I appreciate Steve Lipman’s comprehensive article on the controversy surrounding this year’s Israel Unity Parade and quoting my support for the parade (“Israel ‘Unity’ Parade Set For June 1 But Some Groups Seek To Ban Others,” April 11). That support is unqualified. But he falls short in expressing my concurrent views about the New Israel Fund (NIF) and the pro-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) non-governmental organizations it funds. What follows is the full text of my statement to Steve Lipman:
“The NIF, despite what they say on their website, funds organizations that support BDS. They also fund NGOs who support the prosecution of IDF officers as war criminals, NGOs who aided Judge Goldstone’s libelous report against Israel, and many more anti-Israel causes. All of the above is ideological and political activity whose goal is to undermine the Jewish state.”
The Celebrate Israel parade is a feel-good, pro-Israel event that is neither ideological nor political. It is a great event with good spirit in which diverse people of differing persuasions come together to support Israel. It should be joined and endorsed by the Jewish community without controversy even if an NIF pro-BDS backed organization is marching.
Personally, I think that NIF and pro-BDS organizations belong with the Neturei Karta and other anti-Israel groups on the sidelines. However, I take exception to the call for a boycott of the parade by some individuals and groups. The venue to fight NIF and BDS is in the political arena and in their pocketbooks. But the parade is not the place. It is just a parade and its organizers (loyal servants of the Jewish people) have no political agenda except to support the Jewish State of Israel.