today's Israel Parade (And Why You Shouldn't Donate To UJA)

Today hundreds of Synagogues and other Jewish organizations within reasonable distance of Manhattan will be renting buses, carpooling and finding other means of transportation to show their love of the Jewish State, at the annual Salute to Israel Parade (now called Celebration Israel).

For the fourth Year in a row I will not be attending because New York Jewish leadership allows anti-Israel groups march in the parade.  For example the pro-BDS New Israel fund will be marching.

As reported by NGO Monitor, "NIF continues to fund political advocacy NGOs that are active in international and divisive campaigns that contribute to BDS and the demonization and delegitimization of Israel:
  • As with the Goldstone process, a number of NIF-funded NGOs have been active in repeating unsupported allegations of “deliberate, systematic, and widespread targeting of Palestinian civilians”; “war crimes and crimes against humanity”; “grave violations of international humanitarian law,” and similar claims regarding the 2014 Gaza war, as well as claiming that internal Israeli investigations fail to meet international standards. Such allegations are central in efforts to justify international intervention, including ICC prosecutions and unprofessional UN reports.
  • On July 21, 2014, 10 NIF-funded NGOs, including Adalah, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), B’Tselem, Gisha, Hamoked, Machsom Watch, Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I), Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), Rabbis for Human Rights, and Yesh Din, sent a public letter to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein alleging “serious concern of severe violations of international humanitarian law, and specifically the laws of war…at the level of offensive policy and the rules of engagement.” 
  • On January 21, 2015, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) published “Gaza, 2014: Findings of an independent medical fact-finding mission,” alleging Israeli violations of human rights and international legal norms during the 2014 Gaza War. As stated in the report, PHR-I “Believes that the prima facie evidence collected and presented in this Report should be used for the purposes of legal determination of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, whether through local or international justice mechanism.” (See here for NGO Monitor’s report, “Physicians for Human Rights Israel Gaza Mission: No Independence, No Facts, No Evidence”) For more examples see Israeli NGOs Behind “Goldstone 2”.
  • In March 2013, Adalah launched a “Discriminatory Laws in Israeldatabase on its website (or “Racist Laws,” per Adalah’s English Facebook page). NGO Monitor’s analysis demonstrates that many of the claims are false or misleading. Adalah’s rejection of the legitimacy of the Jewish State and its attempt to portray Israel as racist are integral components of the Durban Strategy that it helped formulate. Consistent with its political goal of eliminating Israel’s Jewish character, in 2007 Adalah drafted a “Democratic Constitution” that called for replacing the Jewish foundation of Israel with a “democratic, bilingual, and multicultural” framework.
There is much more to the NGO Monitor report which you can read at their site.

Making things even worse is a new report from JCCWatch proving that a "fully-owned subsidiary of the UJA-Federation has sent $5,836,856 to the New Israel Fund since 2002, according to IRS form 990 filings examined by JCCWatch, with donations of between $258,503 and $802,096, made each year for the past dozen years."

 Yes--Your donations to UJA go to delegitmize the state of Israel.
The findings come on the back of a JCCWatch investigation on Tuesday that showed that UJA-Federation leadership have been pressuring former Israeli diplomats, and the office of the current Consul-General in New York, to give cover for their support of the New Israel Fund to participate in this weekend’s Israel Day Parade.
Why is the UJA funding an anti-Israel group? Well perhaps you should ask them when you send them a letter telling them you wont be donating this year. If you are not convinced here's another example of where your UJA Federation donations go.
The UJA-Federation of New York continues to astonish with another revelation from their grant-making, showing $300,000 to support a slate of propaganda films distributed internationally to undermine the Israeli government.

The annual donations were made via its wholly-owned Jewish Communal Fund subsidiary. The grants, ranging from $11,000 to $90,780 over the past seven years, have allowed ‘Just Visions’ to produce three films used as fodder for those groups calling for boycotting, divesting and sanctioning Israel.

On university campuses across our country, these films, financed with Jewish funds from the UJA-Federation, are being used to torment Jewish students trying to get an education at school.

The films include, Budrus (2009), that makes the case against Israel for building the separation wall to end the years of suicide bombings and sniper fire directed at their civilian population. The impact of the film devastating to Jewish causes and was screened at many film festivals with the audiences leaving with a hatred for Israel.
Another group marching today (and also receives NIF/UJA is B’Tselem. Based in Israel, the group’s full name is The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

Anat Biletzsky former chairperson of B’Tselem (and is still on its board)  once wrote that she has been working to end Israel as a Jewish state since the late 1960s. She stated that “Israel [today] is like the Nazis or like Germany in ’34” and that life for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza “is something that I do not hesitate to call a concentration camp.”

Every year B'Tselem publishes a guide to Israeli and Palestinian Deaths and while the totals are correct, their classification methods are a bit on the "funky" side. For an example they define civilian casualties people who were not involved in fighting at the exact time of their death.

Let’s say someone launches a rocket at Sedrot, then puts the launcher in the truck and hears the call to prayer. He puts down his rug and starts praying. At the same time IDF is honing in on where the missile was launched and sends retaliatory fire killing the terrorists. B’Tselem calls that a civilian casualty because he wasn't launching missiles at the time, he was praying.

Another group that gets NIF/ UJA Federation Shekels and will be marching in today's parade is Partners for Progressive Israel (formerly known as Meretz USA). On its website, the group urges the boycott of Israeli products:
PPI supports a selective, targeted boycott of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, not at Israel as a whole. The conception of a selective boycott first adopted by PPI called for a boycott of goods produced by the settlements. This has subsequently been advocated by Peter Beinart and is widely discussed in American peace circles. PPI also supports extension of the boycott to those Israeli firms that have branches (such as banks) or direct participation in the economy of the settlements, as was formerly the case with SodaStream. The economy of the settlements and of the West Bank is too intertwined with the Israeli economy as a whole for it to be possible to limit the boycott to products of the settlements.
One of the great things about the Jews as a people is we try to be inclusive of all people and points of view, it is also one of our downfalls. As Jabotinsky once said:
“It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are. They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not "meet halfway" those who do not want to meet you. --Ze'ev Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall November 4, 1923”
I will not participate in a rally for the destruction of the Jewish State, nor will I donate money to the UJA Federation which helps to fund such groups. I will be staying home today and I will be donating to more worthy organizations. I urge that you do so also.

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