Did the New Israel Fund send money to Hezbollah?


Ameer Makhoul

Ameer Makhoul

[1/19/2011:  In the interest of fairness and accuracy, please consider the New Israel Fund’s response to this article.  It is the first comment appearing below the article.  — Editor]

The man who oversaw allocation of Washington’s New Israel Fund has been indicted for treason as a secret agent of the Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Ameer Makhoul, a leader of the Israeli Arab Community, was indicted last month on charges of treason.  Makhoul admitted that he provided the Hezbollah terrorist organization with information about security at Israeli Army bases, facilities belonging to Israel’s General Security Services, and defense industry sites throughout Israel.  He is also charged with giving Hezbollah information during the Second Lebanon War (in the summer of 2006) about where rockets fell in Haifa, to help improve their aim.

According to the  indictment handed down  in the district court of Haifa, Makhoul acknowledged meeting a Hezbollah agent in Denmark, where he consented to serve as a secret source of information for the terrorist organization.

What makes this especially interesting to Americans is that Mr. Makhoul is the Israeli Arab leader who oversaw allocations of American Jewish philanthropic funds, including the New Israel Fund, to Israeli Arab organizations.  He also received and administered grants from the European Union.

Where did the money really go?

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  1. #1 by Jewish Jihad on January 20, 2011 - 1:56 am

    This post has generated a protest via email from the New Israel Fund (NIF), complaining that Jewish Jihad “features a recent post about our organization, spreading patently false information.”

    The New Israel Fund’s email states:

    “Ameer Makhoul was never responsible for disbursement of any funding from the New Israel Fund and he was never in the employ of our organization. His organization Ittijah never received funding intended for the disbursement to other NGOs. Please correct this post.”

    Anyone with a Facebook profile or a valid email address can submit an article or post a comment on Jewish Jihad. Although we are not in a position to conduct first-hand investigations (particularly in such a non-transparent situation as the Makhoul affair), we do value fairness and accuracy, and we welcome the opportunity to reproduce the NIF’s response here.

    If you have further questions about the NIF’s statement, do feel free to be in touch with their Director of Communications in New York.

  2. #2 by Jewish Jihad on January 20, 2011 - 2:19 am

    The claim that NIF gave money to Ittijah appears to be well documented by both ends of the Israeli political spectrum.

    For a source trusted by ardent Zionists, see NGO Monitor, here:
    http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/ittijah
    and more explicitly here:
    http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/nif_funded_ngos_goldstone_s_building_blocks

    And from the anti-Zionist ultra-left we have Richard Silverstein’s assertion that “Ittijah is a grantee of the New Israel Fund.” You can find it here:
    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2010/05/06/shin-bets-israeli-cult-of-secrecy-continues-arab-ngo-director-secretly-arrested-in-dead-of-night/

    Neither source contradicts the NIF’s email to Jewish Jihad. NIF asserted only that Makhoul never administered nor received NIF funds that were meant to be passed along. Direct NIF support for Ittijah itself is not ruled out.

  3. #3 by Jewish Jihad on January 21, 2011 - 9:36 pm

    The NIF has emailed Jewish Jihad with further clarification, as follows:

    “Ittijah was dropped as a grantee in 2004 following their decision to participate in delegitimization of Israel at the Durban conference. Since then, they have not received NIF moneys.”

(will not be published)