Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How the New Israel Fund deals with Criticism.

So this religious, leftwing, socially-conscious woman living in Israel was disturbed by vicious anti-Israel comments at a NIF-funded "retreat", and she wrote to NIF about it.

NIF ignored her letter week after week till the woman finally brought this to the attention of the press. NIF initially replied with a laconic, "We regret that Shlomit left with a negative impression after the program, since all the other participants that were there returned from the program with a positive and empowering impression."

Obviously everyone had a wonderful time, and only this one misguided woman took everything out of perspective and context.

Yet the NIF decided that those who criticize them deserve a much worse punishment. The NIF website now has 2 articles blaming the woman for her complaint, under the polite headline, "The Response to a Savage Attack", including a full page ad in the Maariv newspaper, denouncing the woman.

They blame her for remaining anonymous.

The way NIF treated her, I'm not surprised she wanted to remain anonymous -- to prevent radical anarchists and NIF goons from going after her and her family.

I wonder if Shlomit will wake and smell the coffee, that criticism of the anti-Israel NIF, even if it's well-intentioned and coming from a leftwing "friend" of NIF, is still heresy.

Lurker adds:

At the end of Yemini's initial post on the subject, he warns Shlomit about what is going to happen next:
"To Shlomit:
You have tough times ahead of you. They will mark you as a right-wing clueless fascist, as a traitor to their camp. I’ve experienced this. This is their strategy."
And this is exactly what is now happening:

In their response, the NIF goes out of their way to cast Shlomit as being on the right: "...she made clear what she termed her 'center-right' political views to the trainers". This is in spite of the fact that Shlomit herself clearly stated that "I would define myself as religious left-wing and in the previous elections I voted for Meimad under the leadership of Rabbi Melchior".

The NIF also viciously attacks Shomit's heartfelt letter as "savage" and "antipathetic", and labels her cry of distress over the shock and trauma that she experienced at the seminar as "demonization and false accusations".

Looks like Yemini was right on the mark.

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The back of the hill said...

I'm a life-long lefty. And I consider the NIF reprehensible.

They'd be scum even if Sokatch wasn't involved. I'm not surprised that the NIF and that man found each other.

jonathan becker said...

radical anarchists? nif goons? "trainers"? ok, i'm convinced. no j-street "seminars" for me.

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