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Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Oy, gevaldt

Durban activists were funded by FORD FOUNDATION


If you have any tears left, this could make you cry. Part 1 of this special investigative report by JTA reveals that
. . . funding for many of the groups that fueled anti-Israel activity at a U.N. conference on racism came from the Ford Foundation. One of America’s largest philanthropic institutions — and arguably the most prestigious — the Ford Foundation was a multimillion-dollar funder of many human rights NGOs attending Durban.

. . . Ford has extended more than $35 million in grants to some 272 Arab and Palestinian organizations during the two-year 2000-2001 period alone — the most recent years for which data is available — plus 62 grants to individuals that total more than $1.4 million, according to Ford’s Web site, as accessed in mid-October 2003.

Since the 1950s, the foundation’s Beirut and Cairo offices have awarded more than $193 million to more than 350 Middle East organizations, almost entirely Arab, Islamic or Palestinian.

Ford’s Web site, at www.fordfound.org, offers detailed information about its Middle East grants. On the site as of mid-October, “Palestine” is frequently mentioned on its Mideast pages, but Israel’s name is absent. Moreover, the Web site’s shaded map of the geographical region from Egypt to Lebanon and Jordan blanks out over Israel’s territory, even though Ford does make grants to both Jewish and Arab organizations in Jerusalem.

Initially, despite more than two dozen requests by phone and in writing over a period of several weeks, the Ford Foundation’s communications vice president Alex Wilde, deputy media director Thea Lurie and media associate Joe Voeller refused to answer any questions or clarify any issues regarding the foundation’s funding of groups engaged in anti-Israeli agitation and anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist activity.

However, after this investigation was completed, Wilde did send a six-page written statement, declaring, “We have seen no indication that our grantees in Durban or elsewhere engaged in anti-Semitic speech or activities. The Foundation does not support hate speech of any kind.”
And that's just a tiny excerpt from Part 1. You can access all four parts at JTA. Kudos for an amazing piece of research.


If you need background information on the conference at Durban, go to the ADL website and enter "Durban" in the search box. You'll get 74 hits.