On the face of it, a hawkish pro-Israel group’s campaign against Jewish charities it accuses of funding anti-Israel organizations looked like a failure. Several people quoted in the Emergency Committee for Israel’s New York Times advertisement quickly distanced themselves from the ad. And the Jewish groups it targeted reported hardly any change in their support.
But the public blow-up may have been exactly what ECI had in mind.
“We wanted to start a conversation about the appropriateness of mainstream philanthropies supporting organizations that are so hostile to Israel,” Noah Pollak, a spokesman for ECI, wrote in an email to the Forward. “The conversation has begun.”
The controversy started when ECI ran an ad — featuring a wolf’s head glaring out from behind a sheep’s mask — attacking Jewish groups for channeling donor funds to think tanks Media Matters and the Center for American Progress.
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