Home > Suppression of Dissent > Nahum Barnea: How US Jewish leaders stepped in to block the Knesset anti-NIF bill

Nahum Barnea: How US Jewish leaders stepped in to block the Knesset anti-NIF bill

Other recent posts on the latest wave of suppression of dissent in Israel | Essays Hadas Ziv; Hagai El-Ad; Yariv Mohar; Aeyal Gross; Dorit AbramovitchAmir Paz-FuchsNews and analysis IDF joins assault on Israeli human rights community;Israeli media goes after New Israel Fund: “Responsible for Goldstone Report”; Hagee and CUFI fund anti-NIF campaign organizer; Two senior Maariv reporters attack the anti-NIF campaign sponsored by their newspaper; Following the Im Tirzu campaign: First Knesset steps against NIF; Israeli McCarthyism, circa 2010Debunking the Im Tirzu report part I: Keshev’s Yizhar Be’erDebunking the Im Tirzu report part II: Ha’ir media critic on journalism as propaganda; Delegitimization and censorship continue: JPost stops publishing Naomi Chazan’s columns |

Much to note in this bizarre tale, so characteristic of a country in a tailspin: how it took AIPAC types to beat the Israeli parliament back to its senses (albeit for self-interested reasons); how Likud liberal-hawks stood up for the NIF and democracy, while MKs from the supposedly centrist Kadima led the charge; and, perhaps least surprisingly, Ehud Barak’s role.

Kicking the fund

Excerpt from column, Nahum Barnea, Yediot Friday Political Supplement, February 5 2010

Im Tirzu demonstration outside Prof. Naomi Chazan's home

It was a difficult week in the life of Prof. Naomi Chazan, a former Meretz MK and president of the New Israel Fund (NIF).  It started on Friday, in a report published by a right wing NGO in Ben Caspit’s column in Maariv.  The report asserted that 92 percent of the quotes hostile to Israel in the Goldstone report were provided by Israeli NGOs, most of which are supported by the NIF.  The report brought right wing demonstrators to Chazan’s house, accusing her of treason.  She was in New York, at a conference of the fund’s board of directors.  The atmosphere was hysterical.  They feared that donors would jump ship.  And then the news from Australia arrived: The Reform Movement in Australia, which invited Chazan for a lecture tour in Sydney and Melbourne, canceled its invitation.  The timing is not right, the Australian Jews explained.

All this was overshadowed by the initiative in the Knesset.  MK Otniel Schneller, who is still in Kadima, placed a proposal on the Knesset agenda to establish a parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate the fund’s actions.  The proposal elicited interesting reactions.  Minister Michael Eitan (Likud) took the podium to pour cold water on the proposal.  “Such a thing has not happened,” Eitan said.  “Parliamentary commissions of inquiry are established on non-political issues, such as corruption in soccer or water prices.  It is impossible for the (right wing) majority in the Knesset to investigate the minority.”  Ruby Rivlin and Benny Begin (Likud) ruled out Schneller’s proposal for similar reasons.

Rivlin, Begin and Eitan, staunch right wingers, can afford to be democrats: No one will question their patriotism.  Members of Kadima and the Labor Party, however, went both ways.  Tzipi Livni did not intervene.  If the investigation is general, and not against a particular organization, she would not be shocked, she said.

It was one of those days when the hooligans of the Knesset came to light.  Former prison commissioner Arie Bibi, who is currently a Kadima MK, Danny Danon (Likud) and others, used words like “treason” and “fifth column.”  These are the words they know.


The attack on the fund greatly troubled the American Jewish establishment.  An investigation in Israel could harm other Jewish organizations.  Questions will be raised about political involvement in a foreign country, dual loyalty and tax offenses. Anti-Defamation League Director Abe Foxman, who is not associated with the NIF, said to The Jewish Week that the accusations of the right wing NGO were impudent.  “It’s almost undemocratic,” Foxman said to me over the phone yesterday.

In the afternoon, Rivlin received a phone call from a leader of one of the Jewish organizations.  “Have you gone mad?” the man lashed out at Rivlin.  “You’re going to investigate us for funds we send to you?  You’re out of your minds.”


“I can’t stop it,” Rivlin said to him.  “It’s not within my authority.”  He called Netanyahu and reported to him about the call from New York.  Netanyahu turned to Schneller and convinced him to remove the proposal from the agenda.  Schneller says that he promised him to recruit the entire coalition to support the proposal, if the discussion of it would be postponed to next week.  Netanyahu mentioned Ehud Barak among the people who were pressuring him to support the establishment of the committee.  Barak wants to prove that he is defending the IDF against its defamers (Barak denies this.  On the contrary, his spokesman says.  True, Barak doesn’t like the attacks on the IDF, but he thinks that the committee is unnecessary).

Schneller withdrew the proposal.  A few hours later, he asked Rivlin to raise it again.  “Now it is within my authority,” Rivlin said, and refused.

  1. January 21, 2011 at 18:00

    Shalom Mr Barnea
    I think investigation should focus on George Soros and his fromts-the left wing organizations. Beelow is my article:

    Kindred Souls
    On November 10 2010 and for the next tree days Glen Beck in his program quoted George Soros who in his published books had recalled that during his childhood he had fancied himself to be a “Messiah” and “God” with the mission was to “change the world.” Soros revealed that his father had changed the family name from Schwartz to Soros shortly before the German occupation of Hungary to save his family from the Nazi persecution. In the German occupied Budapest George as a young boy lived with the family of a Hungarian official, posing as his godson. This official was the head of the “Jewish Council” which was deporting the Jews to Nazi concentration camps. Young Soros was delivering deportation notices to the Jewish families. He later stated that the years of Nazi occupation were “the happiest years of his childhood.” He also recalled, “My mother was quite anti-Semitic and ashamed of being Jewish. Given the culture in which we lived, being Jewish was a clear-cut stigma, a disadvantage, a handicap. And therefore, she always had the desire to transcend it, to escape it.” Now George Soros gives billions of dollars to all kind of left-wing virulently anti-Israel organizations. He has not contributed a penny to Israel or to the Holocaust survivors. He is a kindred soul of such formerly Jewish Jew-haters as the infamous Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada and Stalin’s henchman Lazar Kaganovich, who in 1942 did not object to Stalin’s order to execute Mikhail Kaganovich, Lazar brother. In 1953, on the eve of Stalin’s death, rthe Soviet dictator ordered his most trusted henchman Lazar Kaganovich to direct the deportation of the Soviet Jews to Siberia.
    The British newspaper Daily Telegraph in an article on October 3, 2009 declared “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vitriolic attacks on the Jewish world hide reported astonishing secret.” The article had a photo with caption “A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots.” It stated, “A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian. The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth. The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Aradan, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s birthplace, and the name derives from word ‘Sabour,’ the name for the Jewish Tallit shawl in Persia. This name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews compiled by Iran’s Ministry of the Interior. Experts last night suggested Mr. Ahmadinejad’s track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past.”
    Like Ahmadinejad, Stalin and Hitler were pathological haters of the Jews. Hitler dreaded the thought that he had a Jewish ancestor and ordered his lawyer Hans Frank to investigate his lineage. Frank discovered that Hitler’s grandmother Maria Anna Schickelgruber had become pregnant while working as a house cleaner in a Jewish household in Graz, Austria. She gave birth to a son, whom she named Alois, leaving the father’s name blank on Alois’s birth certificate. Hitler’s grandmother later married Johann Georg Hitler, who adopted Aloes, Adolph Hitler’s father. The thought that a Jew had fathered Alois haunted Hitler his whole life. Similarly, Stalin, a Georgian, was incensed by Niko Marr’s theory of the Semitic origin of the Georgian language. Shortly before his death Stalin launched a campaign to disgrace the Academician Marr, who had died some twenty years earlier and could not be arrested. So Stalin ordered arrests of all Marr’s disciples. History abounds with leaders who believed that they were “Messiahs.” and “Gods.” Invariably, these leaders were products of the traumatic experiences in their childhood from which they emerged with an uncanny ability to manipulate and mesmerize people. Their maniacal convictions in their divinity proved to be contagious for many people, among them some American Jews who call themselves “progressives.” In 1976 87% of them voted for Jimmy Carter, whose presidency turned out to be Israel’s nightmare. For instance, the U.S. supported the UN Security Council’s anti-Israel Resolution of March 1, 1980, which negated the Camp David accord. The uproar in America and in Israel was followed by an unprecedented and bizarre development: Carter disavowed the American vote, and called it a “mistake that resulted from an honest break in communication.” Secretary of State Cyrus Vance ignored Carter’s explanation and stated that the vote was in fact the true expression of Carter’s Middle East policy, but it had to be “disavowed in order not to upset the Israeli-Egyptian negotiations.” Faced with loud protests in the United States and in Israel, Carter on October 5, 1977 told a group of Jewish members of Congress who had visited him:

    I’d rather commit suicide, political or otherwise, than hurt Israel!

    The press reports declared that Carter’s statement was “strong,” and that it underscored Carter’s “unwavering dedication to the security of Israel.” The statement was strong indeed, in fact much too strong to be real, especially in view of Carter’s ever-escalating hostility towards Israel. If anything, it had all the earmarks of a “reaction formation”- that is, the outwardly strong expression of a no-less-strong, but hidden, opposite impulse. Carter presented himself to the American public as a “born-again Christian” and often spoke of his closeness to God. It is worthwhile to consider Ernest Jones’s observation:

    God-complex types vary according to the particular God with whom the
    person identifies himself, and that in the West, the most common identification is with Christ. With this Christ type there invariably goes an anti-Semitic tendency.

    The New York Times editorial “The Jews and Jimmy Carter” stated:

    One of the unsayable things in our political life these days is that most leaders of the American Jewish community are acting as if President Carter is risking Israel’s survival. The confrontation now brewing between Carter and the Jews seems to us to transcend any single issue relating to the Middle East negotiations. What is unspoken is the further fear of a revival of anti-Semitism and of the charge of ‘dual loyalty.’

    These “progressive” Jews, some of them wealthy, continue to support left-leaning organizations which call for Israel to stop settlements construction on “occupied” territory and force Israel accept other concessions to Palestinians in order for the “peace presses” to bring about Israel demise. They mock the policy of the government elected by Israeli Jews. I suggest that these “progressive” Jews are unwitting dupes of George Sores, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin- the kindred souls.

    Roman Brackman

  1. February 7, 2010 at 14:35
  2. February 7, 2010 at 18:06
  3. February 10, 2010 at 04:27
  4. February 10, 2010 at 10:30

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