Salomon Center report puts Rockefeller Brothers Fund under legal microscope

The logo of Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center. Credit: Shurat HaDin.

( An op-ed by Haym Salomon Center (HSC) fellow Ziva Dahl in the March 27 online and print editions of the New York Daily News has caught the attention of the influential Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center, whose advocacy in recent years has scored legal victories for victims of North Korean and Iranian terrorism. Dahl exposed the anti-Israel activities of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF).

“We were surprised and shocked to read in the NY Daily News about the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s support for so many organizations involved in the anti-Semitic boycott movement. It’s hard to understand how the children of such a distinguished father could allow their foundation's name to be involved in such racist and discriminatory activities,” said Shurat HaDin founder Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. “The groups that the RBF supports are engaged in a discriminatory campaign that singles out Israelis based upon their national origin and religion. The RBF should be ashamed to be affiliated with these gangs of racists and we will not hesitate to take legal action against the groups and their funders if they actually do try to carry out any boycotts or divestment programs. BDS is not protected speech; it is Jew hatred plain and simple.”

In a March 30 letter to RBF President Stephen Heintz, Shurat HaDin cites the HSC report and puts RBF on notice concerning its support of “anti-Semitic” organizations.

“The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement’s efforts constitute unlawful discrimination on the basis of national origin, race, and religion under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (‘Anti-Racism Convention’) and numerous U.S. federal and state statutes, including New York law. Funding organizations that promote BDS raises serious legal issues for RBF. Accordingly, we strongly advise you to consider whether RBF should continue to provide financial backing to these hate groups who promote BDS against Israel and Israeli companies, individuals, and products,” states the letter.

The HSC investigation found that RBF funds groups such as the Middle East Policy Network and Zochrot, both of whom openly advocate for the end of the Jewish state. Jewish Voice for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee, leading forces in the BDS movement against Israel, also receive RBF funding.

NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based watchdog organization, has compiled significant research on RBF's Israel-related grants here. NGO Monitor's research includes the fact that in February 2016, RBF awarded a $105,000 grant to the controversial group Breaking the Silence, which promotes criticism of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) through the testimonies of former IDF soldiers.

Posted on April 5, 2016 .