Why Is The Jewish Communal Fund Supporting BDS?


Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that promotes the boycott of Israel, has always proudly proclaimed that one need not be Jewish to be a member. The group, however, has never been transparent about its funding. Now, thanks to the work of NGO Monitor, we know that many of its funders are non-Jewish, left-wing donors.

Jewish Voice for PeaceAt Legal Insurrection, Miriam Elman’s given a great summary of the NGO Monitor report and discussed the other anti-Israel groups that have common funders with JVP, such as American Friends Service Committee.

There is, however, one notable stand-out on the list of JVP funders: the Jewish Communal Fund.

The JCF describes its mission as follows:

Jewish Communal Fund (JCF) facilitates and promotes charitable giving to sectarian and nonsectarian organizations through donor-advised funds and provides support to Jewish organizations in New York. We enable individuals and families to achieve their philanthropic goals simply and effectively, with full confidentiality.

Jewish Voice for Peace spreads lies about Israel. In June of 2014, for example, members of JVP and its Rabbinical Council told the members of the PC(USA) General Assembly that

Israel subjects Palestinians to ‘biblical scale enslavement.’

Israel is an apartheid state. . . .

Israel controls all of Gaza’s borders.

Israel forces Palestinians into cattle cages. . . .

Israel tortures children as a matter of policy.

Israel denies drinking water to Palestinians.

Israel destroys the homes of Palestinians simply because they are Palestinian. . . .

Israel holds Palestinians in ‘giant outdoor prisons’ in the West Bank and Gaza.

The PC(USA) subsequently voted to divest from Israel, in part based on these slanders. This is what the Jewish Communal Fund is supporting, with a grant of over $25,000 in 2015.

The NGO Monitor report explains how public foundations such as the JCF work: they “act as conduits, distributing the funds provided by and under the advisement of the foundations’ donors.” The grant, it seems, was likely directed by individual donors under a promise of confidentiality.

Yet, the JCF seems to have no standards as to what is permissible to do in its name. It is allowing its name to be used for the purpose of legitimizing lies about Israel. Those lies, in turn, legitimize economic warfare against Israel.

Internalized anti-Semitism is a growing problem in the American Jewish community. As I’ve argued before, it is way past time for community leaders to call out the Jewish antisemites.

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