Thursday, May 10, 2012

NIF (New Israel Fund) Who Told You You're Allowed To Rain on My Parade???????


Dear JCRC and UJA Federation,

Don't bring around the cloud to rain on my parade (lyrics from Funny Girl)  

Who doesn't love being part of the Israel Day Parade in Manhattan?  Usually it's a glorious Sunday, bringing out lots of young people, families blessed with little children many in baby carriages, and aging people, young at heart, with carefree spirits, all experiencing the magic and romance of the day, . Even showers don't  usually put a damper on the enthusiasm but rather reminds us of our prayers for the blessings of rain. What excitement and pride in seeing the floats and marching bands go by and meeting up with people whom we haven't seen in years.   We go nuts  marching and waving to our friends in the crowd,  or seeing our kids or friend proudly marching or dancing down 5th Ave with all of his/her classmates or group.  It's heartwarming to hear them cheering and singing songs that touch our very soul. These very special moments release a surge of love for the very special place we call Israel.

Today on behalf of the Committee for a PRO Israel Parade I called many sponsors and participants of the Parade.  I explained to them that we are upset that the NIF has been allowed to march since NIF is an umbrella organization which  provide grants to Israeli NGO's like B'Tselem who promote boycotting of Israeli products and promote Palestinian Rights not Jewish Rights.  According to B'Tselem Jews are the illegal occupiers rather than the indigenous people of the Land of Israel. According to B'Tselem,  the settlements in Judea and Samaria, the Biblical heartland, are illegal and occupying and trampling on Palestinian property and rights. 

We, the Committee for a PRO Israel Parade, understand that the Parade wishes to have a large Tent or Umbrella under which many different groups can march. We too are supportive of this. However, we all share a common denominator in that we love Israel and want the best for Israel. Even a tent has boundaries and there is some fine line that can not be crossed as per who is invited to sit in our tent. 

It is becoming very clear that the JCRC is going ahead with allowing the NIF to march in Our Parade.  JCRC must be annoyed that we are making these phone calls to sponsors and participants of the Parade.  Perhaps deep down they too feel very bad that the NIF is participating.  The JCRC has wonderful employees.  However, their funding is dependent on UJA-Federation .  So while deep down they too perhaps  do not want the NIF to march in the Israel Parade, they most probably have had no choice in the matter.   In fact, almost all the participants that we called,  directors, presidents, principals and secretaries, expressed agreement and sympathized with us that the NIF has no place marching in the Israel Parade.  However, they did not want to say something that would be perceived as a "political statement".  Wasn't that part of their agreement that had to be signed in order to be a participant of the Parade? 

So it looks like our campaign to stop NIF from marching will not succeed.  Those who would like NIF to march are winning this battle.  We do not control the purse strings.  We do not have such leverage. 

Let no one be fooled by altruistic justification for allowing NIF to march based on the organizers desire to include "all kinds" of groups under their tent.  We are not fooled by the hypocritical claim to be apolitical.  No one  makes stronger political statements then the voice of the NIF when they choose their grantees.  

Those who are pushing for NIF to march should know that even when others are not openly defiant or openly oppose their decision to allow NIF to participate in the parade, deep down they strongly disapprove. And even if  pro Israel Jewish newspapers are silent by not reporting  the controversy surrounding NIF marching  because they fear loss of advertising revenue, the editors of these newspapers are clearly not happy about it!  People may act like they respect you because they want your money but deep down they know what is right and they know that you are not acting as a true friend of Israel.

Parshath B'har  talks about the Mitzvah of Shemittah.  G-d says "Ki Li Haaretz", the  Land belongs to Me for you are are sojourners and residents with Me".  ( Leviticus 25:23) The Commandment of Shemittah is to let the fields lie fallow in Israel and in this way we demonstrate that the Land belongs to G-d.  

Tonight I watched a video of Rabbi BenZion Chait shlita   former Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Florida  saying the following: "The needs of Klal Yisroel, the assembly of Israel, comes before the needs of an individual, before  the needs of a family and before the needs of a community.".  

So what has this to do with the Parade and the fact that NIF has been allowed to march?  

NIF should not be allowed to march because they are bad for Klal Yisroel, all of the people of  Israel.  It may temporarily seem good for JCRC to allow them to march and it may temporarily bring in revenue for the newspapers not to report on this controversy.  But if we look at the total picture, NIF is bad for Israel and ultimately bad for us all no matter what our rationalizations are.. 

The lessons of Shemittah are that ultimately G-d will provide for us when we do the right thing.  G-d won't let us starve even when we do not earn money for our hard work. A farmer can work and pick produce for himself and his family during Shemittah but he does not earn wages as he would ordinarily. In return, he is promised blessings in reward for keeping the faith.  This requires Emunah, faith in an omniscient G-d and that He can fulfill His Promises regarding the Promised Land, promised to His Chosen People. 



Robin Ticker
Activist emails sent to my list  are L'Ilui Nishmat Yisrael ben David Aryeh ob"m (Izzy - Kaplan)  a great activist and lover of Eretz Yisroel, Am Yisroel and the Torah. Yehi Zichrono Baruch.

Most of these emails are posted on 

Personal emails to individuals will not be posted to my blog. 

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