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New Israel Fund brass en route to S.F.

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The New Israel Fund is gearing up for its four-day international board meeting in San Francisco, starting Sunday, June 24 at the Hotel Nikko.

Outgoing president Naomi Chazan — former deputy speaker of the Knesset, a human rights activist and an academic — will be honored at the organization’s 18th annual Guardian of Democracy dinner, which will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel.

NIF activists from the United States and Israel will be in attendance, including the organization’s incoming chairman, Rabbi Brian Lurie, and CEO Daniel Sokatch. Both men are Bay Area residents and former executive directors of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation.

The NIF, which was founded in San Francisco 33 years ago, works to strengthen Israeli democracy and equal rights for women and minorities in Israel. It has at times sparked controversy for supporting organizations some critics say are anti-Israel.

There will be no public sessions during the confab, aside from the dinner, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, June 25. For tickets or information, visit


Posted by Jack Kessler
06/24/2012  at  01:07 PM
"Critics Say"?

It is not just critics who say the organizations NIF supports are anti-Israel.  The organizations themselves say it.  There is no way for NIF to support Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) organizations and then deny that they support BDS.  The explicit purpose of BDS is to damage Israel’s economy. 

For NIF to support BDS organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)and to then claim, as JVP also does, that they are pro-Israel is to insolently lie to us to our faces.

Someone who supports the Ku Kux Klan is racist, no matter how much they deny it.  Someone who supports BDS is anti-Israel, no matter how much they deny it.  And that includes both JVP and NIF.

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Posted by lkanesf
06/26/2012  at  09:46 AM
Mr. Kessler misstates the facts.

Mr. Kessler misstates the facts. New Israel Fund does not fund Jewish Voice for Peace. Here, from NIF’s website ( is NIF’s policy on BDS:

What is NIF’s position on boycott, divestment and sanctions?

The New Israel Fund is committed to strengthening democracy in Israel, supports freedom of speech and promotes non-violent means of expression of belief and conscience. We oppose any attempt to criminalize the legitimate expression of support for any non-violent strategy or tactic, including those we do not ourselves support.
The NIF opposes the global (or general) BDS movement, views its use of these tactics as counterproductive, and is concerned that segments of this movement seek to undermine the existence of the state of Israel.
NIF will not fund global BDS activities against Israel nor support organizations that have global BDS programs.
NIF opposes the occupation and subsequent settlement activities. NIF will not exclude support for organizations that discourage the purchase of goods or use of services from settlements.

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