Rightist Im Tirtzu Group Received 200,000 Shekels From Settler NGO

Money came from foundation run by Amana, the construction arm of the Yesha Council of settlements and the body responsible for most of the building of the illegal West Bank outposts

Im Tirtzu activists clashing with students at Tel Aviv University while calling for closure of left-leaning Political Science Department at Ben-Gurion University.
Oren Ziv

The right-wing Im Tirtzu organization received a donation last year of 200,000 shekels (about $53,500) from a non-profit organization belonging to Amana, the construction arm of the Yesha Council of settlements and the body responsible for most of the building of the illegal West Bank outposts, Haaretz has learned.

In 2013, Im Tirtzu received the money from the Foundation for the Nurturing and Complete Fulfillment of the Zionist Idea According to the Roots of Judaism. The foundation is a non-profit organization that belongs to Amana, which invests millions of shekels in the establishment, funding and expansion of illegal outposts in the West Bank.

The foundation’s offices are in the offices of Amana, and one of its directors is Ze’ev (“Zambish”) Hever, secretary-general of Amana. In recent years, Hever has broadened Amana’s activities from settlement construction to support for public advocacy and legal battles that aid the movement, such as transferring funds to Regavim, an NGO that works to keep land available to Jews. Im Tirtzu is best known for attacking organizations associated with the left as being anti-Israeli, and is accused by its targets of using slanderous, McCarthyite tactics.

The contribution represents 18 percent of the 1,093,662 shekels Im Tirtzu raised in 2013. The biggest donation came from the Central Fund of Israel, run by the Marcus family, long-time donors to Im Tirtzu. The identity of one donor, who gave 37,350 shekels, is kept confidential at Im Tirtzu’s request, with the approval of the Registrar of Charities; Im Tirtzu has in the past campaigned to “expose” the identities of donors to various NGOs.

A spokesperson for Im Tirtzu said: “Because Im Tirtzu is in the vanguard of promoting and protecting Zionist values in the State of Israel, the Foundation for the Nurturing and Complete Fulfillment of the Zionist Idea saw fit to contribute to it, along with other donors from all parts of the Zionist political spectrum. We believe that Haaretz, which pretends to present itself as a newspaper for thinking people, will understand that. We also wish you luck in your attempt to discover who else donates to the movement.”

Hever did not respond to Haaretz’s request for comment.