While Duke University’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, characterizes Israel as a “murderous” country with “genocidal policies” and defends Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) anti-Semitic tropes, the Ford Foundation makes the Tar Heel State the focus of intense “social-justice investing.”
Long a hotbed of anti-Israel activism, the left-wing, New York-based philanthropic institution is the fifth-largest in the United States as of 2017, reporting $13.7 billion in assets.
The foundation’s original benefactor, automaker Henry Ford, was a Nazi sympathizer admired enough by Adolph Hitler to be mentioned by name in “Mein Kampf.” Ford distributed anti-Jewish propaganda in the form of a book titled “The International Jew,” and promoted the fraudulent work of anti-Semitic hatred known as “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
The Ford Foundation today carries on Henry Ford’s shameful legacy by funding anti-Israel activism.
In 2003, Ford’s grantmaking was too much even for far-left U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), now House Judiciary Committee chairman, who complained when the Ford Foundation was caught funding “organizations that openly instigate anti-Semitism, call for the destruction of Israel, or engage in the promotion of violence.”
Ford gave the notorious New Israel Fund $42.3 million from 2000 – 2011, according to IRS filings. New Israel Fund, in turn, donated to hundreds of smaller nonprofits, many of which engaged in anti-Israel advocacy.
But nowadays, Ford advances its anti-Israel agenda more stealthily.
Ford embraces the controversial Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. In August 2016, BLM singled out Israel for condemnation, declaring it an “apartheid” state engaged in “genocide.” The decision to single out the only Jewish state is blatantly anti-Semitic.
In North Carolina, Ford has funded a number of groups that promote the Hamas-supported BDS movement, which aims to use boycotts, divestment and sanctions to cripple the State of Israel.
One of the key groups in Ford’s Black Lives Matter portfolio is Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), which unites leftist radicalism with a hatred of Israel. Ford gave the group $1.7 million in 2017 for “youth organizing.”
Ford also funded the North Carolina-based Southern Vision Alliance (DVA), whose staff overlaps with BYP100, giving the group $100,000 in 2017. SVA promotes BDS propaganda.
Ajamu Amiri Dillahunt of BYP100 laid bare the radicalism of his group in a 2018 op-ed. The Durham chapter was “a coalition partner with the Demilitarize! Durham2Palestine campaign connecting our struggle against police violence to the Palestinian struggle against the violence of the IDF,” he wrote.
In a Real News video, Dillahunt said: “The Israeli Defense Force [sic] brutalizes and terrorizes the people of Palestine and so does the Durham Police Department. Here they brutalize and terrorize black and brown communities. So the U.S. funds billions of dollars to the Israeli occupation.”
BYP100 teamed up with the anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine and others to pass the first municipal BDS policy in the U.S. in Durham, North Carolina.
In April 2018, Durham became the first U.S. city to prohibit its police from participating in “military-style training” with police abroad, a move interpreted by critics as part of an effort to isolate Israel and erode support for the Jewish state inside the U.S. The resolution, approved 6-0 by the city council, states: “The council opposes international exchanges with any country in which Durham officers receive military-style training since such exchanges do not support the kind of policing we want here in the City of Durham.”
The coalition claimed in a petition that the IDF and Israeli police “have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of Color … using tactics of extrajudicial killing, excessive force, racial profiling, and repression of social justice movements. … These tactics further militarize U.S. police forces that train in Israel, and this training helps the police terrorize Black and Brown communities here in the U.S.”
Ford funding has no doubt helped to advance the anti-Israel cause in North Carolina, spurring activism it has not underwritten.
The U.S. Department of Education (DoE) is investigating whether anti-Semitism played a part in a taxpayer-supported conference titled “Conflict over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities,” held March 22-24 at UNC-Chapel Hill. Rep. George Holding (R-NC) wrote Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in April, claiming the conference featured “severe anti-Israeli bias and explicit anti-Semitism.” Funds from a DoE grant were used to produce the conference.
Speakers and panelists “distorted facts and misrepresented the complex situation in Gaza,” and several speakers are involved in the BDS movement, Holding wrote.
The UNC Center for Middle East & Islamic Studies acknowledged hip-hop artist Tamer Nafar performed his song, “Mama, I Fell in Love with a Jew,” at the conference.
Calling it “my anti-Semitic song,” Nafar asked the audience to sing along, saying, “I need your help. I can’t be anti-Semitic alone, try it with me together.”
Taxpayers, alas, are funding hate at UNC.
Vadum is formerly Senior Vice President and Senior Fellow at Capital Research Center. He is a contributor to the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center and an independent investigative reporter in Washington, D.C. Vadum is the author of "Team Jihad: How Sharia-Supremacists Collaborate with Leftists to Destroy the United States" (Center for Security Policy Press, 2017).