Follow the Money: From Islamophobia to Israel Right or Wrong

Follow the Money: From Islamophobia to Israel Right or Wrong

by Elly Bulkin & Donna Nevel

You don’t have to get more than a minute into Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West (2007) to begin to see how inextricably it ties Islamophobia to hardline Israeli policies [1]. Despite its initial disclaimer, the film demonizes all Muslims, and through explicit statements and rapid-fire images, makes clear the filmmaker’s view that there is a direct connection between Nazis and both Palestinians and Muslims. 

Obsession played a brief but high-profile role during the 2008 presidential election campaign when the Clarion Fund distributed 28 million DVDs as a newspaper insert in swing states [2]. A few years later, Clarion’s The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America (2008)—about an Islamic enemy that, purportedly, “the government is too afraid to name”—made its own headlines with reports that the New York City Police Department had showed the film to nearly 1,500 police officers [3]. And in 2011, Clarion got still more attention when it issued its third big film, Iranium [4]. The film pushes the Israeli and neoconservative narrative about Iran’s nuclear program and the need for military action against Iran, using a “clash of civilizations” framework that attributes “unavoidable” conflict to fundamental cultural differences between Islamic and Western civilizations [5].

Obsession and The Third Jihad ignited a firestorm of criticism from Muslim, civil rights and other groups. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) condemned Obsession for spreading “scurrilous accusations against Islam and Muslims,” while the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) denounced The Third Jihad as “blatantly anti-Muslim” [6]. Activists, researchers, and journalists have commented on Obsession’s mistranslations and The Third Jihad’s use of a “discredited conspiracy theory” [7]. They have also noted the films’ countless distortions and manipulations: benign images of Muslims at prayer made sinister by “scary music” and “repeated images of an Islamic flag flying over the White House”—“cherry picking . . . inflammatory images and splicing them together to create fear” [8].

But others, particularly supporters of Israel’s right-wing policies, found these films’ virulently anti-Muslim message to their liking. All three films have been effectively mainstreamed in the Jewish community, with local showings sponsored by such groups as Hillel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and the Dallas Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and B’nai B’rith chapters [9]. Obsession has become a staple of David Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness” weeks on college campuses. Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire supporter of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney—and a critic of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) from the right—has distributed copies of Obsession to young people on Birthright-sponsored tours to Israel, a project he funds [10].

The Clarion filmmakers and their funders were using Islamophobia in the service of their vision of Israeli expansionism. Commenting on Iranium, journalists Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib analyze it within the context of The Third Jihad, Clarion’s previous movie. Each, they write, “portrays a clash of civilizations, suggests that Muslims value death over life, and portrays irrational hatred toward Israel and anti-Semitism as key to comprehending the anger and frustration voiced by Muslim countries against the United States. . . . [T]he formula for the Clarion Fund’s anti-Muslim propaganda is becoming more apparent with each new iteration” [11]. And particularly relevant to this article, the films reflect the worldview of almost all of the anti-Muslim ideologues, the funders of a nationwide Islamophobia network, and the right-wing pro-Israel groups that we discuss below.

Some of the activists and journalists critiquing the content of these films also followed the money to the Clarion Fund, especially for Obsession. Ferreting out its funders proved no easy task. While journalists were able to explain fairly easily that Clarion was behind the film and that an $18 million grant from Donors Capital made possible the election-year distribution of the Obsession DVDs, things got messy beyond that. The journalists’ difficulties arose primarily because Clarion has resisted even the most basic level of transparency. An offshoot of the Israel and U.S.-based Aish HaTorah, which supports militant Israeli settlers, Clarion has a “virtual,” rather than a physical, office in the United States and is not forthcoming about its connection with Aish, including having directors with ties to both groups [12]. Sometimes even the most diligent journalist had to just be lucky. An accountant’s error, for example, led Justin Elliott of Salon to learn the identity of the individual source of the huge Donors Capital grant for Obsession—a discovery that, despite IRS forms to the contrary, spokespeople for both the possible donor, Barre Seid, and for Donors Capital claimed to be untrue [13].

While some individuals who have followed the money behind Obsession and The Third Jihad made the obvious connections between the country’s leading Islamophobes (and their funders) and support for Israel’s occupation and right-wing policies, analyses and resources in liberal and mainstream publications only rarely mention these links [14]. This was the case, for instance, with the Center for American Progress’ Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, which has gotten considerable attention from the mainstream media and is a valuable work of investigative journalism on Islamophobia. CAP has hardly been alone in failing to make a connection between Islamophobia and Israel.

Our approach draws on the work of CAP in identifying the Islamophobes and their largest funders, as well as the work of those journalists who, on the trail of anti-Islam money, did not stop short when Israel was the logical next step. First, we look briefly at the connection between some of the leading anti-Muslim ideologues and right-wing pro-Israel politics. Then we provide an overview of the seven biggest funders of the “Islamophobia network,” as identified in Fear, Inc., and explore the links between these funders and groups in Israel and the United States with hardline Israel politics.

The Anti-Muslim Ideologues

As Fear, Inc. reports, one stream of funding, totaling more than $42.5 million, flows from several funders to a very influential circle of Islamophobia misinformation “experts” and their organizations [15]. What it doesn’t report, however, are the ways in which these individuals, funders, and organizations support hawkish groups and politics around Israel, often including the settler movement:

  • Frank Gaffney, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense who sees mosques as part of attempts to impose “Sharia law” in the United States, is a “contributing expert” to the Ariel Center for Applied Research, an Israeli research institute that reflects the hardline Likud position on Israeli security [16].

  • Daniel Pipes, who focuses on the “threat” of “lawful Islam” in the West, promotes student monitoring of professors on their campus for their views on “the Arab-Israeli conflict” and other topics [17] to ensure that they are not critical of Israel.

  • Robert Spencer, who co-founded Stop the Islamization of America, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group,and whose writing has been recommended by the FBI for training recruits, helped organize a 2010 “pro-Israel” rally that defined Israel as including all of “Judea and Samaria” [18].

  • Steven Emerson, who has opposed efforts to build mosques in Murfreesboro (Tennessee), Boston, and lower Manhattan and provides terrorism-related training to both private security professionals and military/government personnel, gave Israeli officials a “sneak preview” of his 1994 PBS film, Jihad in America, helping them “press their case with the [Clinton] administration—that Islam is our common enemy” [19].

  • The Clarion Fund, which we discuss above, has Gaffney and Pipes on its advisory board, while Emerson, Brigitte Gabriel, and Pipes were among the talking heads in Obsession. Gaffney appeared in Iranium [20].

  • David Horowitz, who publishes anti-Muslim, anti-Arab pieces on his FrontPage magazine Web site, has maintained that “middle eastern Muslims are ‘Islamic Nazis’ who ‘want to kill Jews, that’s their agenda’” [21].

  • Brigitte Gabriel, whose Act! for America lobbies for state laws against the alleged threat of “Sharia law,” has defined “the difference . . . between Israel and the Arab world . . . [as] the difference between civilization and barbarism” [22].

These groups and individuals are important not just because they provide misinformation to Fox News and other media outlets, but because of the relationship many have with the U.S. government and the potential impact they have on U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This relationship is mutually beneficial. The ideologues provide government officials with “facts” that support domestic spying, profiling of Muslims, and foreign sanctions and interventions [23]. And the anti-Muslim ideologues increase their influence, credibility, and ability to rake in funding from the government and private funders by being able to publicize the “invaluable” service they provide to congressional committees and homeland security personnel. They also help provide a conceptual framework—Islamophobic and Israel-right-or-wrong—for neoconservatives and others within and outside government who are unequivocal supporters of U.S. intervention in majority-Muslim countries and of hardline Israeli policies. As Deepa Kumar has argued in Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, “the right-wing Islamophobes are not a fringe minority but rather part and parcel of the structures of mainstream American society” [24].

The Funders

Likewise, the primary funders of these anti-Muslim ideologues almost all sustain right-wing or militant groups in Israel (through U.S.-based conduits) or groups in the United States that promote ultra-Zionist policies and actively target those who critique, protest or even just dialogue or teach about those policies. Recent reviews of public documents have begun to reveal a great deal about the financial lifeblood of anti-Muslim organizations. Journalists have followed the money trail from Aubrey Chernick’s Fairbrook Foundation to a West Bank settlement and to U.S. groups bent on fomenting Islamophobia [25]. Writing about the Fairbrook Foundation in 2010, Max Blumenthal describes the financial connection between an Islamophobic crusade in the United States and “conservative elements from within the pro-Israel lobby” and “an aggressively pro-Israel sensibility. Central figures within this lobby “venerat[e] “the Jewish state as a Middle Eastern Fort Apache on the front lines of the Global War on Terror and urg[e] the U.S. and various European powers to emulate its heavy-handed methods” [26].

Fear, Inc. has identified the seven largest funders of eight of the most prominent groups in this country’s Islamophobia network between 2001 and 2009. Focusing on these seven funders, we reviewed their annual Internal Revenue Service 990 Forms from 2001 to 2010 and other summaries of data from those federal forms, which list grant recipients and amounts [27]. And we found substantial data indicating the financial links between these funders and U.S. (and, in some cases, Israeli) groups that have both an Islamophobic worldview and take an “Israel right or wrong position,” including support for the Israeli government’s expansionist settlement policy.

FUNDING TO EIGHT ORGANIZATIONS IN “THE ISLAMOPHOBIA NETWORK”* FROM:

 

Bradley—$5,370,000

Scaife—$7,875,000

Donors Capital—$20,768,600

 

*Data from Fear, Inc., Center for American Progress

Of the seven biggest funders of the Islamophobic groups identified by Fear, Inc., the three largest—the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Richard Mellon Scaife foundations, and Donors Capital Fund—provided the overwhelming majority (82%) of this support, a total of more than $42.5 million.

  • Started by a cofounder of the far-right John Birch Society, the Bradley Foundation has been described as “a $460 million conservative honey pot dedicated to crushing the labor movement” in Wisconsin. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, between 2001 and 2009, it doled out “nearly as much money as all seven” foundations run by the Scaife family and the billionaire Koch brothers [28].

  • Another supporter of what political historian Alan J. Lichtman has called a “white Protestant nation” [29]. Scaife money comes primarily from the Mellon family’s oil and bank holdings. Like Bradley and Donors Capital, it funds groups that have long been the engine of the neo-conservative movement in the United States, such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Federalist Society, and the Heritage Foundation. Among the multiple think tanks that Scaife helps fund is the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, whose right-wing pro-Likud and anti-Iran advocacy attracts support from funders who are less neo-conservative and more Israel-focused than Scaife [30]. The Scaife Foundations’ only foray into funding Jewish political groups involved grants ($300,000) to the American Jewish Committee for “publication support” of Commentary, the Jewish neoconservative magazine.

  • While Donors Capital, the mega-funder of the Obsession DVD, makes grants that reflect a commitment to “limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise,” its role as a donor-advised fund, under no legal obligation to reveal to the public the names of individual or corporate donors, contributes to its reputation as “secretive” [31].

FUNDING TO EIGHT ORGANIZATIONS IN “THE ISLAMOPHOBIA NETWORK”* FROM:

 

Becker—$1,136,000

Anchorage/Rosenwald— $2,818,229

Fairbrook—$1,498,450

Berrie—$3,109,016

 

*Data from Fear, Inc., Center for American Progress

All four of the other funders of Islamophobia identified by Fear, Inc. have ties with the organized Jewish community. Different from the trio of Bradley, Donors Capital, and Scaife, these four funders mention Jewish life or Israel in their mission statements, have principals affiliated with Jewish organizations, and/or fund Jewish religious, educational, political, and communal groups. The principals of three of these foundations are or have been affiliated with groups with militant Israeli politics [32].

  • When CPA-test prep and alternative energy maven Newton Becker of the Newton D. and Rochelle F. Becker Foundation/Becker Family Foundation/Becker Charitable Trust, died early in 2012, the Israeli settlers’ publication Arutz Sheva published a glowing obituary. The news outlet quoted two of the right-wing pro-Israel groups that we discuss below, lauding Becker as “a mensch” and “a giant in pro-Israel philanthropy” [33]. He has, we found, given more than $650,000 between 2006 and 2010 to the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, a pillar of the Jewish establishment; according to the Center for American Progress, the federation gave the Clarion Fund, purveyor of vehemently anti-Muslim, pro-Israel propaganda, $75,000 between 2008 and 2009 [34].

  • The Anchorage Charitable Fund/William Rosenwald Family Fund was started by liberal philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, the founder of Sears. Carried on by a son who helped found the United Jewish Appeal in 1939, it has since passed into the hands of a third generation. This includes Elizabeth Varet and her sister Nina Rosenwald—a former member of the AIPAC board, whom Max Blumenthal describes as “the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate” [35]. (Fear, Inc. reports that Anchorage/Rosenfeld took a hit from the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scandal, resulting in a significant drop in charitable contributions [36].)

  • The Fairbrook Foundation is run by Aubrey and Joyce Chernick. Aubrey, a former trustee of the hawkish, neoconservative Washington Institute for Near East Policy (an AIPAC-affiliated think tank where the Islamophobia network’s Daniel Pipes is an adjunct scholar) who helped start the staunchly pro-Israel Pajamas Media blog, which was part of the vocal anti-Muslim opposition to Park51 (the lower Manhattan cultural center and mosque) [37]. Our review of Fairbrook’s 990 forms indicated that it gave more than $5.5 million to the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles between 2005 and 2010.

  • The Russell Berrie Foundation is different from the other three Jewish funders: Angelica Berrie, widow of its founder, is board chair not of AIPAC or another hawkish pro-Israel group, but of the Shalom Hartman Institute-North America, which supports religious pluralism in Israel [38]. However, according to its 990 Forms from 2010 (a year not covered by Fear, Inc.), Berrie gave more than $820,000 to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the project of the Islamophobia network’s Steven Emerson.

Any discussion of funding from Becker and Fairbrook is limited by their failure to always include basic information about their grantees—like their names—on their federal forms. Becker sometimes lists non-U.S. grantees only as being in the “Middle East/North Africa,” and the far-right Fairbrook Foundation reports some grants to U.S.-based recipients by state and amount, but not by name or other identifier. Their apparently intentional lack of transparency makes it impossible to know the extent of their backing for Israeli settlements and for groups in the United States that support the Israeli government’s hardline positions. (Because the Berrie Foundation’s 2008 federal 990 Form did not include a list of grantees, we can provide only incomplete information about its funding.)

Funding Israeli Settlements

Of the seven funders of the Islamophobia network, three of the four Jewish funders also provided financial support for Israeli settlements in the West Bank through grants to U.S.-based organizations, while one of these three backed former settlers in Gaza. These three—Becker, Anchorage/Rosenwald, and Fairbrook—clearly view supporting the Israeli settler movement as compatible with their organizational missions. Settlements are in violation of international law, specifically of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying country from moving its citizens into the occupied area as residents. Support for the settlements by U.S.-based funders, even when relatively modest, supplements the very substantial financial support, direct or indirect, of the Israeli government [39].

FUNDING TO THE CENTRAL FUND OF ISRAEL FROM:

 

Anchorage/Rosenwald— $36,000

Becker—$201,000

Fairbrook—$180,000

The settlement movement—and apparently the three Jewish funders who back them—consider Palestinians merely as an obstacle to achieving Jewish sovereignty over all of what they call “Judea and Samaria.” These funders have funneled large amounts of money through the New York-based Central Fund of Israel, which funds, among others, the West Bank Yitzhar settlement, whose rabbi has “said it is permissible to kill gentile babies because of ‘the future danger that will arise if they are allowed to grow into evil people like their parents’” [40]. Its senior rabbis have encouraged students to “engage in illegal, subversive, and violent activities against Arabs and the Israeli security force” [41].

 

 

GRANTS TO ISRAELI

SETTLERS FROM

FAIRBROOK:

 

Aish Hatorah—$49,000

American Friends of Kedumim—$30,000

American Friends of Ateret

Cohanim—$30,000

Friends of Gush Katif—$50,000

In addition, the Fairbrook Foundation has funded—through Aish Hatorah and American Friends of Kedumim—armed northern West Bank settlements near Yitzhar with members of the ultra-right Gush Emunim settlement movement [42]. Fairbrook also supports, among others, Ateret Cohanim, whose “Jerusalem Reclamation project” involves purchasing property in the Palestinian part of East Jerusalem, renovating buildings, and moving in yeshiva families; and the residents of the former Gaza settlement of Gush Katif, now living in Israel, whose homes the Israeli army emptied and demolished in 2005 [43].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRANTS TO THE ARIEL SETTLEMENT FROM:

 

Becker—$10,000

Fairbrook—$15,00

Perhaps no West Bank settlement is as clearly a “fact on the ground” as Ariel. Routinely described by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others as the “‘capital of Samaria’ and an ‘indisputable’ part of Israel” [44]. Ariel is deep in the West Bank. Its 19,000 residents have access to a performing arts center, the Ariel University Center, and plenty of clean water, while Ariel wastewater, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, periodically pollutes the water supply and land of local Palestinians [45]. The American Friends of Ariel has received grants from the Becker family and the Fairbrook Foundation, which, though nominal for such foundations, demonstrates support for this mega-settlement.

While Fairbrook is clearly the most hardline of the four Jewish funders, three of them also back the Central Fund of Israel, and Becker, not just Fairbrook, supports the Ariel settlement. This illustrates, as Philip Weiss has written about Becker and other donors to the Central Fund, “how deeply enmeshed in mainstream [Jewish] American organizational life the settlement program is” [46].

Funding Hasbara Groups, Hawks and Christian Zionists

We found that six of the seven funders of Islamophobia network organizations (all except Scaife) have also funded multiple organizations that back, and oppose any criticism of hawkish Israeli policies. These groups are engaged in propaganda (“hasbara”) initiatives designed to justify Israeli government policies and actions, including continued expansionism, and to defend Israel by improving its image around the world. For these groups and their constituents, Islamophobia complements hardline Israel politics. As Middle East policy analyst Matthew Duss wrote a year before the publication of the Fear, Inc. Islamophobia report that he co-authored, “As long as Jews are encouraged to believe that scary Muslims are hiding under every American bed, the idea is perpetuated that support for the Jewish state is a zero-sum contest between favoring Israel and favoring Arabs and Muslims. For too many American Jews, smearing Islam is seen as a legitimate expression of Zionism” [47].

Many of the right-wing Zionist groups, their projects, and their funders smear Islam and are part of the organized Jewish community. CAMERA and the Zionist Organization of America, for example, are part of local Jewish Community Relations Councils. The David Project, as Max Blumenthal has noted, emerged from a meeting in the early 2000s “of such mainstream Jewish groups as the ADL, American Jewish Committee, and AIPAC, to address what they perceived as an increase in pro-Palestinian campus activism” [48]. The David Project is a partner agency of Hillel, which serves “Jewish Campus Life” at over 500 colleges and universities [49]. The Zionist Organization of America lobbied hard from within to push the Jewish Council on Public Affairs (JCPA), organized Jewry’s main domestic-focused umbrella group, to adopt a resolution supporting the use of civil rights legislation against campus critics of Israeli policies [50]. The Israel Campus Beat is a project of both the Israel Coalition on Campus (a Berrie grantee) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations [51].

Six of the seven funders of the Islamophobia network support hardline Zionist, Jewish neoconservative and Christian Zionist groups. We look briefly here at a few of these.

GRANTS TO THE ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF

AMERICA (ZOA) FROM:

 

Becker—$345,000

Berrie—$6,000

Fairbrook—$619,000

The oldest of these groups is the 115-year-old Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which bills itself as “the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States” [52]. Its president, Morton Klein, sides with the ideologically anti-Muslim and pro-settler coterie. ZOA leaders see Palestinians as having a “shocking difference in values from ours in America and the West” [53]. ZOA has co-sponsored “pro-Israel” rallies with and sponsored a talk by Pamela Geller, co-founder of the anti-Muslim hate group Stop the Islamization of America [54]., who has recently run ads on public buses and subways that characterize the Israel-Palestine conflict as a “war between the civilized man and the savage” [55]. ZOA’s Klein is on the “International Board of Governors of the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, Israel” (which is actually on the West Bank, in the occupied territories) [56].

 

 

GRANTS TO THE DAVID PROJECT FROM:

 

Anchorage/Rosenwald—

$15,000

Becker—$25,000

Fairbrook—$202,000

The David Project was a product of the mainstream Jewish community, although founder Charles Jacobs has since taken to attacking that community for its alleged lack of vigilance in fighting what he sees as the “Islamic anti-Semitism and Islamist penetration of American Society” [57]. “One of the many outfits bankrolled” by the Fairbrook Foundation, the David Project helped foment an eventually unsuccessful, multi-year Islamophobic smear campaign to prevent the construction of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and Mosque [58].

 

 

 

 

GRANTS TO CAMERA FROM:

 

Anchorage/Rosenwald

—$374,000

Becker—$105,000

Donors Capital—$500,000

Fairbrook—$125,000

Jacobs also co-founded CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, which monitors what it views as anti-Israel bias in the media and consistently works to shut down any criticism of Israel and to attack its critics. David Steinmann, president of the Rosenwald Family Fund, is a former executive board member for CAMERA.

The Israel Project (TIP) has supplied resources advancing a right-wing pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian narrative to journalists, policymakers, and others. Islamophobia network member Frank Gaffney is included in its long list of speakers. In July 2009, TIP posted a manual online that urged pro-settlement advocates to accuse their opponents of supporting “a kind of ethnic cleansing to move all Jews” from the West Bank [59].

 

 

 

GRANTS TO THE ISRAEL PROJECT FROM:

 

Becker—$492,000

Anchorage/Rosenwald— $11,000

A month later,  under criticism, they withdrew that wording [60]. Shortly after Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann talked about the “Palestinian culture of hate” during the 2012 Republican presidential primaries (and Gingrich described Palestinians as an “invented” people), TIP issued a “fact” sheet to support such views [61]. TIP’s focus until now has been on public relations and information that promote Israeli government policies. This may change with the August 2012 appointment of a new CEO, Josh Block, a former AIPAC spokesperson with a reputation as a “pro-Israel bulldog” [62]. Nathan Guttman of the Jewish Daily Forward has described Block as “eager to take on [Israel’s] detractors — especially those within the Democratic Party, the foreign policy community and even Jewish circles — who veer off the unofficial though well-defined mainstream pro-Israel road” [63] Until his 2012 death, Newton Becker of the Becker Family Foundation was on the TIP Board of Directors. Its Board of Advisors currently includes 16 senators and 22 congressional representatives [64].

 

GRANTS TO THE

INSTITUTE FOR JEWISH AND COMMUNITY

RESEARCH FROM:

 

Anchorage/Rosenwald— $80,000

Bradley—$50,00

Along with monitoring and trying to shape media coverage of Israel, some of these groups have been using legal challenges as a strategy to silence critics of Israeli policies. The Institute for Jewish and Community Research (IJCR), for example, which documents what it calls “anti-Israelism,” has pushed for a (still pending) U.S. Education Department Office of Civil Rights investigation into whether, by ignoring “campus speech critical of Israel or Zionism,” University of California Santa Cruz administrators were “creating a hostile climate for Jewish people on the campus” [65].

The ramifications of this case reached deep into the mainstream Jewish community. The IJCR, Zionist Organization of America, and other adamantly pro-Israel Jewish groups urged the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) to support a resolution that supports the use of federal civil rights law to protect Jewish students from criticism of Israel, which they equated with anti-Semitism. It took eight months of controversy within the JCPA for this multi-constituent umbrella group to reach a decision. Ultimately it endorsed the use of “federal law to counter anti-Semitism on American college campuses,” “while recognizing “‘the importance of the First Amendment’” and stating that federal law “should not be invoked ‘when it could lead to an environment in which legitimate debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is squelched and academic freedom is undermined’” [66].

 

GRANTS TO StandWithUs FROM:

 

Becker—$787,000

Fairbrook—$192,000

StandWithUs/Israel Emergency Alliance illustrates as well as any of these groups, the lack of daylight between it and the Israeli government. StandWithUs pursued its legal strategy in collaboration with the Israeli Consul General for the Pacific Northwest when it targeted a food coop whose members had voted to protest Israeli policies by opting not to carry Israeli products [67]. A judge has dismissed the lawsuit as violating “protected free speech involving an issue of public concern” and held StandWithUs “liable for the costs and fees of the suit and $160,000 in statutory damages” [68]. The group’s general attitude toward Palestinians is reflected in its comic book, which features “Captain Israel” and depicts Palestinians as vermin [69].The StandWithUs speakers’ bureau includes the Islamophobia network’s Brigitte Gabriel [70]. Newton Becker of the Becker Family Foundation was a StandWithUs founder.

 

GRANTS TO THE JEWISH POLICY CENTER FROM:

 

Anchorage/Rosenwald— $10,000

Becker—$60,000

Bradley—$20,000

Jewish neoconservatives have a home in two Jewish think tanks that are popular with several of the Islamophobia network funders and that bring their hardline Israel views to Republican national politics. The Jewish Policy Center brings together Jewish Republicans, anti-Muslim ideologues, and a veritable who’s who of Jewish neocons [71]. It shares a director, as well as some key board members, with the Republican Jewish Coalition, which, with pro-settler billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a Romney supporter, has been trolling for votes among Jews in the U.S. and Israel [72].

Like other right-wing think tanks, the Jewish Policy Center supports “a strong American defense capability . . . missile defense, . . . small government [and] low taxes” [73]. But its focus—most prominent during the 2012 election cycle—has been its commitment to “U.S. Israel security cooperation” and support for Israel’s “quest for legitimacy and security” [74]. Its speakers’ bureau includes the Islamophobia industry’s Steven Emerson, David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes, while the last two are also on the group’s board.

GRANTS TO THE JEWISH INSTITUTE FOR

NATIONAL SECURITY

AFFAIRS (JINSA) FROM:

 

Anchorage/Rosenwald— $587,000

Becker—$76,000

A second think tank, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), brings U.S. cadets, midshipmen, retired generals, and admirals to Israel, so they can become “well briefed in the security concerns of Israel” and learn about Middle East issues “that will be of continuing concern to American military planners for the foreseeable future” [75]. JINSA’s Law Enforcement Exchange Program provides trips to Israel for U.S. “law enforcement leaders” so that Israel’s national security agencies can “support and strengthen American law enforcement counter terrorism practices” [76]. These participants are bound to be exposed to JINSA’s “clash of civilizations” argument—that “the West” must back Israel, because of “fear of large Muslim minorities–unassimilated and unassimilable . . . ” [77]. The recipient of major support from Anchorage/Rosenwald, JINSA has on its board David Steinmann, who is former JINSA president and CEO, and current board co-chair and Rosenwald Family Fund president, as well as Nina Rosenwald, JINSA and Rosenwald vice president [78].

Illustrating how unquestioning support for Israel can trump all other considerations, several of the funders provide support to Christian Zionist groups even though many of them seem to primarily value Jews—and Israel—in terms of the end-time battle in Israel that will lead to Jesus’ return (the Second Coming) [79]. Usually combining the political and theological, Christian Zionists are often drawn from the ranks of fundamentalist and evangelical Protestants and have, for decades, supported Israel by lobbying Congress, fundraising, and sponsoring Christian educational tours [80].

GRANTS TO CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS FROM:

 

Becker—$110,000 to the International Christian

Embassy in Jerusalem; $25,000 to Israel

Christian Nexus; $31,000 to Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East; $42,000 to

National Christian Leadership Council for Israel; $50,000 to Global Evangelism, Inc.

Fairbrook—$300,000 to Israel Christian Nexus

Donors Capital—$442,000 to Christians United for

Israel (CUFI)

The Reverend John Hagee of Global Evangelism, Inc. and Christians United for Israel (CUFI) blame the Holocaust on the refusal of the Jews to immigrate to Israel as Theodor Herzl had urged [81]. CUFI used its postal permit to support a mailing of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West to Reform rabbis and other Jewish leaders [82]. It typically caps its “Nights to Honor Israel” with “a big donation to the local [Jewish] federation and sometimes to an Israeli settlement project as well.” [83]



 

 

 


 

 

 

GRANTS FROM BERRIE TO:

 

New Israel Fund—$145,000

Seeds of Peace—$232,500

Israel Coalition on Campus—

$100,000

Taglit-Birthright Israel—

$400,000

Nefesh B’Nefesh—$3,477,500

American Friends of Reut Institute—$225,000

The Russell Berrie Foundation merits its own discussion, because it provides only the most minimal funding ($6,000 to the ZOA) to the groups described above. An outlier in some ways, it is the only one of the four Jewish foundations to give more than $2,000 (Anchorage/Rosenwald) to the New Israel Fund, as well as significant support for Seeds of Peace, an international conflict resolution/leadership program that grew out of a camp for Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian teens.

But that is only part of Berrie’s funding story. It has given significant support to two pro-Israeli government, youth-focused groups. One is the Israel Coalition on Campus—previously part of Hillel [84]—a coalition of 33 groups that includes among its “most active” organizations CAMERA, Hasbara, Hillel, StandWithUs, the David Project, and the Zionist Organization of America [85]. The second is Taglit-Birthright Israel, which provides free trips to Israel for Jewish youth as part of what one investigative journalist has called “the fight for the political loyalties of young Jews”[86]. Birthright was set in 2011 to start receiving $100 million from the Israeli government and has received more than $100 million since 2007 from Sheldon Adelson [87].

 

In addition, the Berrie Foundation has committed nearly $3.5 million for a $10 million project with Nefesh B’Nefesh. This group, backed by the Israeli government (and receiving funding from John Hagee Ministries), encourages North American and British Jewish settlement of northern Israel as part of a government campaign to “populate the Galilee” with Jews, while including West Bank settlements among other options [88]. Berrie has also given substantial funding to American Friends of Reut Institute, the Israeli government’s leading national security think tank. Reut has helped frame a narrative that defines nearly all criticism of Israeli policies as part of a “delegitimization” campaign, thereby providing U.S. and Israeli groups with further impetus to suppress dissent [89].

*****

Following the money between these seven funders and some of their grantees translates two overlapping ideologies into dollar figures. One is vehemently anti-Muslim and anti-Arab, and the other is in the “Israel right or wrong” camp.

Our research makes clear that the nexus between hardline Israeli politics and Islamophobia is as strong as the “Islamophobia network in America” discussed in the Center for American Progress’ (CAP’s) Fear, Inc. report. The funders and the individuals and groups that they back overlap in various ways—as board members, on speakers’ bureaus, and as the leaders of Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian smear campaigns.

This money-Islamophobia-Israel network matters, in part, because of its impact on—and strong relationship with—state policies and institutions. In addition to furthering a rabidly anti-Muslim climate, its members help bolster the state-sponsored Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian policies adopted and promoted by the U.S. government. If we fail to examine the Islamophobia network in all its dimensions, we bring an incomplete analysis to the essential work of challenging Islamophobia.

Elly Bulkin is a writer and editor. Donna Nevel is a community psychologist and educator. Both were founding members of Jews Against Islamophobia and steering committee members of Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. They can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Research by Elly Bulkin. Read the authors’ previous article, “How the Jewish Establishment’s Litmus Test on Israel Fuels Anti-Muslim Bigotry,” here

Many thanks to Abdeen Jabara for his invaluable contributions to the development of this piece.

ENDNOTES

[1] There are early shots in Obsession of individuals with guns wearing a keffiyehs, a symbol of Palestinian resistance and culture, as well as a quite visible note that the Palestinian Media Watch is a source for images. “Radical Islam Documentary” [Obsession], http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AediQLpoGGM (accessed February 21, 2012).

[2] Sarah Posner, “Aish HaTorah’s New ‘Obsession’,” The Investigative Fund, October 29, 2008, http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/investigations/politicsandgovernment/1119/aish_hatorah%E2%80%99s_new_%E2%80%98obsession%27/?page=entire. Also see Sheila Musaji, “Who Is Behind Relentless, Obsession, and The Third Jihad?” The American Muslim, November 19, 2010, http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/who_is_behind_relentless_obsession_and_the_third_jihad1/0016736 (both accessed December 13, 2011).

[3] The Third Jihad, the FREE 30-Minute Version, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-864522917532871834 (accessed February 21, 2012). Tom Robbins, “NYPD Cops’ Training Included an Anti-Muslim Horror Flick,” The Village Voice, January 19, 2011, http://www.villagevoice.com/content/printVersion/2337684/ (accessed December 13, 2011). Michael Powell, “In Police Training, a Dark Film on U.S. Muslims,” New York Times, January 23, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/nyregion/in-police-training-a-dark-film-on-us-muslims.html?pagewanted=all); and J.J. Goldberg, “Islamophobic Film and Its Jewish Backers,” Jewish Daily Forward, February 2, 2012, http://forward.com/articles/150677/islamophobic-film-and-its-jewish-backers/ (both accessed February 3, 2012).

[4] Wayne Kopping, Obsession’s director, editor, and co-writer, had “previously co-edited and directed the documentary Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East, a film about the failure of the Oslo Peace Accords.” http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/about_filmakers.php; Sarah Posner, “Aish HaTorah’s New ‘Obsession,’” The Investigative Fund, October 29, 2008, http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/investigations/politicsandgovernment/1119/aish_hatorah%E2%80%99s_new_%E2%80%98obsession%27/ (both accessed August 30, 2012).

[5] For a discussion of distortions in Iranium, see Eli Clifton & Ali Gharib, “’Iranium’ or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Military Option,” Frontline, January 26, 2011, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/01/iranium.html (accessed January 29 , 2011). Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Free Press, 1996); and Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs 72 (Summer, 1993): 22-28. As Edward Said has noted, between the 1993 essay and the 1996 book, Huntington’s work lost its question mark, going from a question to a statement. Said, “The Myth of ‘The Clash of Civilizations,’” Media Education Foundation Transcript, 1998, 2. http://www.mediaed.org/assets/products/404/transcript_404.pdf (accessed December 3, 2011).

[6] Dr. Muneer Fareed, “On the Distribution of Obsession,” Islamic Society of North America press release, no date, http://www.isna.net/articles/Press-Releases/ON-THE-DISTRIBUTION-OF-OBSESSION.aspx; Muslim Public Affairs Council, “Enough Is Enough: The Anti-Muslim Training Tide Must Turn,” press release, May 18, 2012, http://www.mpac.org/programs/government-relations/dc-news-and-views/enough-is-enough-the-anti-muslim-training-tide-must-turn.php (both accessed August 26, 2012).

[7] Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, “Obsession’s Translation Errors,” Jews on First, November 2, 2008, http://www.jewsonfirst.org/obsession/translation.html (accessed August 27, 2012). Quotation about its “discredited conspiracy theory” from Sarah Posner, “The Third Jihad, Adelson, and Gingrich,” Religion Dispatches, January 27, 2012, http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/5622/the_third_jihad,_adelson,_and_gingrich (accessed August 27, 2012).

[8] Quotation about “scary music” from Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, Eli Clifton, Jane Hunter, & Robin Podolsky, “Rebutting Obsession: Historical Facts Topple Film’s Premise That Violent Muslim Fundamentalists Are Nazis’ Heirs, Expose Its Fear-mongering,” Jews on First, November 2, 2008, http://www.jewsonfirst.org/obsession/. Quotation about the Islamic flag from Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee press release, quoted in Sheila Musaji, “The NYPD, the CIA, and ‘The Third Jihad,’” The American Muslim, May 26, 2012, http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/nypd. Quotation about “cherry picking” from Ibrahim Hooper, Council on American-Islam Relations, quoted in Daphna Berman, “‘Obsession’ Stokes Passions, Fears and Controversy, Haaretz, June 22, 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/anglo-file/obsession-stokes-passions-fears-and-controversy-1.223820 (all accessed August 27, 2012).

[9] Calendar, Jewish Exponent (Philadelphia), August 12, 2010 http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/21669/Calendar/; Federation E-Newsletter (Dallas), Volume 4, Issue 18, August 31,[2006]. http://www.jewishdallas.org/page.aspx?id=; both cited in Sheila Musaji, “History of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War with the West,” The American Muslim, September 30, 2008, http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/history_of_obsession_radical_islams_war_with_the_west/ (all accessed December 13, 2011). “Iranium Screenings,” http://www.iraniumthemovie.com/news/premieres/ (accessed September 25, 2012). Also Berkshire Jewish Film Festival, schedule, August 20, 2007, http://www.lenoxps.org/theater/allimages/KI_flyer_BJFF.pdf; Zara Myers, “Film Provokes Action Toward Islamist Threat,” Jewish Exponent, March 30, 2006, http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/2864/Film_Provokes_Action_Toward/

Sheila Musaji, “Will the Wiesenthal Center Do the Right Thing About the Museum of ‘Tolerance’? ” The American Muslim, April 14, 2012, http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/print/will_the_wiesenthal_center_do_the_right_thing_about_the_museum_of_tole; Richard Silverstein, “Museum of In-Tolerance Screens Muslim-Hating Film, Third Jihad,” Tikun Olam, May 21, 2009, http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/tag/clarion-fund/page/2/ (all accessed December 13, 2011).

[10] Gal Beckerman, “What Sheldon’s Money Buys,” Jewish Daily Forward, January 26, 2012, http://forward.com/articles/150258/what-sheldons-money-buys/ (accessed August 27, 2012); Daphna Berman, “‘Obsession’ Stokes Passions, Fears and Controversy”; Anshel Pfeffer, “Adelson in Israel on a Mission for Charity, Influence,” Haaretz, August 13, 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/adelson-in-israel-on-a-mission-for-charity-influence-1.227370 (accessed February 21, 2012). JTA, “Adelsons Pledge Additional $13 Million to Birthright to Reduce Waiting List,” July 17, 2012, http://www.jta.org/news/article-print/2012/07/17/3100951/adelsons-pledge-additional-13-million-to-birthright-to-reduce-waiting-list?TB_iframe=true&width=750&height=500 (accessed August 28, 2012).

[11] Clifton & Gharib, “’Iranium’ or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Military Option.”

[12] Peter Overby & Will Evans, “Some Answers on Clarion, And Still Some Questions,” NPR, October 7, 2008, http://www.npr.org/blogs/secretmoney/2008/10/clarion_answers_some_questions.html; Right Web, “Clarion Fund,” Institute for Policy Studies, last updated December 20, 2011, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Clarion_Fund (both accessed February 10, 2012).

[13] Justin Elliott, “Mystery of Who Funded Right-Wing ‘Radical Islam’ Campaign Deepens,” Salon, November 16, 2010, http://www.salon.com/2010/11/16/clarion_fund_obsession_dvds/; Richard Silverstein, “Barre Seid Plausibly Denies Funding ‘Obsession,’ All the While Doing Precisely That,” Tikun Olam, November 17, 2010, http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2010/11/17/how-barre-seid-can-deny-funding-obsession-and-still-do-so-anyway/; Clarion Fund 2008, 990 Form, Schedule A, http://www.scribd.com/doc/37371880/Clarion-Fund-08-990 (all accessed August 28, 2012).

[14] See, for example: Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, & Faiz Shakir, Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, August 2011, Center for American Progress, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/pdf/islamophobia.pdf (accessed December 12, 2011). Also Common Cause New York with New York Neighbors for American Values, Park51 and Beyond: Building Community from Controversy, November 2011, http://www.commoncause.org/atf/cf/%7BFB3C17E2-CDD1-4DF6-92BE-BD4429893665%7D/PARK%2051%20AND%20BEYOND-FINAL%20REPORT.PDF (accessed February 10, 2012); and People for the American Way, The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism, 2011, http://www.pfaw.org/sites/default/files/rwwif-muslim-playbook.pdf (accessed February 10, 2012).

[15] Ali et al, Fear Inc., 14-15.

[16] Quotes and information in this paragraph are from RightWeb, “Frank Gaffney,” August 29, 2011, http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/gaffney_frank (accessed August 29, 2012).

[17] Campus Watch, “About Campus Watch.” http://www.campus-watch.org/about.php (accessed December 12, 2011).

[18] Southern Poverty Law Center, “Intelligence Files: Pamela Geller,” http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/pamela-geller. Spencer Ackerman, “FBI ‘Islam 101’ Guide Depicted Muslims as 7th-Century Simpletons,” Wired, July 27, 2011, http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/07/fbi-islam-101-guide/. For an extended analysis of Spencer’s writing by a Muslim scholar that discusses how Spencer “is highly selective by relying exclusively on Muslim sources that Muslims generally consider to be extremist and unreliable,” see Dr. Robert Dickson Crane, “‘Fascist-Islamophobia’: A Case Study in Totalitarian Demonization—Part 1,” The American Muslim, October 20, 2007, http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/fascist_islamophobia_a_case_study_in_totalitarian_demonization/0014837. Pamela Geller, “Text of Pamela Geller’s Remarks at Pro-Israel Rally, NYC [stings if your name is BHO],” Free Republic, April 29, 2010, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2503461/posts (all accessed December 13, 2011). The rally was endorsed by, among others, Stop Islamization of America; David Horowitz Freedom Center; Dr. Daniel Pipes; the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, President; and Charles Jacobs, founder of The David Project.

[19] Counterterrorism & Security Education and Research Foundation, “About CTSERF,” http://www.ctserf.org/about.html; Thomas Cincotta, Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security, Political Research Associates, 2011, 44, http://www.publiceye.org/liberty/training/Muslim_Menace_Complete.pdf; Robert I. Friedman, “One Man’s Jihad,” 657. Photocopied article from Muslim Public Affairs Council, Counterproductive Counterterrorism: How Anti-Islamic Rhetoric Is Impeding America’s Homeland Security, December 2004, 18-19, http://www.civilfreedoms.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Counterproductive-Counterterrorism.pdf (all accessed December 13, 2011).

[20] Clarion Fund, “About Clarion Fund,” http://www.radicalislam.org/content/about-clarion-fund; Clarion Fund, Obsession, “About Us: Interviewees,” http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/about_interviews.html; Iranium, “About the Iranium Interviewees,” http://www.iraniumthemovie.com/about/interviewees/ (all accessed September 14, 2012).

[21] Ali et al, Fear, Inc., 87.

[22] SourceWatch, “Brigitte Gabriel,” http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Brigitte_Gabriel (accessed December 13, 2011).

[23] Eli Clifton & Ali Gharib, “EXCLUSIVE: Class Materials from Military’s Anti-Islam Class Repeatedly Cite Islamophobic Authors,” ThinkProgress, May 14, 2012, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/05/14/482667/exclusive-islamophobia-network-cited-liberally-in-military-anti-islam-class-materials/ (accessed May 15, 2012). Muslim Public Affairs Council, Not Qualified: Exposing the Deception behind America’s 25 Top Pseudo Experts on Islam, September 11, 2012 http://www.mpac.org/assets/docs/publications/MPAC-25-Pseudo-Experts-On-Islam.pdf (accessed September 15, 2012).

[24] Deepa Kumar, Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire (Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books, 2012), 6.

[25] See, for example, Philip Weiss, “In Neocons’ ‘Parallel Establishment,’ a Foundation Hides Its Israel Concerns,” Mondoweiss, January 31, 2008, http://mondoweiss.net/2008/01/when-it-comes-t.html; Laura Rozen, “The Park51 Money Trail,” Salon, September 4, 2010, http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0910/The_Park51_money_trail.html; Kenneth P. Vogel & Giovanni Russonello, “Latest Mosque Issue: The Money Trail,” Politico, September 4, 2010, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/41767_Page3.html (all accessed December 13, 2011); and Max Blumenthal, “The Great Islamophobic Crusade,” TomDispatch, December 19, 2010, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175334/tomgram:_max_blumenthal,_the_great_fear_ (accessed December 22, 2010).

[26] Blumenthal, “The Great Islamophobic Crusade.”

[27] Economic Research Institute (ERI) http://www.eri-nonprofit-salaries.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=NPO.Search; National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), http://nccs.urban.org/; Guidestar, http://www2.guidestar.org/ (most recently accessed August 7, 2012). See also, for the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, “Bradley Foundation Grants Given Since 2001,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 15, 2011, http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/dataondemand/133910113.html, and Bradley Foundation, “Annual Reports,”, http://www.bradleyfdn.org/pdfs/Grants2008/08IntellectualInfrastructure.pdf http://www.bradleyfdn.org/annual_reports.asp (both accessed December 13, 2011).

[28] Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber, & Ben Poston, “From Local Roots, Bradley Foundation Builds Conservative Empire,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 19, 2011, http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/from-local-roots-bradley-foundation-builds-conservative-empire-k7337pb-134187368.html; and Lee Fang, “How John Birch Society Extremism Never Dies: The Fortune Behind Scott Walker’s Union-Busting Campaign,” ThinkProgress, February 21, 2011, http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/02/21/145492/zombie-johnbirch-walker/ (both accessed August 20, 2012.

[29] Alan J. Lichtman, White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement (New York, New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008), 305.

[30] Scaife gave the Foundation for Defense of Democracies $1,325,000. FDD has also received funding from Anchorage/Rosenwald, Becker, Berrie, Bradley, and Fairbrook. Also see Eli Clifton, “Documents Shed Light on Those Underwriting the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,” ThinkProgress, July 19, 2011, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/07/19/271431/fdd-donors/; RightWeb, “Foundation for Defense of Democracies,” November 16, 2011 (both accessed August 12, 2012).

[31] Donors Trust, “What is Donors Capital Fund?” https://www.donorstrust.org/dcf/about_us.htm (accessed December 13, 2011); Pam Martens, “The Far Right’s Secret Slush Fund to Keep Fear Alive,” Counterpunch, October 26, 2010, http://www.counterpunch.org/2010/10/26/the-far-right-s-secret-slush-fund-to-keep-fear-alive/ (accessed August 20, 2012).

[32] In additionon to ties mentioned in the narrative, Newton Becker of the Becker family foundations, for instance, is a founder of the AIPAC Student Program and a major AIPAC donor; and David Steinmann, president of the Rosenwald Family Fund, is a founding member of One Jerusalem, a group committed to Israel’s maintaining rule over Jerusalem; and board member of the America-Israel Friendship League.

[33] Elad Benari, “Pro-Israel Philanthropist Newton Becker Dies at 83,” Arutz Sheva, January 9, 2012, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/151525#.UDLc9qB1475; Ken Tysiac, “CPA Exam Prep Innovator Newton D. Becker Dies at 83,” Journal of Accountancy, January 5, 2012, http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/20124964.htm (both accessed August 20, 2012).

[34] ThinkProgress, “Clarion Fund Donors,” http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/clarionfundnrs.pdf?mobile=nc (accessed August 20, 2012).

[35] Max Blumenthal, “The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate,” The Nation, June 13, 2012, http://www.thenation.com/article/168374/sugar-mama-anti-muslim-hate# (accessed June 25, 2012).

[36] Ali et al, Fear, Inc., 21.

[37] Ali et al, Fear Inc., 22.

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[43] Uri Blau, “U.S. Group Invests Tax-Free Millions in East Jerusalem Land,” Haaretz, August 17, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/u-s-group-invests-tax-free-millions-in-east-jerusalem-land-1.282112; Eretz Israel Shelanu, “Campaign Launch—Friends of Gush Katif: Helping the Jewish Refugees Rebuild Their Lives,” 2006, http://www.eish-l.org/gush-katif-campaign.php (both accessed December 13, 2011).

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[49] Hillel, “Partner Agencies: The David Project,” http://www.hillel.org/hillelapps2/partners/partner.aspx?agencyid=18105; Hillel, “About Hillel,” http://www.hillel.org/about/default (both accessed September 14, 2012).

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[52] Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), “About,” http://www.zoa.org/content/about_us.asp (accessed December 13, 2011).

[53] ZOA National President Morton Klein & Susan B. Tuchman, Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, quoted in “ZOA Praises UC President Yudof For Urging Jewish Leaders To ‘Hold Our Feet To The Fire’ On Campus Anti-Semitism,” ZOA press release, August 4, 2010, http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/pressrelease_view.asp?pressreleaseID=1916 (accessed December 13, 2011).

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[55] J. Staff, “Jewish Groups Rip Bus Ads that Call Israel’s Enemies ‘Savages,’” j. weekly, August 16, 2012, http://www.jweekly.com/includes/print/66146/article/jewish-groups-rip-bus-ad-that-calls-israels-enemies-savage/ (accessed September 9, 2012); Jorge Rivas, “New Yorkers Tag Racist ‘Savage’ Jihad Subway Ads,” Colorlines, September 25, 2012, http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/09/new_yorkers_tag_racist_savage_jihad_subway_ads.html (accessed September 26, 2012).

[56] Israel Policy Forum, “Morton A. Klein,” http://www.israelpolicyforum.org/users/morton-klein (accessed December 13, 2011).

[57] Jamie Glazov, “See No Anti-Semitism, Hear No Anti-Semitism” (interview with Charles Jacobs), FrontPage Magazine, March 1, 2010, http://frontpagemag.com/2010/jamie-glazov/see-no-anti-semitism-hear-no-anti-semitism/ (accessed December 13, 2011);

[58] Quotation about Fairbrook from Blumenthal, “The Great Islamophobic Crusade.” For information about the Boston anti-Muslim campaign, see, for example, “Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center—Timeline,” The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, n.d., http://pluralism.org/files/wrgb/islam/ISBCC_Controversy_Timeline.pdf; “Damning Evidence against the David Project,” Islamic Society of Boston press release, Scoop Independent News, May 9, 2007, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0705/S00149.htm; Cecilie Surasky, “Campaign to Stop Mosque in Boston: The Islamic Society of Boston Drops Defamation Lawsuit against Opponents of Mosque, Construction to Proceed,” MuzzleWatch, June 4, 2007, http://www.muzzlewatch.com/2007/06/04/campaign-to-stop-mosque-in-bostonthe-islamic-society-of-boston-drops-lawsuit-construction-will-proce/ (all accessed December 30, 2011).

[59] Douglas M. Bloomfield, “Change the Policy, or Change the Subject?,” New Jersey News, July 9, 2009, http://njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/070909/opedChangePolicy.html; Gilad Halpern, “Israel Advocacy Group Calls Obama Settlement Policy ‘Ethnic Cleansing,’” Haaretz, August 24, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-advocacy-group-calls-obama-settlement-policy-ethnic-cleansing-1.282540 (accessed September 12, 2012).

[60] Eric Fingerhut, “TIP: No More ‘Ethnic Cleansing,’” JTA, August 24, 2009, http://blogs.jta.org/politics/article/2009/08/24/1007435/tip-no-more-ethnic-cleansing (accessed September 12, 2012);

[61] Amy Gardner & Philip Rucker, “Gingrich Calls Palestinians an ‘Invented’ People,” Washington Post, December 9, 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gingrich-calls-palestinians-an-invented-people/2011/12/09/gIQAlibCjO_story.html (accessed February 28, 2012); The Israel Project, “Newt Gingrich and the Palestinian Culture of Hate,” press release, December 14, 2011, http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=ewJXKcOUJlIaG&b=7808887&ct=11550601#.UDYtTKB1474 (both accessed August 20, 2012).

[62] Nathan Guttman, “Ex-AIPAC Flack to Head The Israel Project,” Jewish Daily Forward, August 22, 2012, http://forward.com/articles/161458/ex-aipac-flack-to-head-the-israel-project/?p=all (accessed September 12, 2012).

[63] Guttman, “Ex-AIPAC Flack to Head The Israel Project.”

[64] ]The Israel Project, “Board of Advisers,” http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.ewJXKcOUJlIaG/b.7716889/k.9C55/Board_Advisors.htm (accessed September 12, 2012).

[65] Institute for Jewish and Community Research, “Projects: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism,” http://jewishresearch.org/projects_security.htm (accessed February 22, 2012); Peter Schmidt, “Education Dept. Investigates Complaint of Anti-Semitism at UC-Santa Cruz,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 15, 2011, http://chronicle.com/article/Education-Dept-Investigates/126742/ (accessed December 13, 2011).

[66] Quotations are from JTA, “JCPA Endorses Title VI as Campus Tool,” May 8, 2012, http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/05/08/3095021/jcpa-endorses-title-vi-as-campus-tool (accessed August 30, 2012). See also Naomi Zeveloff, “JCPA Pressured to Push Title VI Fight”; Naomi Zeveloff, “Title VI Resolution Invokes First Amendment”; Naomi Zeveloff, “JCPA Wades into Debate on Use of Civil Rights Law,” Jewish Daily Forward, October 14, 2011, http://www.forward.com/articles/144334/ (accessed February 22, 2012); Zeveloff, “JCPA Delays Action on Campus Civil Rights,” Jewish Daily Forward, October 25, 2011, http://www.forward.com/articles/144888/ (accessed August 30, 2012).

[67] Nathan Guttman, “StandWithUs Draws Line on Israel,” Jewish Daily Forward, November 27, 2011, http://www.forward.com/articles/146821/?p=all; Richard Silverstein, “Israeli Consul, StandWithUs Engage in Lawfare Against Olympia Food Coop, Tikun Olam, September 10, 2011, http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/09/10/israeli-consul-standwithus-engage-in-lawfare-against-olympia-food-coop/; Ali Abunimah, “Uncovered: Israel’s Role in Planned US Lawsuit to Fight BDS,” The Electronic Intifada,” September 6, 2011, http://electronicintifada.net/content/uncovered-israels-role-planned-us-lawsuit-fight-bds/10350 (all accessed February 21, 2012).

[68] Jeremy Pawloski, “Judge Tosses Lawsuit to Overturn Co-op’s Boycott,” The Olympian, February 27, 2012, http://www.theolympian.com/2012/02/27/v-print/2007774/judge-tosses-lawsuit-that-sought.html; JTA, “Anti-Boycott Lawsuit Against Food Co-op Is Dismissed,” February 28, 2012, http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/02/28/3091881/anti-boycott-lawsuit-against-food-co-op-declared-illegal; (both accessed March 7, 2012); Center for Constitutional Rights, “Plaintiffs in Olympia Food Co-op SLAPP Case Assessed Penalty, Costs and Attorneys’ Fees for Suit over Boycott of Israeli Goods,” press release, July 12, 2012, http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/plaintiffs-olympia-food-co-op-slapp-case-assessed-penalty,-costs-and-attorneys%E2%80%99-fees-suit-over-boyco (accessed August 25, 2012).

[69] Cecilie Surasky, “Out of Answers on How to Confront BDS, StandWithUs Comic Book Portrays Palestinians (and Allies) as Vermin, Reminiscent of Nazi Propaganda,” Mondoweiss, January 13, 2011, http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/out-of-answers-on-how-to-confront-bds-standwithus-comic-book-portrays-palestinians-and-allies-as-vermin-reminiscent-of-nazi-propaganda.html (accessed February 21, 2012).

[70] SourceWatch, “Brigitte Gabriel,” http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Brigitte_Gabriel (accessed December 13, 2011).

[71] Jewish Policy Center, “Board,” http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/board.php (accessed August 5, 2012). Among those listed as on the Board of Fellows are Midge Decter, David Frum, David Horowitz, the late Irving Kristol, Daniel Pipes, John Podhoretz, and Norman Podhoretz.

[72] Jeff Zeleny, “Mogul’s Latest Foray Courts Votes for the GOP,” New York Times, July 25, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/us/politics/adelsons-latest-foray-courts-jews-for-the-gop.html?pagewanted=all (accessed August 20, 2012).

[73] Jewish Policy Center, “About the Jewish Policy Center,” http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/about.php (accessed August 5, 2012).

[74] Jewish Policy Center “About the Jewish Policy Center.”

[75] Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, “About JINSA’s Generals and Admirals Trip to Israel,” http://www.jinsa.org/programs/about-jinsas-generals-and-admirals-trip-israel#.UED0SiL8Lmk; Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, “About the Military Academies Program,” http://www.jinsa.org/programs/military-academies-program/military-academies-program-israel/about-military-academies-progr#.UED0zyL8Lmk (both accessed August 30, 2012).

[76] Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, “Empowering Law Enforcement/Protecting America,” http://www.jinsa.org/files/LEEPbookletforweb.pdf (accessed August 30, 2012).

[77] Philip Weiss, “JINSA Whips Clash-of-Civilization Pony as It Fades in the Stretch,” Mondoweiss, February 23, 2011, http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/jinsa-whips-clash-of-civilizations-pony-as-it-fades-in-the-stretch.html; and “Disconnect, Part III: The West,” JINSA Report #1064, February 21, 2011, http://www.jinsa.org/print/2218 (both accessed December 13, 2011).

[78] Blumenthal, “The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate.”

[79] Jane Hunter & Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, “Pushback on Armageddon,” Jews on First!, March 7, 2007, http://www.jewsonfirst.org/07a/pushback_armageddon.html; Sarah Posner, “Christian Zionists, Bibi, Obama, and Armageddon, Religion Dispatches, May 26, 2011, http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/4673/christian_zionists,_bibi,_obama,_and_armageddon/; Sarah Posner, “Evangelicals Call Christian Zionist Uncritical ‘Support’ for Israel ‘Appalling’ and ‘Intolerable,’” Religion Dispatches, September 20, 2011, http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/5139/evangelicals_call_christian_zionist_uncritical_%22support%22_for_israel_%22appalling%22_and_%22intolerable%22 (all accessed March 20, 2012).

[80] Interview with Dr. Jean Hardisty, Founder and President Emerita of Political Research Associates, September 22, 2012.

[81] Max Blumenthal, “AIPAC Cheers an Anti-Semitic Holocaust Revisionist (and Abe Foxman Approves),” Huffington Post, March 14, 2007, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/aipac-cheers-an-antisemit_b_43377.html; Sam Stein, “McCain Backer Hagee Said Hitler Was Fulfilling God’s Will,” Huffington Post, May 29, 2008, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/21/mccain-backer-hagee-said_n_102892.html (both accessed September 6, 2012).

[82] Jews on First, “Republican Jewish Coalition Responsible for Mailing Anti-Muslim Film,” February 15, 2007, http://www.jewsonfirst.org/08a/cufi_obsession.html (accessed December 13, 2011).

[83] Jews on First, “Republican Jewish Coalition Responsible for Mailing Anti-Muslim Film.”

[84] Hillel served as the fiscal conduit for the Berrie grant of $100,000 to the Israel Coalition on Campus.

[85] Rahel Musleah, “Defending Israel on Campus,” Hadassah Magazine, April 11, 2011, http://Israelcc.org/docs/icc-in-the-news/hadassah-magazine—defending-Israel-on-campus.pdf (accessed December 13, 2011).

[86] Kiera Feldman, “The Romance of Birthright Israel,” The Nation, June 15, 2011, http://www.thenation.com/print/article/161460/romance-birthright-Israel (accessed December 13, 2011). According to its 2006 990 tax form, Berrie committed, but did not pay, $250,000 to Birthright in 2006 and paid it an additional $150,000. The 2007 990 tax form shows an unpaid balance of $250,000 at the end of 2007. We could not confirm payment of this amount in 2008 because Berrie did not include a list of grantee names and amounts with its 2008 990 form; the 2009 990 tax form contains no mention of the $250,000 grant to Birthright. We are reporting the $250,000 as a grant to Birthright, with this caveat.

[87] JTA, “Adelsons Pledge Additional $13 Million to Birthright to Reduce Waiting List”; Ben Harris, “Major Funding Boost for Birthright from Israel Gov’t. Ups Ante for Philanthropists,” JTA, January 10, 2011, http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/01/10/2742490/Israel-to-increase-support-for-birthright-if-jewish-philanthropist-increase-theirs (accessed December 13, 2011). The gift by the Adelson Family Foundation was announced on the media network of the Israeli settler movement: “Elad Benari, “Adelson Foundation Gives Taglit an Extra $5 Million Boost, Arutz Sheva 7, December 1, 2011, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/150285#.TybsiIGt3dx (accessed January 30, 2012). Feldman, “The Romance of Birthright Israel.”

[88] Raquel Rolnik, “Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as a Component of the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living, and on the Right to Non-Discrimination in this Context: Preliminary Remarks on the Mission to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory” (30 January to 12 February 2012),” Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11815&LangID=E; Human Rights Watch, “Israel: New Laws Marginalize Palestinian Arab Citizens,” March 30, 2011, http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/03/30/israel-new-laws-marginalize-palestinian-arab-citizens (both accessed April 24, 2012). Nefesh B’Nefesh, “Nefesh B’Nefesh and Russell Berrie Foundation Launch $10 Million ‘Go North’ Aliyah’ Project,” press release, December 9, [2009], http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nefesh-bnefesh-and-russell-berrie-foundation-launch-10-million-go-north-aliyah-project-65355942.html; Adam Horowitz, “Is This ‘Natural Growth’? American Immigrants Flood Israeli Settlements, Backed by Israeli Government,” Mondoweiss, July 8, 2009, http://mondoweiss.net/2009/07/is-this-natural-growth-non-profits-help-american-jews-move-to-the-settlements.html; “Christian Zionist Hagee Gives Nearly $1 Million to Nefesh B’Nefesh,” The New York Jewish Week, November 3, 2011, http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/breaking_news/christian_zionist_hagee_gives_nearly_1_million_nefesh_bnefesh (all accessed December 13, 2011).

[89] Barak Ravid, “Think Tank: Israel Faces Global Delegitimation Campaign,” Haaretz, February 12, 2010, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/think-tank-israel-faces-global-delegitimization-campaign-1.265967; Adam Horowitz, “Reut Institute: The Boycott Law Helps Israel’s Critics (and Alienates American Jews),” Mondoweiss, August 2, 2011, http://mondoweiss.net/2011/08/reut-institute-the-boycott-law-helps-israels-critics-and-alienates-american-jews.html (both accessed April 24, 2012).
 

 

Elly Bulkin is a writer and editor. Donna Nevel is a community psychologist and educator. Both were founding members of Jews Against Islamophobia and steering committee members of Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. They can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

         

 


This article was also published on Alternet.

TAM Editors note:  I am aware that this article may be controversial, but the issue it raises is important to consider, especially with the current AFDI/SIOA ad campaign and other anti-Muslim efforts being carried out by some in the name of being “pro-Israel”.


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