THANKS JANET LEVY FOR THIS REMINDER…..RSK
A recent letter to PM Netanyahu opposing the Levy Report organized by the Israel Policy Forum (IPF) and signed by 40 critics of Jewish communities built in Judea and Samaria (“settlements”) received wide media attention. With perhaps a few exceptions, those who signed the letter did not read the report, since it was only in Hebrew at that time. This was a typical hit-job by a marginal, tiny elite organization that promotes the “two-state solution,” a second or third Arab Palestinian state and evacuating Jews from the area.
Touted as “American Jewish leaders,” the individuals who signed, except for those associated with the Reform Movement, Eric Yoffee and David Saperstein, represent no organizations or constituencies. They are mega-bucks “philanthropists,” very wealthy businessmen like Charles Bronfman, Lester Crown, Marvin Lender, owner of Lender’s Bagels, and Richard Pearlstone, financier and real estate mogul, who bought their way into Jewish communal organizations, Susi Gelman (heiress to the Levi Strauss fortune), Edith Everett who runs a family foundation, some corporate lawyers, a few academics, a former Clinton advisor, and two former US ambassadors to Israel.
IPF was founded in 1993 with PM Rabin’s blessing to support the Oslo Accords and counter AIPAC – and to carry out propaganda campaigns as part of a network of American organizations with a similar purpose, like Americans for Peace Now, and New Israel Fund, and left-wing Israeli NGOs like ACRI, B’Tselem, etc, think tanks like INSS and the Peres Center for Peace.
IPS’ first president was Jack Bendheim, a wealthy businessman (Phibro and PAHC holdings) and philanthropist living in Riverdale, NY with a home and social and business contacts in Israel. Jonathan A. Jacoby, IPF’s founding executive VP, worked for Credit Suisse and UBS and is currently Policy and Campaigns Manager at Oxfam America. NGO-Monitor’s research documents that Oxfam is an anti-Israel organization that supports BDS campaigns.
According to Prof Ofira Seliktar (Divided We Stand) in 1996 the IPF, led by Bendheim, along with billionaire S.Daniel Abraham (SlimFast), and Sara Ehrman (Americans for Peace Now) played a major role in convincing then-President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright to apply more pressure on PM Netanyahu for further withdrawals, halting settlement activity and concessions to Arafat as part of the Wye Agreements.