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Ford Funds the Palestinian Left By: Lee Kaplan
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Is the Ford Foundation one of the world’s premier sponsors of terrorism? US Senator Charles Grassely (D) Iowa, Chair of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, thinks the question is a fair one. That is precisely why he has called for congressional hearings into Ford funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that use the funds to support terrorism.

He is not alone in this concern about such NGOs. The US State Department requires umbrella groups of Palestinian NGOs to sign agreements stating that US foreign aid will not be used to fund terrorism. This requirement seems to have served its purpose, as many of these groups have openly refused to sign such agreements. The level of scrutiny given to the funding of such NGOs by the State Department should not be any different for the Ford Foundation. 

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency recently published an investigative series showing how the foundation had funded Palestinian groups that turned the UN Conference Against Racism into attacks against Israel and Jews in general. A review of the Ford Foundation’s funding of projects related to the Middle East conflict clearly shows a bias toward Palestinian programs with “goals” against Israel. Whenever an Israeli program has been funded, it has consistently been an Israeli leftist group that supports Palestinian aspirations against the Israeli government and in some cases even sedition by leftist Israeli groups.

A review of all of Ford’s current and past funding on its website shows a litany of Palestinian “human rights” groups being funded such as the following:

 - “The National Committee of the Heads of Arab Local Authority in Israel” ($150,000 to be at loggerheads with the Israeli government over every issue);

 - “The Arab Commission on Human Rights” ($100,000 to try and indict Israel in the International Criminal Court, but not Arafat the terrorist); 

 - “The Al-Mezan Center For Human Rights And Community Involvement” ($150,000 for an advocacy group in that human rights Mecca, Gaza, where Hamas rules the roost in cooperation with Arafat);

 - “The Al-Dameer Association For Human Rights” ($50,000 again for an advocacy group specializing in “human rights” in Gaza);

 - “The Women’s Center-Shu’fat Refugee Camp” ($80,000 in East Jerusalem to “strengthen community participation and study the peace agenda.” Of course, “peace” to the Palestinians now means dismantling all of Israel);

 - The Jerusalem Media and Communications Center ($140,000 for a media project which provides highly trained PLO propaganda spokespeople so that biased reporting against Israel can be encouraged among overseas correspondents);

 - “The Palestine Consultancy Group” in East Jerusalem, ($100,000 to set up a “legal task force” to support “Palestinian rights” in the city of Jerusalem by endlessly suing the democratic government of Israel which, unlike the Palestine Authority, still runs by the rule of law);

 - “The Palestine Center For Policy Survey Research” ($140,000 to inform internationals of the “peace process” and “disseminate data on refugees preferences” in a controlled military dictatorship under Arafat. Do you think those preferences will be for flooding Israel with “Palestinian refugees” like Arafat insists on?); 

 - Bir Zeit Univeristy in the West Bank (granted $50,000 for “Palestinian scholars” and NGO leaders to travel to South Africa on a “learning and speaking tour,” no doubt with the intention to compare Israel to South Africa as an “apartheid” state.);

 - The “International Peace and Cooperation Center” ($80,000 for “advocacy and public education for training and dialogue” on the community level in Jerusalem. Will such advocacy be for “peace” or is this program to train better speaking propagandists to call for Israel’s dismantlement yet again?)

This is but a sampling of the many groups the Ford Foundation has financed in the name of “peace.” The top agenda item for the Palestinian “peace” groups today is dismantling Israel by the Right of Return, flooding the country with Arab terrorists after running Israelis out of the West Bank and Gaza. And the Ford Foundation foots the bill to advance these groups' goals.

And what of Ford Foundation donations to Israeli groups? Yes, they have funded these groups, too. But not one has gone to an Israeli hospital to aid the victims of bus bombings caused by Arafat’s intifada. Israel is experiencing homelessness for the first time in its history due to the Oslo War and could use aid to solve the problem. Likewise, not one donation goes to a group that might help reach “internationals” with the truth of the dictatorship growing next door that wants Israeli Jews wiped from the map. In the rare occasions an Israeli program has been funded by Ford, it has consistently been one run by Israeli leftist groups that support Palestinian aspirations against the Israeli government and, in some cases, even sedition by Israeli citizens.

The Israeli groups that the Ford Foundation has funded are groups linked to Israel’s Communist Party, like B’tselem, or to America’s hardcore Left, like B’rit Tzedek V’Shalom. The New Israel Fund and Shefa Fund, both leftist-oriented and also linked with leftist causes in the U.S., have even provided funding to encourage desertion in the Israeli army. Another recipient, ICAHD, interferes with Israeli army anti-terrorism activities. All Israeli Ford Foundation grant recipients further the Arab portrayals of Israel as a violator of human rights. Even donations that are seemingly innocent, such as to Hebrew University for “legal aid," are really going to programs that help Palestinians sue the Israeli government and weaken the Israeli infrastructure.

Most of these groups are Marxist, as well. Just as with Marxists in the U.S. advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government, these Israeli groups push the dismantling of democratic Israel. Add to this Israel’s lunatic fringe of the “peace at any price” religious leaders from "Rabbis For Human Rights," some of whom are religious zealots who want Israel destroyed before the coming of a Jewish messiah.

Up until now, if the Palestinians and seditious Israeli groups wanted to get money to push for the destruction of Israel from the Ford Foundation it was a simple process: merely say you are a non-governmental organization (NGO) is for "peace and social justice"; the Ford Foundation's "Peace and Social Justice Program" made it easy for them. But instead of "peace and social justice," the program funds endless conflict and propaganda calling for Israel's destruction.

The Ford Foundation's main Middle East charities are based in Cairo. One of the members of its board of directors is Afsaneh Beschloss of the Carlyle Group, which does extensive business with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis fund world terrorism and have financed much of the terrorism in Israel. They also finance Israel’s destruction by laundering funds through the United States and Europe that go to leftist groups in Israel. Thus, the funding provided to the areas of the Holy Land by the Ford Foundation has usually been given with Arab interests in mind. Ford Foundation grants to Israeli NGOs have mostly been to those who want to undermine the Israeli government through political propaganda campaigns or interfere with anti-terrorist operations. [1]

News reports now breaking of potential congressional investigations of funding by the Ford Foundation of NGOs related to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute are an encouraging sign. [2] Ford Foundation's President, Susan Beresford, has promised the Foundation will clean up its act and stop funding worldwide anti-Semitism and programs calling for the dismantling of Israel. [3] Addressing specifically the Middle East, the Foundation's leadership under people like Beresford has been an abomination. [4] In this writer's opinion the Ford Foundation over the last several years has been responsible for the deaths of many Israelis and Palestinians as its funding only served to exacerbate the conflict. (And it has financed certain groups seeking to work against U.S. interests under the mantras of "anti-imperialism" and "anti-globalization.")

The war going on in the Holy Land has been as much a propaganda war as one of terrorist attacks. From the 19 propaganda ministries in the Palestine Authority (and to some extent from the Israeli Left, including the Israeli Communist Party) have emerged NGOs whose stated purpose was to preserve human rights, but whose actual purpose is to distort portray a vibrant democracy as a racist "apartheid state." Such groups, financed by the Ford Foundation, actually contributed to the ongoing violence in the region by using funds to call repeatedly in euphemistic terms for the dismantling of Israel instead of a peace settlement. Israel certainly will not capitulate and the Ford Foundation, by funding the continued media blitz from the opposing Arab and leftist side, only exacerbates and continues the war. What is more, despite Beresford's statements to the contrary, the Ford Foundation has contributed and continues to contribute funds to NGOs that without a doubt still have the potential of killing people, mainly Israelis.

Recently, all Palestinian NGOs refused to sign an agreement with the U.S. State Department agreeing not to use funding given to them by the US taxpayer for purposes of terrorism. [5] Even the Red Crescent Society, the Palestinian equivalent of the Red Cross, run by Yasser Arafat's brother, refused to sign. In the past, Red Crescent ambulances have been caught transporting suicide bombers, armed terrorists and explosives past checkpoints to kill Israelis. [6] A major program of the NGOs like Red Crescent has been to claim innumerable deaths of pregnant women and their newborn children due to Israeli "checkpoints" set up to guard against suicide bombers, another lie in the propaganda portrayal of Israel as a violator of human rights. While the Palestinians are naming streets and stadiums after the suicide bombers and paying out awards, their NGO's spread false information abroad to further their goal of having Israel dismantled rather than creating a lasting settlement and viable peace. [7] At least the US State Department tried to exert some control. But not the Ford Foundation. The Foundation provides up to 2.5 million dollars (U.S.) to Palestinian NGOs and universities in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon. Does the money go for social projects or for propaganda campaigns and terrorism? Nobody really knows, least of all the Ford Foundation. Now Ms. Beresford claims the Foundation will demand agreements that no funding be used for terrorism.[8] Very noble. But why has it taken so long? How many Israelis were murdered or maimed by terrorists using Red Crescent ambulances before Israel finally cracked down?

Another group the Ford Foundation funds is the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an organization "established to oppose and resist Israeli demolishing of Palestinian homes in the occupied territories" according to its mission statement.[9] The Israeli army has found an effective deterrent to terrorism by destroying the homes of terrorists. It also destroys any home where a bomb-making factory is discovered.  The ICAHD never does anything about suicide bombers or solicits the Palestine Authority to arrest or prosecute suicide bombers. But it does interfere with the Israeli army doing its job to protect people from terrorism. To fund an organization that interferes with anti-terrorism operations is ultimately to aid terrorism somewhere down the line. To fund organizations that aid those who seek to kill Jews is also anti-Semitism.

The Ford Foundation also funds B'tselem. [10] B'tselem's leader is Anat Biletzski, a key player in Israel's Communist Party, which goes under the name "The Democratic Front for Peace and Equailty" in Hebrew. B'tselem consistently attacks the Israeli government and army by claiming human rights abuses, imaginary or not. If the Palestine Authority's propaganda arm fabricates some, B' tselem will certainly be there to try and lend them credence. Israel's Communist Party can only wield some power in Israel's parliament by belonging to Hadash, a coalition of Arab PLO advocates in Israel's parliament who support PLO aims to dismantle Israel (something Israeli Arabs can do in Israel's democracy). B' tselem never addresses human rights abuses in the Palestine Authority where misogyny, religious intolerance and public murders of "collaborators" are rife. But they do manage to portray an image to the world of Israel as a human rights abuser when it is merely trying to protect itself. And all of this plays towards continuing the conflict rather than creating a reconciliation; it is another way to work toward dismantling the Jewish State by seeking to arouse world condemnation, and the Ford Foundation helps to fund it as well.

Recent revelations have emerged that the Shefa Fund, under the auspices of the New Israel Fund (NIF), a left-wing Israeli charity with roots in the United States that claims to support democracy but allies itself with the "dismantle Israel" crowd, has been offering to pay the expenses of Israeli army deserters.[11] The Ford Foundation certainly plays a part in this, too, since it provides much of the funding for the Shefa Fund.

Still another NGO sponsored by the Ford Foundation is B'rit Tzedek V'shalom (“peace and justice,” again in Hebrew) that advocates the deportation of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) as well as Gaza. B'rit Tzedek wants to pay Jewish settlers to move inside Israel's 1948 cease-fire line and give the Arabs their homes and property. Arafat and the Palestinian leadership have consistently said any territory ceded by Israel to them will only be a phase to taking all of Israel from the “river to the sea.” He openly voiced this at another Ford Foundation-sponsored event, the UN Worldwide Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa. Even Susan Beresford, in her letter to Congress, acknowledged the Durban event was an anti-Semitic obscenity put on by NGO's with the Ford Foundation's money. And this is the event that woke Congress up.

In fairness to the Ford Foundation, it should be noted it is finally acknowledging its fault in funding the Durban event. [12] The propaganda war of words funded by the Foundation reached its pinnacle there, as false accusations of Israeli "apartheid" and "racism" were once again hurled by totalitarian Arab regimes against democratic Israel. Arab groups in attendance at Durban cited mythical figures of 30,000 olive trees being uprooted by Israel. Adalah, an Arab civil rights group which operates in Jerusalem (permissible under Israel's democracy), also received money from Ford Foundation grants directly or through subsidiaries to present "legal" reasons why Israel should not exist. Another attending group, LAW, a Palestinian legal aid NGO, lost its support because it spent more time trying to try Ariel Sharon as a "war criminal" in Belgium than they did helping Palestinians with day to day legal issues in the Holy Land. [13]

All of these groups spend the majority of their time promoting boycotts and university divestments or disabling Israel's ability to protect itself from enemies bent on its destruction, all while conveniently ignoring or even excusing suicide bombers and terror attacks on Israeli civilians. "Peace," thanks to the Ford Foundation's largesse, has come to mean the end of Israel, and "social justice" has come to mean an Arab living in a Jew's home. That is the reality.

But the Ford Foundation really outdid itself by funding the Palestine National Constitution, all 43 pages of it.[15] The document, modeled after Iran's constitution, grants Islam supreme status over any other religions in “Palestine.” The various American, Arab or Israeli NGOs that claim to be seeking a "democratic secular state" in "Palestine" which the Foundation saw fit to fund in the past are curiously silent about the lack of democracy or freedom of religion there. Will it mean "peace and social justice" for Israel next to another Iran or more suicide bombers and terror attacks to ultimately dismantle it? Whatever the outcome, the Ford Foundation can take credit for funding it.

A trip to the Ford Foundation's website reveals the distortions between what the Ford Foundation claims its mission is and what it really finances. Under its "Peace and Social Justice" section on Governance and Civil Society, headed by Michael A. Edwards, it boasts a new charitable portfolio to “strengthen global civilian society and the ability of international citizens to continue to address social problems, as epitomized by the recently created World Social Forum with its motto ‘another world is possible.’”[15]

And what is the World Social Forum? For one thing, it is another hate-fest against the United States and Israel principally staged in the U.S. by the International Socialist Organization and International Answer, the ubiquitous Ramsey Clark's radical socialist/anarchist groups. Clark was Saddam Hussein's attorney prior to U.S. troops going into Iraq and he now strives to help keep the former rulers and Hussein allies in power by demanding U.S. troop withdrawals. The Forum has held events where "U.S. imperialism" was denounced, and even delegations from Communist Cuba were welcomed with open arms. [16] Since demonizing America always comes with demonizing Israel, the Palestinian contingent was also permitted to develop a policy paper which says, to wit: "The meeting must focus international attention on the justice of, and the Palestinian right to an independent and viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homelands. This is our vision of peace. It is a vision that if not met will continue to cause conflict and bloodshed for years to come."[17] So much for the Ford Foundation's claim they are promoting good governance and peace in the world. By the way, the International Socialist Organization advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government by violent means if necessary. [18]

And the Palestinian "right of return to their homelands" is really a catch phrase for taking back all of Israel and displacing its Jewish population with Arabs. No mention is ever made publicly as to where the Arabs deemed to have the right to flood Israel and who exceed Israel's Jewish population are supposed to live. This is because in Palestinian schools they are taught they will be living in some Jew's home. [19] And according to the Palestinian delegation at the World Social Forum that is the vision for peace. The ensuing threats of conflict and bloodshed (a.k.a. terrorist attacks on Israelis) certainly do not fit in with the Ford Foundation's claim it does not wish to promote incitement against Israelis or deny the right of Israel to exist; yet the World Social Forum is touted on the Foundation's website even today under "Peace and Social Justice Programs" as a part of their Civil Society Empowerment program. [20] Interestingly enough, Ford Foundation Director Afsaneh Beschloss used to work for the same World Bank that the World Social Forum condemns and wants undermined as part of its anti-globalization efforts.[21] Does the upper management at the Ford Foundation have any idea what is going on themselves?

Congress would do well to not just look into the Ford Foundation's funding of anti-Semitic NGOs who also seek the destruction of Israel. It also needs to look at what the Ford Foundation's programs are funding in the U.S. against our own country as well. Maybe then, the Ford Foundation will finally clean up its act.


[1] http://www.fordfound.org; This Ford website.

[2] http://njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/103003/edcracks.html

[3] http://www.fordfound.org/newsroom/docs/svb_letter.pdf

[4] http://ngo-monitor.org/editions/v1n10/v1n10-1.htm

[5] http://www.likud.nl/extr286.html

[6] http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0l690; http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0md20

[7]  http://world.std.com/~camera/docs/alert/abcbaby.html; This article;  and this one.

[8] http://www.fordfound.org/newsroom/docs/svb_letter.pdf

[9] http://www.icahd.org/eng/about.asp?menu=2&submenu=1

[10] http://www.ngo-monitor.org/editions/v2n02/v2n02-1.htm

[11] http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11379

[12] http://israelbehindthenews.com/Archives/Jan-29-02.htm; This Ford Foundation website.

[13] http://www.ariga.com/humanrights/law.shtml

[14] http://www.fordfound.org/newsroom/docs/svb_letter.pdf

[15] http://israelbehindthenews.com/Archives/Apr-18-03.htm

[16] http://www.iacenter.org/wsf_03.htm; this FrontPage article.

[17] This website.

[18] http://www.internationalsocialist.org/wherewestand.shtml

[19] http://israelbehindthenews.com/Archives/Oct-03-03.htm

[20] http://www.fordfound.org/program/peace_units.cfm?unit_name=civil_society

[21] http://www.apalacheetortoise.org/back_issues/2003_october/page14.html

Lee Kaplan is an undercover investigative journalist and a contributor to Front Page Magazine. He is also a regular columnist for the Israel National News and Canada Free Press and a senior intelligence analyst and communications director for the Northeast Intelligence Network. He heads the organizations Defending America for Knowledge and Action (DAFKA) and Stop the ISM. He has been interviewed on over one hundred nationally and internationally syndicated radio shows and been a guest on Fox Cable TV’s Dayside with Linda Vester and Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor. He is a guest every Tuesday on the Jim Kirkwood Show on Utah's K-Talk Radio am630. He is currently working on a book about America's colleges in the War on Terror and the International Solidarity Movement.

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