Friday, August 22, 2008

Ford Foundation Continues It's Heritage of Hate


G-d bless the JTA and their unrelenting coverage of the ongoing anti-Semitism of the Ford Foundation. It all began with Henry himself--proud Jew-hater that he was--and his close and chummy relationship with Hitler (Ford had a picture of Hitler on his Desk, Hitler had a picture of Ford). The ideas of Henry have obviously permeated his family, even today--and that family still sways the Foundation.

I have never purchased a Ford, and I won't own a Ford. Any Jew who owns a Ford should be ashamed of themselves for supporting such a hate-filled anti-Jewish company.

Yes, I know there are very few companies with clean hands, but in the dirty hands category, Ford stands alone.

Even foul-mouthed Sarah Silverman knows that there are just some things Jews shouldn't do . . . and buying a German car (or, I think, it's American equivalent) just isn't kosher. Youtube of Sarah Silverman performing (Warning! Offensive Language and Content--don't play this around the kids!!).

Ford Foundation still funds anti-Israel groups
by michael j. jordan


Seven years ago, Israel became a punching bag for several thousand human rights activists from around the world who gathered for a United Nations anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa.

While the Jewish state was the target, the Ford Foundation also suffered a serious black eye after it emerged that many of the anti-Israel activists in Durban were egged on by Ford-funded groups.

Hoping to head off a similar debacle, Ford says it will not pay for any organization to participate in the first follow-up conference to Durban, slated for April 2009 in Geneva.

This announcement comes nearly five years after Ford, America’s second-largest philanthropic institution, adopted what experts describe as the most stringent grant guidelines in the nonprofit world.

Yet despite such steps and the foundation’s public criticism of what transpired seven years ago, Ford is still funding several organizations that engage in the “Durban strategy” — a two-pronged tactic that paints Israel as a “racist, apartheid” nation and isolates the Jewish state through boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

The Ford funding enables groups to wage low-key diplomatic and economic warfare against Israel, dragging the Palestinian conflict into the media and onto the Internet and college campuses.

As Ford was announcing its decision not to support the 2009 anti-racism forum, its Web site touted a 2008-09 grant for $305,000 to the Arab NGO Network for Development, which features a map on its Web site that fails to note the existence of Israel. One of the two Palestinian members on its coordination committee belongs to the pro-boycott Palestinian NGO Network, or PNGO, a key organizer at Durban.

Although PNGO is no longer receiving grants from Ford, the network works closely with at least three Ford grantee organizations.

Ford, which has assets of about $13 billion and gives away more than $500 million annually, was endowed with funds donated by Henry and Edsel Ford but no longer maintains any ties to the Ford Motor Co.

The foundation does not support groups that solely advocate boycotts, but signing onto a boycott or divestment effort is not itself a deal breaker for funding, according to Ford’s vice president of communications, Marta Tellado.

Tellado said the foundation never supported the anti-apartheid movement against South Africa, but it recognizes that “historically, boycott is seen as a legitimate, nonviolent means of expression.”

“We don’t think the idea of a boycott can be generalized to mean it’s aimed at the destruction of a country,” Tellado said. “But we understand that it’s a flashpoint” in the conflict today.

With preparations under way for the follow-up U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Geneva, there are strong indications that Israel again will be singled out for opprobrium.

Tellado said the Ford Foundation wants no part of it.

“Experience totally informs our decision,” she said. “This reflects our concern for the meeting’s ability to be constructive.”

This and other steps — like severing relations with several zealous NGOs — garner Ford praise from even its toughest critics.

After a JTA investigation in 2003 revealed the Ford-Durban link, Ford issued its new guidelines for grantees. Experts say the revisions were the most extensive seen in philanthropic circles. The guidelines elicited accusations of free-speech infringement from the American Civil Liberties Union and a slew of top U.S. universities.

Under the guidelines, Ford grantees must agree not to “carry on propaganda” or “promote or engage in violence, terrorism, bigotry or the destruction of any State, nor will it make subgrants to any entity that engages in these activities.”

Although no Ford grantee was linked to terrorism per se, some appeared to condone violence and terror. Ford has since stopped funding those groups.

Yet a new JTA investigation has uncovered several grantees that engage in the twin “Israel is apartheid” and “boycott and divest” campaigns.

“That is the essence of the Durban strategy: demonize and delegitimize Israel to the degree that it gains no external support and eventually is unable to function,” said Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor.

“I wouldn’t say this is a strong, consistent pattern, but it’s more than minor leakage. Ford should take a more proactive approach so its monies are not abused.”

Beneficiaries of Ford funds include:

n The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights; Muwatin: Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy; the Palestinian Center for Human Rights; and Miftah: the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy. All these groups signed onto boycott and divestment petitions.

  • Al Haq. The West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva in the “Goals and Objectives” section of its Web page cites “participation in civil society discourse and activities regarding divestment, boycott and sanctions.” Last year it urged the U.N. General Assembly to recall the “political, economic, military and cultural isolation of South Africa” as “such measures must be considered in relation to Israel.”
  • The Arab NGO Network for Development. Its Web site prominently features a section called “Eye on Gaza” with links to 10 related documents. Among them are an article titled “The Israeli Recipe for 2008: Genocide in Gaza” and a March news release of the Euro-Mediterranean NGO Platform — another Ford grantee — accusing Israel of “massacres,” “war crimes” and “genocide.”

Observers say that the activities of some Ford grantees point to the challenge that any huge, decentralized organization faces in monitoring its partners. Ford boasts 4,000 grantees around the world.

The issue may boil down to Ford’s interpretation of terms such as “promote,” “bigotry” or “propaganda.”

“We’re not in the business of censorship because that flies in the face of our values,” Tellado said. “Having said that, you really do need to monitor because words do matter. We realize there is a lot of hyperbole bandied about and not backed up by fact.”

For their part, the Ford-funded NGOs say branding Israel “apartheid” is one way to “raise awareness” globally.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights received a two-year, $370,000 Ford grant for 2005-07 “for a program of legal advocacy and defense of human rights and the rule of law and promotion of democratic processes in Gaza.”

Even Steinberg of NGO Monitor praises the rights group for being one of the rare Palestinian organizations to condemn various abuses committed by the Palestinian authorities and police.

But in November 2006, the center also issued an “action alert” in which it joined with the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign — a network devoted to the boycott movement — in calling on the world to hold “Apartheid Israel” accountable for its “war crimes.”

Jaber Wishah, the Palestinian Center’s deputy director, said that by employing the term apartheid, “we are trying to raise awareness of the illegal and brutal behavior of the Israeli occupying force and the very discriminatory policies that the Israeli judicial system provides cover for.”

“The strategy of boycotts and divestment should be adopted to put an end to the Israeli policy of discrimination,” he said.

Joharah Baker, an editorial writer for Miftah, another Ford grantee, concedes that equating Israel with South Africa is not quite accurate, as “no two situations are exactly the same.” But many comparisons can be drawn, she said — the separation between the two peoples, and also separating Palestinians from Palestinians.

“Once there’s such a well-known comparison, people can draw those parallels and it becomes much more tangible in their mind,” she said. “It’s not that we’re misusing the term or that Palestinians misuse the term. I’m saying it’s very apartheid-like because of the nature of the conflict.”

For JTA’s complete investigation of the Ford Foundation, go to

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