Two weeks ago, the disclosures of the Zionist student group, Im Tirtsu, shocked the Israeli public when they revealed that sixteen organizations supported by the New Israel Fund contributed most of the information upon which the Goldstone Report was based. These disclosures were part of another unpleasant revelation, the Goldstone Report, which delivered a harsh political blow to the legitimacy of the State. Israel’s leaders failed to anticipate the political consequences of last winter’s Operation Cast Lead: that Israel would be accused of perpetrating war crimes and that its respectable position in the world would be endangered. The resulting damage to Israel’s image has been unprecedented.
This grave misperception by Israel’s leadership is the result of their viewing the conflict primarily in military terms and intentionally disregarding the political dimension. In an interview with Israel Television’s Ayala Hasson on 21 January 2009, Defense Minister Ehud Barak confidently declared that Israel had delivered an unprecedented blow to the Hamas, and if necessary, Israel would not hesitate to send the army back to Gaza to deliver more such blows.
Slowly but surely, the game has changed. Because Israel’s enemies have failed to win militarily, they have begun waging a war by indirect means. Their main political goal is to destroy Israel’s legitimacy and convey it to the Palestinian Authority. Their tactics include undermining Israel’s political structure, eroding its traditional values of family and religion, crippling its legal system and law enforcement agencies, weakening the armed forces, paralyzing the government’s ability to use its military force and thus limit her options for self defense. In the wake of the Goldstone Report, the government has publicly acknowledged the challenge this political warfare poses. Prime Minister Netanyahu declared his determination to counter what he termed the “Goldstone Effect.”
Accordingly, the NIF must be viewed as an important link and conduit in a cultural and political network whose real purpose is to undermine the Jewish State and replace it with another entity. The NIF is neither democratically elected nor does it represent a constituency. Although its professed goal is to “strengthen democracy” in Israel, the nature of its activities does not support this claim. An organization such as the NIF receives donations from private donors, foundations abroad and foreign governments. In turn, it distributes funds to smaller organizations that are active among Jews and Arabs, who cultivate discontentment to create political capital of their grievances.
The New Israel Fund is much more than a charitable foundation. It wages political warfare and operates as a front organization “that serves as a cover for aims and activities other than its professed ones.” During the thirties, Willi Muenzenberg, the propaganda genius of the Comintern devised this type of organizational form (New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought). Although the Comintern has disappeared, front organizations in Israel and elsewhere continue to operate and use these traditional methods, in line with the ideology of Marxism-Leninism.
Like other front organizations that avow one goal, but seek another, the New Israel Fund claims it strives for social justice and progressive change in Israeli society. Yet they conceal the ultimate goal, namely, The New Israel, which can only be achieved by destroying Israel as we know it. The logical outcome of this program is a coup d’Etat through a process of discrediting the Zionist ideal, gutting its political and social institutions, and disfranchising the current middle-class holders of power in Israeli society. The front organizations of our time obscure their true objectives and intentionally operate in a decentralized manner in order to escape the attention of law enforcement agencies. They may be recognized, nonetheless, by the uniformity of the message they project.
The problem of the New Israel Fund is that by providing information to the Goldstone Report in cooperation with its allied organizations, it succeeded in drawing attention to its formidable strength and its successful penetration within Israeli society. If any good is to come from this unhappy and dangerous experience, it is that we should grasp the true objectives of these groups and the real threat they represent to the stability of Israel’s society, to its legally constituted democracy and to our future as a Jewish state. For years it has been almost axiomatic that the “extreme right” is a lethal danger to the state. The lesson which we should learn from the recent and dramatic disclosures of the Im Tirtsu report is that the well-organized and affluent radical left may represent an even more perilous threat to the State of Israel.