Israeli conservatives attack U.S.-based philanthropy as unpatriotic

Reporting from Jerusalem –
A U.S.-based philanthropy that funds human rights groups in
Israel is under fire amid accusations that its recipients provided the
bulk of evidence to a U.N. commission that issued a report highly
critical of Israel’s Gaza Strip war a year ago.

Leaders of the
Washington-based New Israel Fund,
whose recipients include several groups that promote Palestinian rights,
said Sunday that they are being unfairly targeted by conservatives in
Israel seeking to silence opposing viewpoints.

“It’s an attempt
to stifle dissent,” said Daniel Sokatch, chief executive of the fund,
which donates about $15 million annually to human rights and civil
society groups in Israel.

The group’s donations were the focus
of a Jan. 29 report by Im Tirtzu, a self-described centrist Zionist
group that alleged 92% of the material collected inside Israel by the
United Nations’ Goldstone Commission originated with New Israel Fund

Last fall, the U.N. panel, headed by South African
jurist Richard Goldstone, accused Israel and the Palestinian militant
group Hamas of committing war crimes during Israel’s 22-day assault in
Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007. The Israeli
offensive, launched in response to Palestinian rocket fire, killed about
1,400 … >>>

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