[News] Are climate change deniers funding attack on Palestine activism?
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 26 17:15:16 EDT 2015
Are climate change deniers funding attack on Palestine activism?
Charlotte Silver <http://electronicintifada.net/people/charlotte-silver>
26 March 2015
Last weekend, Zionist activists paid up to $1,000 each to attend a
conference <https://www.standwithus.com/ppsc/bdsconf2015.asp> in Los
Angeles <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/los-angeles> on the
Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/bds> (BDS) against Israel.
StandWithUs <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/standwithus>, the
conference’s organizer, is one of the most powerful outfits in the US
leading the current backlash against activism in support of Palestinian
rights. Though it tries to present itself as grassroots-led, it is
by the Israeli government, as well as richly endowed foundations.
A new report
by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
identifies eleven of the most significant of the foundations that
provide financial backing to what IJAN calls the “Zionist backlash.”
Zionist organizations have received nearly a billion dollars from these
sources over the last seven years, according to the report.
Hubs and catalysts
“It is almost unknown that eleven major donors, routing their capital
through an array of foundations, fund nearly the entire network of ‘hubs
and catalysts’ of anti-Palestinian backlash in the United States,”
according to the report.
IJAN analyzed thousands of pages of tax returns of some of the most
prominent “backlash” organizations, including the Amcha Initiative
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/amcha-initiative>, StandWithUS and
Hillel International <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/hillel>.
It traced their funding to the Newton D. and Rochelle F. Becker
Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Klarman Family
Foundation, the Russell Berrie Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley
Foundation, the Adelson Family Foundation, the Koch Family Foundations,
the Moskowitz Foundation and the Fairbrook Foundation.
Some of these names will be familiar to readers acquainted with the
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/islamophobia> industry” in the
United States. Previous investigative reporting and research have shown
that overlapping interests provoke anti-Muslim sentiment as well as
strengthen the US-Israel relationship.
However, lesser-known players with similar objectives have undergone
For example, the Koch Family Foundations, operated by Charles and David
Koch — notorious for their zealous devotion to the free market as well
as their significant sway over electoral outcomes — poured $56 million
in 2012 alone to Donors Capital Fund
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/donors-capital-fund> and Donors
Trust, intermediary groups that are used to obscure funding for
sensitive or controversial causes. The Koch brothers’ firm, Koch
Industries, is heavily involved
<http://www.kochindustriesinc.com/files/kochfacts.pdf> in energy projects.
Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust gained notoriety for their heavy
in institutions that produced dubious reports challenging the veracity
of climate change <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/climate-change>.
But it has also contributed significantly to Zionist backlash
organizations — including StandWithUs, the Friends of the Israel Center
for Social and Economic Progress and the Committee for Accuracy in
Middle East Reporting in America
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/camera> (CAMERA). Of note, in 2011
the Center for American Progress
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/center-american-progress> found that
Donors Capital Fund was the largest contributor
to the “Islamophobia network.”
Sustaining power and profit
Donors Capital Fund has also donated to Shurat HaDin
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/shurat-hadin> — or Israel’s Law
Center. Focused on taking lawsuits against Palestinians and Palestine
solidarity activists, that group has ties
to the Mossad <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/mossad>, Israel’s
foreign inteligence outfit. Shurat HaDin assisted
the US government’s recent case against Palestinian American community
leader Rasmea Odeh <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/rasmea-odeh>.
Many of the donors use intermediary “donor advised funds” — also called
“anonymizers” — to obscure their support for more controversial groups.
Anonymizers receive and disseminate direct donations and play a large
role in distributing funds to Zionist backlash organizations, as the
IJAN report details.
Only by reviewing a specific foundation’s public tax returns can one
gain any insight into who is funding these intermediaries.
Like Donors Capital Fund, these intermediary groups have innocuous names
including Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston and Jewish Communal
Fund. Yet they bankroll some of the most aggressively anti-Palestinian
groups all over the United States.
IJAN’s report emphasizes the crucial alignment of interests that fuels
such bounteous investment in fighting and undermining Palestinian
activism in the United States. Profit competes with political ideology
as a motivating force, the report suggests. Many of the biggest funders
of the backlash also maintain substantial investments in oil, gas and
weapon industries that have interests in Israel’s geopolitical position.
“While there are donors whose investments in the backlash are clearly
ideological, we want to make the case that these are rational
investments, that are, in part, about sustaining their power and
profit,” David Langstaff, a researcher with IJAN, told The Electronic
Langstaff also stated that while many of his colleagues were shocked by
the sheer amount of money flowing to the Zionist backlash, he was more
struck that these funders were simultaneously funding attacks on other
movements for social justice, including environmental, anti-racist and
Langstaff was involved in the drawn-out legal battle by Olympia Food
Co-op <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/olympia-food-co-op> in
Washington state after it decided to boycott Israeli merchandise.
StandWithUs, along with the Zionist Organization of America
the Lawfare Project
against the co-op’s right to boycott Israeli goods on such dubious legal
grounds that two courts ultimately ruled that the case had “no merit”
and qualified as an attack on public expression.
While the litigative effort has thus far failed, Langstaff points out,
“There were years’ worth of energy going into that single victory.”
But in spite of the big money that fuels their opposition, the IJAN
report stresses that Palestine solidarity activism in the United States
continues to have successes.
“It is our hopeful conclusion that our movement has made gains in spite
of such enormous quantities of money,” Langstaff said.
/Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in San Francisco. Twitter:
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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