Israel Resource Review 6th December, 2002


Jews Who Raise Funds to Pay Israeli Soldiers to Desert the Army
David Bedein

Over the past two years, the Palestinian Authority has conducted a campaign to encourage the cold blooded murder of 682 men, women and children throughout the land of Israel.

As a result, the IDF has been forced to conduct operations in the areas controlled and protected by the Palestinian Authority, to locate, arrest and neutralize the terrorists from their home bases.

While the IDF operations are taking place, a few small groups have been conducting a well financed campaign to encourage IDF troops to desert their units. These groups spread the word that IDF combat soldiers are "war criminals"

I write as the father of Noam, an Israeli soldier who serves in an IDF combat unit.

It gives my family the greatest of pleasure to welcome my oldest son home every other Shabbat.

Noam arrives exhausted and appreciating the support that he gets from the "home front" - from our community and from our home.

Yet it is rather distressing to know that every bus station that he goes through are frequented by paid professionals who distribute leaflets to IDF soldiers to encourage them to desert from their units, offering to pay them to do so.

It is even more distressing to know that these paid professionals and their leaflets that call IDF soldiers "war criminals" are financed through a Jewish organization in my home community of Philadelphia.

Yes, Israel is a nation which welcomes democratic difference.

Israel's perspectives that range from those who would like to throw the Arabs out of Israel to those who advocate full independence and sovereignty for the local Arab population.

That wide range of opinion in Israel has not stopped a consensus of opinion about one fundamental issue: serving in the Israel Defence Forces.

For that reason, The Peace Now movement, despite its opposition to Israeli government policies in Judea and Samaria, encourages its members to serve everywhere.

For that reason, Peace Now leader and Meretz MK Ron Cohen commanded an artillery unit that led the IDF attack on Beirut in 1982, despite the Peace Now criticism of the IDF invasion of Lebanon.

For that reason, Peace Now leader and Meretz MK Musy Raz commands an infantry unit in the Hebron region every year as part of his IDF reserve duty, despite the Peace Now criticism of Israel's presence in Hebron.

There is one US organization that acts as the funnel to finance IDF troops to desert the IDF, and that organization is the Shefa Fund in Philadelphia.

Just read their website:, where they proudly state that the Shefa Fund provides funds to the "Courage to Refuse" campaign to pay for any IDF soldier for the time that he might spend in prison and for any legal expenses involved.

On page seven of the Shefa Fund report, the Shefa Fund proudly states that it has most recently allocated $5,000 to the Courage to Refuse campaign, which has enabled the Israel draft desertion campaign to take out ads, distribute leafets at army bases and at bus stops, and to hire a PR firm to incite IDF troops to desert their units.

All this, while undermining the morale of the IDF by accusing Israeli soldiers of conducting war crimes against an Arab population that harbors, encourages and celebrates the murder of Jews.

The time has come for US citizens those who are looking for ways to support the state of Israel during these times of trouble to take action against those US citizens who are undermining the IDF.

The Shefa Fund, as an IRS tax deductible organization is not allowed to support a political campaign. Perhaps the time has come to bring down the tax authorities on their back.

To stop to Shefa Fund in its tracks is one practical way to help the state of Israel.

And a way to help the morale of the IDF at this time.

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