Israel Resource Review 6th Febuary, 2003


Does the Ford Foundation Fund PLO Advocacy?
Lee Kaplan
Contributing Editor to

Is the Ford Foundation one of the world's premier sponsors of terrorism? US Senator Charles Grassely (D) Iowa, Chair of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, thinks the question is a fair one. That is precisely why he has called for congressional hearings into Ford funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that use the funds to support terrorism.

He is not alone in this concern about such NGOs. The US State Department requires umbrella groups of Palestinian NGOs to sign agreements stating that US foreign aid will not be used to fund terrorism. This requirement seems to have served its purpose, as many of these groups have openly refused to sign such agreements. The level of scrutiny given to the funding of such NGOs by the State Department should not be any different for the Ford Foundation.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency recently published an investigative series showing how the foundation had funded Palestinian groups that turned the UN Conference Against Racism into attacks against Israel and Jews in general. A review of the Ford Foundation's funding of projects related to the Middle East conflict clearly shows a bias toward Palestinian programs with "goals" against Israel. Whenever an Israeli program has been funded, it has consistently been an Israeli leftist group that supports Palestinian aspirations against the Israeli government and in some cases even sedition by leftist Israeli groups.

A review of all of Ford's current and past funding on its website shows a litany of Palestinian "human rights" groups being funded such as the following:

  • "The National Committee of the Heads of Arab Local Authority in Israel" ($150,000 to be at loggerheads with the Israeli government over every issue);

  • "The Arab Commission on Human Rights" ($100,000 to try and indict Israel in the International Criminal Court, but not Arafat the terrorist);

  • "The Al-Mezan Center For Human Rights And Community Involvement" ($150,000 for an advocacy group in that human rights Mecca, Gaza, where Hamas rules the roost in cooperation with Arafat);

  • "The Al-Dameer Association For Human Rights" ($50,000 again for an advocacy group specializing in "human rights" in Gaza);

  • "The Women's Center-Shu'fat Refugee Camp" ($80,000 in East Jerusalem to "strengthen community participation and study the peace agenda." Of course, "peace" to the Palestinians now means dismantling all of Israel);

  • The Jerusalem Media and Communications Center ($140,000 for a media project which provides highly trained PLO propaganda spokespeople so that biased reporting against Israel can be encouraged among overseas correspondents);

  • "The Palestine Consultancy Group" in East Jerusalem, ($100,000 to set up a "legal task force" to support "Palestinian rights" in the city of Jerusalem by endlessly suing the democratic government of Israel which, unlike the Palestine Authority, still runs by the rule of law);

  • "The Palestine Center For Policy Survey Research" ($140,000 to inform internationals of the "peace process" and "disseminate data on refugees preferences" in a controlled military dictatorship under Arafat. Do you think those preferences will be for flooding Israel with "Palestinian refugees" like Arafat insists on?);

  • Bir Zeit Univeristy in the West Bank (granted $50,000 for "Palestinian scholars" and NGO leaders to travel to South Africa on a "learning and speaking tour," no doubt with the intention to compare Israel to South Africa as an "apartheid" state.);

  • The "International Peace and Cooperation Center" ($80,000 for "advocacy and public education for training and dialogue" on the community level in Jerusalem. Will such advocacy be for "peace" or is this program to train better speaking propagandists to call for Israel's dismantlement yet again?)

This is but a sampling of the many groups the Ford Foundation has financed in the name of "peace." The top agenda item for the Palestinian "peace" groups today is dismantling Israel by the Right of Return, flooding the country with Arab terrorists after running Israelis out of the West Bank and Gaza. And the Ford Foundation foots the bill to advance these groups' goals.

And what of Ford Foundation donations to Israeli groups? Yes, they have funded these groups, too. But not one has gone to an Israeli hospital to aid the victims of bus bombings caused by Arafat's intifada. Israel is experiencing homelessness for the first time in its history due to the Oslo War and could use aid to solve the problem. Likewise, not one donation goes to a group that might help reach "internationals" with the truth of the dictatorship growing next door that wants Israeli Jews wiped from the map. In the rare occasions an Israeli program has been funded by Ford, it has consistently been one run by Israeli leftist groups that support Palestinian aspirations against the Israeli government and, in some cases, even sedition by Israeli citizens.

The Israeli groups that the Ford Foundation has funded are groups linked to Israel's Communist Party, like B'tselem, or to America's hardcore Left, like B'rit Tzedek V'Shalom. The New Israel Fund and Shefa Fund, both leftist-oriented and also linked with leftist causes in the U.S., have even provided funding to encourage desertion in the Israeli army. Another recipient, ICAHD, interferes with Israeli army anti-terrorism activities.

Israeli Ford Foundation grant recipients further the Arab portrayals of Israel as a violator of human rights. Even donations that are seemingly innocent, such as to Hebrew University for "legal aid," are really going to programs that help Palestinians sue the Israeli government and weaken the Israeli infrastructure.

Most of these groups are Marxist, as well. Just as with Marxists in the U.S. advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government, these Israeli groups push the dismantling of democratic Israel. Add to this Israel's lunatic fringe of the "peace at any price" religious leaders from "Rabbis For Human Rights," some of whom are religious zealots who want Israel destroyed before the coming of a Jewish messiah.

Up until now, if the Palestinians and seditious Israeli groups wanted to get money to push for the destruction of Israel from the Ford Foundation it was a simple process: merely say you are a non-governmental organization (NGO) is for "peace and social justice"; the Ford Foundation's "Peace and Social Justice Program" made it easy for them. But instead of "peace and social justice," the program funds endless conflict and propaganda calling for Israel's destruction.

The Ford Foundation's main Middle East charities are based in Cairo. One of the members of its board of directors is Afsaneh Beschloss of the Carlyle Group, which does extensive business with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis fund world terrorism and have financed much of the terrorism in Israel. They also finance Israel's destruction by laundering funds through the United States and Europe that go to leftist groups in Israel. Thus, the funding provided to the areas of the Holy Land by the Ford Foundation has usually been given with Arab interests in mind. Ford Foundation grants to Israeli NGOs have mostly been to those who want to undermine the Israeli government through political propaganda campaigns or interfere with anti-terrorist operations. [1]

News reports now breaking of potential congressional investigations of funding by the Ford Foundation of NGOs related to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute are an encouraging sign. [2] Ford Foundation's President, Susan Beresford, has promised the Foundation will clean up its act and stop funding worldwide anti-Semitism and programs calling for the dismantling of Israel. [3] Addressing specifically the Middle East, the Foundation's leadership under people like Beresford has been an abomination. [4] In this writer's opinion the Ford Foundation over the last several years has been responsible for the deaths of many Israelis and Palestinians as its funding only served to exacerbate the conflict. (And it has financed certain groups seeking to work against U.S. interests under the mantras of "anti-imperialism" and "anti-globalization.")

The war going on in the Holy Land has been as much a propaganda war as one of terrorist attacks. From the 19 propaganda ministries in the Palestine Authority (and to some extent from the Israeli Left, including the Israeli Communist Party) have emerged NGOs whose stated purpose was to preserve human rights, but whose actual purpose is to distort portray a vibrant democracy as a racist "apartheid state." Such groups, financed by the Ford Foundation, actually contributed to the ongoing violence in the region by using funds to call repeatedly in euphemistic terms for the dismantling of Israel instead of a peace settlement. Israel certainly will not capitulate and the Ford Foundation, by funding the continued media blitz from the opposing Arab and leftist side, only exacerbates and continues the war. What is more, despite Beresford's statements to the contrary, the Ford Foundation has contributed and continues to contribute funds to NGOs that without a doubt still have the potential of killing people, mainly Israelis.

Recently, all Palestinian NGOs refused to sign an agreement with the U.S. State Department agreeing not to use funding given to them by the US taxpayer for purposes of terrorism. [5] Even the Red Crescent Society, the Palestinian equivalent of the Red Cross, run by Yasser Arafat's brother, refused to sign. In the past, Red Crescent ambulances have been caught transporting suicide bombers, armed terrorists and explosives past checkpoints to kill Israelis. [6] A major program of the NGOs like Red Crescent has been to claim innumerable deaths of pregnant women and their newborn children due to Israeli "checkpoints" set up to guard against suicide bombers, another lie in the propaganda portrayal of Israel as a violator of human rights. While the Palestinians are naming streets and stadiums after the suicide bombers and paying out awards, their NGO's spread false information abroad to further their goal of having Israel dismantled rather than creating a lasting settlement and viable peace. [7] At least the US State Department tried to exert some control. But not the Ford Foundation. The Foundation provides up to 2.5 million dollars (U.S.) to Palestinian NGOs and universities in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon. Does the money go for social projects or for propaganda campaigns and terrorism? Nobody really knows, least of all the Ford Foundation. Now Ms. Beresford claims the Foundation will demand agreements that no funding be used for terrorism.[8] Very noble. But why has it taken so long? How many Israelis were murdered or maimed by terrorists using Red Crescent ambulances before Israel finally cracked down?

Another group the Ford Foundation funds is the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an organization "established to oppose and resist Israeli demolishing of Palestinian homes in the occupied territories" according to its mission statement.[9] The Israeli army has found an effective deterrent to terrorism by destroying the homes of terrorists. It also destroys any home where a bomb-making factory is discovered. The ICAHD never does anything about suicide bombers or solicits the Palestine Authority to arrest or prosecute suicide bombers. But it does interfere with the Israeli army doing its job to protect people from terrorism. To fund an organization that interferes with anti-terrorism operations is ultimately to aid terrorism somewhere down the line. To fund organizations that aid those who seek to kill Jews is also anti-Semitism.

The Ford Foundation also funds B'tselem. [10] B'tselem's leader is Anat Biletzski, a key player in Israel's Communist Party, which goes under the name "The Democratic Front for Peace and Equailty" in Hebrew. B'tselem consistently attacks the Israeli government and army by claiming human rights abuses, imaginary or not. If the Palestine Authority's propaganda arm fabricates some, B' tselem will certainly be there to try and lend them credence. Israel's Communist Party can only wield some power in Israel's parliament by belonging to Hadash, a coalition of Arab PLO advocates in Israel's parliament who support PLO aims to dismantle Israel (something Israeli Arabs can do in Israel's democracy). B' tselem never addresses human rights abuses in the Palestine Authority where misogyny, religious intolerance and public murders of "collaborators" are rife. But they do manage to portray an image to the world of Israel as a human rights abuser when it is merely trying to protect itself. And all of this plays towards continuing the conflict rather than creating a reconciliation; it is another way to work toward dismantling the Jewish State by seeking to arouse world condemnation, and the Ford Foundation helps to fund it as well.

Recent revelations have emerged that the Shefa Fund, under the auspices of the New Israel Fund (NIF), a left-wing Israeli charity with roots in the United States that claims to support democracy but allies itself with the "dismantle Israel" crowd, has been offering to pay the expenses of Israeli army deserters.[11] The Ford Foundation certainly plays a part in this, too, since it provides much of the funding for the Shefa Fund.

Still another NGO sponsored by the Ford Foundation is B'rit Tzedek V'shalom ("peace and justice," again in Hebrew) that advocates the deportation of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) as well as Gaza. B'rit Tzedek wants to pay Jewish settlers to move inside Israel's 1948 cease-fire line and give the Arabs their homes and property. Arafat and the Palestinian leadership have consistently said any territory ceded by Israel to them will only be a phase to taking all of Israel from the "river to the sea." He openly voiced this at another Ford Foundation-sponsored event, the UN Worldwide Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa. Even Susan Beresford, in her letter to Congress, acknowledged the Durban event was an anti-Semitic obscenity put on by NGO's with the Ford Foundation's money. And this is the event that woke Congress up.

In fairness to the Ford Foundation, it should be noted it is finally acknowledging its fault in funding the Durban event. [12] The propaganda war of words funded by the Foundation reached its pinnacle there, as false accusations of Israeli "apartheid" and "racism" were once again hurled by totalitarian Arab regimes against democratic Israel. Arab groups in attendance at Durban cited mythical figures of 30,000 olive trees being uprooted by Israel. Adalah, an Arab civil rights group which operates in Jerusalem (permissible under Israel's democracy), also received money from Ford Foundation grants directly or through subsidiaries to present "legal" reasons why Israel should not exist. Another attending group, LAW, a Palestinian legal aid NGO, lost its support because it spent more time trying to try Ariel Sharon as a "war criminal" in Belgium than they did helping Palestinians with day to day legal issues in the Holy Land. [13]

All of these groups spend the majority of their time promoting boycotts and university divestments or disabling Israel's ability to protect itself from enemies bent on its destruction, all while conveniently ignoring or even excusing suicide bombers and terror attacks on Israeli civilians. "Peace," thanks to the Ford Foundation's largesse, has come to mean the end of Israel, and "social justice" has come to mean an Arab living in a Jew's home. That is the reality.

But the Ford Foundation really outdid itself by funding the Palestine National Constitution, all 43 pages of it.[15] The document, modeled after Iran's constitution, grants Islam supreme status over any other religions in "Palestine." The various American, Arab or Israeli NGOs that claim to be seeking a "democratic secular state" in "Palestine" which the Foundation saw fit to fund in the past are curiously silent about the lack of democracy or freedom of religion there. Will it mean "peace and social justice" for Israel next to another Iran or more suicide bombers and terror attacks to ultimately dismantle it? Whatever the outcome, the Ford Foundation can take credit for funding it.

A trip to the Ford Foundation's website reveals the distortions between what the Ford Foundation claims its mission is and what it really finances. Under its "Peace and Social Justice" section on Governance and Civil Society, headed by Michael A. Edwards, it boasts a new charitable portfolio to "strengthen global civilian society and the ability of international citizens to continue to address social problems, as epitomized by the recently created World Social Forum with its motto ‘another world is possible.'"[15]

And what is the World Social Forum? For one thing, it is another hate-fest against the United States and Israel principally staged in the U.S. by the International Socialist Organization and International Answer, the ubiquitous Ramsey Clark's radical socialist/anarchist groups. Clark was Saddam Hussein's attorney prior to U.S. troops going into Iraq and he now strives to help keep the former rulers and Hussein allies in power by demanding U.S. troop withdrawals. The Forum has held events where "U.S. imperialism" was denounced, and even delegations from Communist Cuba were welcomed with open arms. [16] Since demonizing America always comes with demonizing Israel, the Palestinian contingent was also permitted to develop a policy paper which says, to wit: "The meeting must focus international attention on the justice of, and the Palestinian right to an independent and viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homelands. This is our vision of peace. It is a vision that if not met will continue to cause conflict and bloodshed for years to come."[17] So much for the Ford Foundation's claim they are promoting good governance and peace in the world. By the way, the International Socialist Organization advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government by violent means if necessary. [18]

And the Palestinian "right of return to their homelands" is really a catch phrase for taking back all of Israel and displacing its Jewish population with Arabs. No mention is ever made publicly as to where the Arabs deemed to have the right to flood Israel and who exceed Israel's Jewish population are supposed to live. This is because in Palestinian schools they are taught they will be living in some Jew's home. [19] And according to the Palestinian delegation at the World Social Forum that is the vision for peace. The ensuing threats of conflict and bloodshed (a.k.a. terrorist attacks on Israelis) certainly do not fit in with the Ford Foundation's claim it does not wish to promote incitement against Israelis or deny the right of Israel to exist; yet the World Social Forum is touted on the Foundation's website even today under "Peace and Social Justice Programs" as a part of their Civil Society Empowerment program. [20] Interestingly enough, Ford Foundation Director Afsaneh Beschloss used to work for the same World Bank that the World Social Forum condemns and wants undermined as part of its anti-globalization efforts.[21] Does the upper management at the Ford Foundation have any idea what is going on themselves?

Congress would do well to not just look into the Ford Foundation's funding of anti-Semitic NGOs who also seek the destruction of Israel. It also needs to look at what the Ford Foundation's programs are funding in the U.S. against our own country as well. Maybe then, the Ford Foundation will finally clean up its act.


[1]; This Ford website.






[7]; This article; and this one.





[12]; This Ford Foundation website.




[16]; this FrontPage article.

[17] This website.





This article ran in, February 2004

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Sharon's Unilateral Retreat
David Bedein

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Deputy Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, arrived in Washington on Thursday to present Sharon's program for unilateral retreat from the 17 Jewish farming communities that are contiguous to Gaza.

Sharon and Olmert have already received praise from the State Department and even from the UN for their sudden policy of unilateral retreat, and the State Department spokesman announced that he was pleased to receive Olmert and the "policy of the Israeli government" with open arms.

Secretary of State Colin Powell went so far as to announce that he has instructed the State Department to dispatch special teams that would jointly coordinate the Israeli pullback from the Jewish communities of Katif in Gaza.

However, President Bush and Congress should be advised thatthe Israeli security government and the Israeli Knesset have never approved Sharon's sudden change in policy.

Israel's Foreign Minister Sylvan Shalom expressed surprise that Olmert, whose formal position is the Minister of Trade and Industry and Communications, would usurp his position.

Dr. Uzi Landau, the Israeli Government Minister in charge of American-Israeli strategic planning, told me that he was not even informed of Olmert's trip. Landau's spokesman read a statement on the record that Sharon's plan represented a "surrender to terror"

Israel's Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Natan Scharansky was not even informed of the Olmert visit, even though he was in the U.S. at the time .

Chairman of the Knesset' Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, told me that he expressed surprise that he was not informed of the fact that the Sharon withdrawal plan was being presented to the U.S. government as a "fait accompli." Gideon Saar, the chairman of Sharon's Likud faction in the Knesset, mentioned that the way Sharon had presented this policy was wrong. because he did not bring it to the Knesset for any discussion whatsover.

That is because Sharon promised in a speech in the Knesset on January 12th that "These steps (unilateral disengagement from the Palestinians) will be undertaken following exhaustive discussions between the coalition parties, and with the full cooperation of our international allies, headed by the United States"

However, Raanan Gissin, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's foreign press advisor, told Israeli journalist Aaron Lerner on Janurary 25th that "it was not clear if the discussions with the coalition parties would take place before the visit".

Following that interview, ten prominent members of the ruling Likud party signed a petition calling for the Likud faction to meet with and hear the details of Sharon's planbefore it would be presented to the U.S.

However, Sharon ignored the pleas for discussions from his own party.

In other words, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister traveled to Washington without a clear mandate from the elected representatives of the people of Israel. Prime Minister Sharon is scheduled to follow with another trip to the Capitol in the less than two weeks.

Sharon, eager to placate State Department interest in the evacuation of Israeli settlements, announced that he was ordering the evacuation of the 17 Israeli settlements in the Katif district, the prosperous farming settlements that lie to the south of Gaza. Over the years, I have conducted numerous press tours to visit the UN Arab refugee camps and the Israeli Jewish settlements in Gaza.

There is a standard Gazan Arab response about what the Arabs consider to be "illegal Israeli settlements", and it does not include the Katif farming communities. From the point of view of the Arab refugee population in Gaza, the people who live in Katif did not uproot a single inch of Arab land, since these communities were founded on empty sand dunes. From the point of view of the Arabs in Gaza, the "illegal Israeli settlements" are spread throughout the Negev and the Israeli coastal region, where tens of Arab villages were uprooted following the failed invasion of the nascent Jewish state by the armies of five Arab nations in 1948.

The popular media will undoubtedly report that Sharon's settlement abandonment policy will sit well with both the PLO and the U.S.

Most reporters have not noticed the map of "illegal settlements" published by the Palestinian National Authority, indicates that all of the settlements that Israel established after the 1948 war, especially in the Negev region of southern Israel, would be considered to be "illegal."

For that reason, Arabs in Gaza have a legal problem with Israeli Jewish settlementsthat were established after the 1948 war, not with the Israeli settlements that were established after the 1967 war.

Menachem Begin, who advocated Israeli settlement activity in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan, made a cardinal rule when he became Israeli Prime Minister in 1977, which was that no Israeli community in the Golan, Judea, Samaria or Katif would cause Arab villages to be uprooted.

Begin reversed the post-1948 policyallowing Israeli Jews to claim abandoned Arab properties and entire Arab villages for settlement purposes.

What has been forgotten is that the U.S. never recognized Israel's acquisitions of land in the 1948 war. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles made that point when he visited Israel in 1953, and placed the U.S. on the record as opposing Israeli settlement in the "conquered" Negev and the Galilee regions.

For that reason, the U.S. never recognized the 1949 or 1967 cease-fire lines as the borders of Israel. Those cease-fire lines are mistakenly believed by many to be fixed borders.

What the popular media will probably also miss is that the agricultural produce of the 17 farming communities in Katif successfully competes with the agricultural produce of the hundreds of Israel's collective farms -- a factorthat has figured into the Israel Labor Party's enthusiastic support for the eradication of their agricultural competitors.

Meanwhile, the strategic significance of pulling out of the Katif region is also being missed.

Speaking off the record, a senior Israel military source describes the Katif region as the ideal place for a land invasion of Israel from the south.

That senior military source explains that the Katif communities act as a buffer for Israel against Egypt, in case Israel's southern neighbor had second thoughts about its fragile peace treaty with Israel.

Dr. Steinitz, the chairman of the Israeli Knesset's sensitive foreign affairs and security parliamentary committee, has gone so far as to issue a series of declassified intelligence briefing papers in which he claims that Egypt is indeed approaching a state of active war with Israel.

Egypt's first step in that war has been to facilitate construction of tunnels at the southern tip of the Gaza strip that are now being used to smuggle arms into the area. Without the presence of Israeli communities in Katif, funneling arms to Palestinians for use against the Israeli army in the event of an invasion will be even greater.

Then again, Israel's Prime Minister is considering cosmetic solutions to Israel's complex problems.

This article ran in, February 2004

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

RZA Urges Bush Administration to Pressure Saudi Arabia to Redeploy Their Forces Facing Israel

Religious Zionists of America
Seven Penn Plaza, Suite 205, New York, New York 10001
tel. 212-465-9234
fax: 212-465-9246

"The Saudi government must be forced to pull their F15's from the Tabuk airforce base deployed only 150 km. from Israel," said Religious Zionists of America President, Rabbi Simcha Krauss. "The Saudi's had given their word to the United States and indirectly to the Israelis that these planes would not be permanently stationed facing Israel," added Rabbi Krauss.

"The news that Al Queda recruited a Saudi pilot for a suicide mission against Israel makes this problem extremely acute," said Mandell I. Ganchrow, M.D., Executive Vice President of the RZA. "Our country must pressure the Saudis to carry out their obligation to the United States, when they received these planes, and redeploy them, so as not to pose a danger to Israel."

Religious Zionists of America (RZA), a national organization with branches throughout the country, was founded in 1912 as the American arm of the World Mizrachi Movement. Besides providing support to its partner institutions in Israel, including yeshivot hesder and religious kibbutzim, RZA furthers the ideology of religious Zionism in the United States through its affiliates, Bnei Akiva, the Camp Moshava network of summer camps, and the Torah MiTzion Diaspora Zionist Kollel project. It is a proud member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Go to the Israel Resource Review homepage

The Israel Resource Review is brought to you by the Israel Resource, a media firm based at the Bet Agron Press Center in Jerusalem, and the Gaza Media Center under the juristdiction of the Palestine Authority.
You can contact us on