Last year, I wrote about how the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) is a substantial contributor to the boycott Israel movement. Since 2013, RBF has contributed at least $880,000 to groups working to advance a boycott of Israel.
Now the Jerusalem Post reports that, in addition, RBF contributes to Palestinian organizations with close ties to terrorist groups. Moreover, it continued to do so after being told that the NGOs it is funding have those terrorist ties.
RBF funds Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P). According to the Jerusalem Post, many of DCI-P’s officials and board members are linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Indeed, DCI-P is the product of the PFLP’s recognition of the benefit of having their own NGO network under the banner of human rights, says NGO Monitor president Prof. Gerald Steinberg.
PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization in the U.S., the EU, and Canada. It is responsible for hijacking an Air France plane to Uganda in 1976, which led to the famous IDF raid on Entebbe; attacking a preschool on Kibbutz Misgav Am in 1980, killing two-and-a-half-year-old Eyal Gluska; and for massacring Jewish worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue in 2014, among many other terrorist attacks.
Sometimes the mask comes off of DCI-P, revealing its strong connections with PFLP. This happened when a DCI-P employee, Hashem Abu Maria, was killed by the IDF during a violent confrontation in 2014. Abu Maria was hailed as a leader of the PFLP. Indeed, when DCI-P director Rifat Odeh Kassis spoke at Abu Maria’s memorial service, he was surrounded by PFLP flags and posters. The PFLP wrote on its website that Abu Maria “was in the ranks of the national liberation struggle and the PFLP from an early age. . .”
Similarly, DCI-P general assembly president Nasser Ibrahim is a former editor of the PFLP’s weekly publication. He can be seen in a 2015 video claiming Palestinians have a “right of resistance,” including the right to “raise the gun.” He also co-wrote The Palestinian Intifada: Cry Freedom, a 2002 book in which he said, “Every checkpoint, every soldier and every settler are legitimate targets in the struggle for freedom… everything becomes a target: Jerusalem, Haifa, Hadera, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, the settlements.”
The Swiss and Danish governments were recently provided with evidence of links between DCI-P and PFLP. According to the Jerusalem Post, they cut funding to the DCI-P. But when Dani Dayan, Israel’s Consul General in New York, met with RBF president Stephen Heintz in early 2017 to inform him of these connections, Heintz was unmoved. RBF’s support of DCI-P continues.
There is a parallel here to RBF’s decision to support Israel boycott groups. Nicholas Burns, the respected U.S. diplomat who has long been involved in the Israeli-Palestinian quagmire, was a RBF trustee. During a trustee meeting in 2015, Burns urged RBF to stop funding pro-BDS organizations. When RBF rejected his plea, Burns resigned.
RBF isn’t being duped into backing virulently anti-Israel outfits, including some with strong links to terrorism. It is doing so with its eyes wide open. It has no problem with this.
The BDS movement has gushed that support from RBF gives it credibility with the philanthropic community and beyond. Perhaps. But with RBF now exposed as backing terrorists, perhaps not.