The New Israel Fund, a non-profit organization registered in the United States, has donated about NIS 2.3 million to organizations that tried to influence the Israeli elections, according to its recently published financial report for 2019.
These are “moving”, “standing together”, “strengthening” and “Adalah” organizations, which assisted the left camp during the two election campaigns in 2019 (in April and September) and received from the fund this year an amount 75% higher than the year before. It should be noted that even before the early elections, they were originally planned to be held in November 2019 – that is, the foundation was aware that there would be elections to the Knesset this year. The fund’s financial report for 2020 will only be published in about a year.
In the two election campaigns in 2019, Zazim organized a system of transportation to the polls of tens of thousands of people from the Bedouin diaspora, even though the organization was not registered as an active body in the elections – an action that would have exposed it to strict transparency rules. On election day in September, the organization received a restraining order from the then chairman of the Election Commission, Supreme Court Justice Hanan Meltzer, against operating the shuttles. In the same year, Zazim received a donation of NIS 1.2 million from the new fund – almost twice as much as the previous year and the highest amount since the organization was founded four years ago.
Funding for “Bot Research”
The organization also boasted that their representatives came to protest at the Likud headquarters and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of incitement, bloodshed and racism. In 2019, “Standing Together” received a donation of about NIS 750,000 from the fund – more than it received from the fund in 2017 and 2018 together.
Adalah, which in the days since its amendment accuses Israel of war crimes and represents terrorists, gave legal representation in the 2019 elections to the parties that make up the joint, as well as to Ofer Kasif, before becoming a Knesset member, when a petition was filed disqualifying him following extremist statements, including “legitimate harm to soldiers.” Last year, Adalah received about NIS 320,000 from the new fund. The “Strengthen” organization was founded by Uri Kol.
Other entities that received a 100% increase in donations from the fund in 2019 are the “News Site 972 – Local Call” (NIS 1.12 million), which publishes news items and opinion articles in the spirit of the extreme left and the joint list; “Trace” that provides material for the research activity or trial of other far-left organizations against the State of Israel; And Kav LaOved, which was involved in petitions against the laws to expel infiltrators from Israel. Another organization whose funding approved grew significantly in 2019 is Breaking the Silence – which received a grant of NIS 2.1 million, one of the highest the fund has given to any organization last year.
Alon Schwarzer, head of the policy department at the If You Will movement, said: “A reality in which a foreign political corporation intervenes almost unhindered through funding for organizations in Israeli elections is an illegal phenomenon that must be stopped.”
The New Israel Fund stated: “Israel Hayom’s claim is completely unfounded. From a simple examination of the data, which is transparent to the entire public, it can be seen that in stark contrast to what was described, there is a difference in support for each of the organizations mentioned. The article focuses on a few organizations among the hundreds of organizations receiving support from the New Israel Fund, some of which have increased support, some have declined and others have remained the same, with the common denominator being that they all work for a broad civil society. “Political, but works to promote a social agenda that advocates equality and justice and works for a strong Israeli democracy.”