Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back Rooms and Back Doors

What can you do? Anytime you see incitement against Israel, organized attacks against Israel, orchestrated lies against Israel, or even just a position that looks to not be in Israel’s best interest, these days, the first question you ask is, did the NIF give money to the organization at the forefront of the attack.

This weekend's Makor Rishon had an interesting report.

On the eve of Tisha b’Av there was an important case regarding the security fence near Jerusalem (specifically Har Gilo) that was directed to the Tel Aviv District court to deal with.

Appearing before the court as a “Friend of the Court” for the purpose of helping clarify technical matters, were representatives of the Council for Peace and Security. This organization was declared to be a “Friend of the Court” in 2006, and helped the Supreme Court decide in moving the fence on numerous occasions.

Around a month ago the case first came before Tel Aviv District Judge Sara Gadot.

Based on answer and statements from representatives from the Council for Peace and Security, the judge began to openly wonder about their neutrality on the fence as well as their actual professionalism on the matter (after it appeared that not everyone who even claimed to have participated in the fence survey actually participated).

So the judge started to ask questions of the members of the Council for Peace and Security.

On the eve of Tisha b’Av the judge asked, “Who is funding the Council for Peace and Security?”

This caused an uproar.

Members of the Council for Peace and Security said the judge acted improperly. The Council’s lawyer Talia Sasson (yes, that Talia Sasson) said that the judge had no right to ask that question as the Court system already recognized them as a “Friend of the Court”.

But the judge didn’t accept that and said that question is relevant if there appears to be bias and an agenda.

Anyway, you guessed it. The Council for Peace and Security, as well as individual members of the Council for Peace and Security, received a lot of money from the… New Israel Fund (NIF). In fact, while the NIF website, back in 2007, was calling the council a former grantee, NGO-Monitor exposed that the NIF was still giving them money even in 2008.

Why do I write this? Is this just another justified Muqata expose on the New Israel Fund?

Last week we saw the culmination of an incredibly organized and orchestrated attack against Israel.

There was an incredible amount of disinformation and outright lies being told to the Reform community about this Rotem Conversion bill. Members of the Reform community were so incited and riled up that they became incapable of logical thought, much less basic reading comprehension.

Even with the exact text of the bill placed in front of them, they brushed away the facts in front of their face and resorted to emotionally based, unrelated arguments (and will probably do so again in this post’s comments section).

A bill that would have resolved most of the conversion problems in Israel.

The author of the our post on the Rotem Conversion Bill made a comment that everyone seems to have missed. The author wrote: On the religious side, IRAC (an organization which receives funding from the NIF), the activist arm of the Reform Movement in Israel, is leading the fight. The Reform movement does not have much in the way of a significant number of constituents or followers in Israel, just a lot of money from various funds.

Just like the bill will prevent the Religious High Court from interfering with conversions, it will also make it harder for Israel's judicially activist secular Supreme Court to bypass the government, and overturn long-existing laws regarding conversion in Israel. A key project IRAC has been working on for years.

IRAC was leading the fight against the conversion bill. And it is certainly reasonable to assume that IRAC was apparently also responsible for the dissemination of information about the bill to the Reform community in the Diaspora.

One good thing that came out of this is that the country suddenly became aware that IRAC was trying to bypass the legislative process in Israel, as it was certainly failing in trying to convince the citizens of Israel of their case.

Instead IRAC was trying to change Israeli conversion law through a sympathetic Supreme Court, while simultaneously applying massive international pressure on Israel.

We’ve seen the tactics before. These are the same tactics used by Peace Now, Gush Shalom, and many other radical Left organizations. Many of whom have one thing in common. Funding by the NIF.

And IRAC is no exception.

But it gets worse.

Last week the Jerusalem Post reported, “The Israeli Religious Action Center (IRAC) and Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel agreed to a nearly six-month freeze on their High Court petition demanding state recognition of non-Orthodox conversions in Israel,”.

What this means is that over the next 6 months, IRAC will probably work hard to kill any chance the bill has of passing, or work to have it severely revised with some very specific changes in mind, via various pressure methods, and then in 6 months time will merrily skip back to the Supreme Court to continue were it left off in their attempts to circumvent the democratic process via the courts.

But I believe they will try something even more insidious, something our author didn't consider.

IRAC will try to have a water-downed version of the law passed, while spending the next 6 months simultaneously continuing to work through the Supreme Court to get a Reform rabbi officially recognized as a community Rabbi (specifically Miri Gold - they are currently petitioning her case in the Supreme Court) thus creating a back door to force the State to recognize Reform Conversions in Israel – and as a direct result, creating a schism in the Jewish nation in Israel, such that every family will now have to start keeping and checking family records to prevent intermarriage.

Once again, yet another organization funded by the NIF.

In Israel this summer?
Call the US for the price of a Local call!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Yonatan said...


There seems to be no level to which these group are unwilling to sink to in order to accomplish their their goals.

Is the complete list of funding available as public record? It is time to let everyone know ANYTIME they are involved (or another group that will spring up in their place once the light shines too brightly on them).

Thank you for continuing to bring the truth out on these matters.

YMedad said...

It's midnight now and the top story, the top!!!, over at the NYTimes is the report that PM Bibi killed the Reform Bill.

Nosson Gestetner said...

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

That's one judge who will never be allowed to sit on the Supreme Court.

Sammy Shomron said...

You forgot to mention that they all stood up and walked out of her courtroom in the middle of the session in protest.

Jenny said...

Can you explain - wouldn't the way top get Reform conversions recognized through this "Back Door" be to PASS the bill, so that community rabbis' conversions are recognized, and at the same time work to get a Reform Rabbi recognized as a community rabbi?

Why would those who want to eventually allow Reform conversions be looking to keep the power in the hands of the (pseudo-Haredi) Chief Rabbinate?

JoeSettler said...

Because the bill, as it is, maintains the existing status quo in Israel, and wouldn't recognize the Reform conversions done in Israel.

Most likely, they will try to have the bill changed so that there is no oversight over the community rabbis, and then they could get away with shenanigans like that.

Nachum said...

Are there any links between the NIF and J Street? They sound like perfect bedfellows.

Jenny said...

Joe - can you post a link to the text of the proposed bill?

JoeSettler said...

The Hebrew version is here:

There is an English version in the comments section of this post someone found for me (not a perfect translation, but good enough to see, for instance, that the Rabbis can't pluck someone off a Diaspora street and cancel his or her conversion as was claimed):

(This is not the post to discuss the content of the bill.)

Lurker said...

Anonymous @ 2:37 AM: That's one judge who will never be allowed to sit on the Supreme Court.

That's the exact same thought that I had.

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