Shurat HaDin: Add Rockefeller Brothers Fund to pro-BDS groups' blacklist

The legal NGO made the request on the grounds that RBF funds organizations actively calling for the boycott of a Jewish state.

January 9, 2018 19:44
2 minute read.
Anti-BDS poster

Anti-BDS poster. (photo credit: JWG LTD)


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The Israeli civil-rights NGO Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center has called on Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan to place the Rockefeller Brothers Fund on the blacklist of international pro-BDS organizations to be banned from Israel.

The NGO made the request on the grounds that RBF funds organizations actively calling for the boycott of a Jewish state.

RBF is a private philanthropic foundation established in 1940 by the Rockefeller family. It seeks to “advance social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world,” according to the organization’s website.

On Sunday, the Strategic Affairs Ministry published a list of 20 international pro-BDS organizations whose senior members will be banned from the country. The list features BDS groups who, according to the ministry, carry out campaigns of “falsehood and incitement,” in an effort to undermine Israel’s legitimacy worldwide.

The blacklisted groups “consistently and continuously act against the State of Israel by pressuring groups, institutions and states to boycott Israel,” the ministry said.

Among the groups on the list are six US based organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, and 10 European organizations, including leading BDS groups in Italy, France, Norway and Sweden.

According to Shurat Hadin, RBF “donates very large amounts of money to different organizations in Israel and abroad, and in recent years, has funded a number of anti-Israel organizations known as central supporters of boycotts against Israel.”

“Shurat Hadin, known for the war that it leads against terrorism funding, has proven that money is the stimulus for all – including ideological movements – and that with the cessation of funding, the entire BDS movement will cease to exist,” said attorney Nistana Darshan- Leitner, the organization’s director.

The NGO said that it had approached Stephen Heintz, president of RBF, in March 2016 and notified him that his organization was assisting in financing BDS activists, and have not received a response.

As such, the organization said it had penned a letter to Erdan, outlining the financial donations made by RBF to pro- BDS organizations totaling some $600,000 – including a $140,000 donation to Jewish Voice for Peace.

“In light of the extensive connections and the commitment of the Rockefeller Fund to the goals of the BDS movement, as detailed in my letter, through the deliberate funding of BDS organizations, you must include it on your ministry’s list and prohibit entry into Israel, by law, of all employees and officials of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), who are not citizens or permanent residents of Israel or who [haven’t] received a visa from the Interior Ministry for special reasons,” Darshan-Leitner said.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund did not respond to The Jerusalem Post’s inquiry by press time.

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