Breaking: Hagee and CUFI fund anti-NIF campaign organizer
The Im Tirtzu movement accuses the New Israel Fund of financing anti-Zionist organizations, but all the while enjoys donations from an evangelist preacher who believes “Hitler was carrying out God’s will”
Danit Gottfried, Walla [Israeli news portal owned by Haaretz group], February 1 2010 [Hebrew original here]
In the last days various media have been running a campaign against the New Israel Fund, which defines itself as a venture capital fund for social initiatives. Behind the campaign are activists for the Im Tirtzu movement, which defines itself as an extra-parliamentary movement to strengthen Zionist values in Israel. Im Tirtzu claims NIF funds 16 left-wing organizations that were quoted by the Goldstone report and contributed to the collection of false charges against IDF soldiers during Operation Cast Lead and the negative world climate against Israel.
Among other things, the campaign included a demonstration in front of the home of the president of NIF, Professor Naomi Chazan, in which the demonstrators were dressed up as Hamas members and carried signs saying “we love Chazan and hate the IDF,” and posters showing Chazan’s face with a large horn coming out of her forehead.
But an investigation by Walla! found that some of the funding for Im Tirtzu itself comes from parties that are not regarded with fondness or agreement by the Jewish public. Donors to the movement include the Christian American lobby CUFI – Christians United for Israel, headed by evangelist preacher John Hagee. The organization’s website specifies the sum it gave Im Tirtzu — $100,000.
Hagee was in the headlines in 2008 during the US presidential campaign, when a recording circulated in which he claimed that “Hitler was fulfilling God’s will, to return the Jews to the land of Israel according to the biblical prophecy.” Right after the radical comment, Republican presidential contender John McCain had to repudiate Hagee’s public support. Additionally, in his book “Who Is a Jew?” Hagee claims that “Hitler was half Jewish, from the descendents of Esau,” and that “the Holocaust happened because the Jews rebelled and denied the real God.” He claimed that “Jewish rebelliousness is the reason for the anti-Semitism and persecution they suffered over the years.”
About the economic crisis that hit the US and the world in 2008, Hagee said that “the U.S. Federal Reserve is under the control of a few shareholders, including the Jewish Rothschild family.” He added that “the Rothschild family is part of an extensive economic conspiracy by strong shareholders who reside in Europe.” Hagee is considered a controversial and extreme figure among the Jewish communities in America, after he called the Reform Jews “poisoned” and “spiritually blind.”
The Goldstone report: because of NIF?
Maariv journalist Ben Caspit published an article about the alleged connection between the Goldstone Report and the New Israel Fund. The article claimed that an investigation by Im Tirtzu discovered that extreme left-wing Israeli organizations supported by NIF provided Judge Goldstone with materials about alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. Of 420 references to Israeli sources, 191 are to the organizations in question. In the article, Caspit called Goldstone “a despicable liar who stood at the head of a lethal and well greased anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic propaganda machine.”
When Caspit was asked by Walla! News whether he knew about Hagee’s contribution to Im Tirtzu, he replied that he does not interview for Walla! Sources in Maariv said the newspaper was only publishing the figures from the report and was not a party in the matter.
Im Tirtzu: “This is an attempt to divert the discussion”
Im Tirtzu said in reaction: “Following the threat of arrest against IDF soldiers and senior Israeli officials, we launched a public campaign to defend the IDF and Zionism and to unmask the New Israel Fund, which finances 16 organizations that are the driving forces behind the Goldstone Report. Any attempt to divert the discussion from this subject by the New Israel Fund will not succeed, and the question it must answer is whether it will stop financing organizations such as Breaking the Silence, Adalah and Machsomwatch. Our movement is supported by Zionists who hold Israel as a Jewish state dear, including CUFI, which contributes to many organizations in Israel. Unfortunately, donations to Im Tirtzu amount to only one thousandth of the immense budget of the New Israel Fund. Another question that will also be answered soon is who finances it and what are the interests behind their donations, and we need to say no more.”