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Edwin Black's latest book, Financing the Flames: How Tax-Exempt and Public Money Fuel a Culture of Confrontation and Terrorism in Israel, pulls the cover off the robust use of US tax-exempt, tax-subsidized, and public monies to foment agitation, systematically destabilize the Israel Defense Forces, and finance terrorists in Israel. In a far-flung investigation in the United States, Israel and the West Bank, human-rights investigative reporter Edwin Black documents that it is actually the highly politicized human rights organizations and NGOs themselves—all American taxpayer supported—which are financing the flames that make peace in Israel difficult if not impossible.

Black spotlights key charitable organizations such as the Ford Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the New Israel Fund, and many others, as well as American taxpayers as a group. Instead of promoting peace and reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis, a variety of taxpayer-subsidized organizations have funded a culture where peace does not pay, but warfare and confrontation do. Ironically, several Jewish organizations, scooping up millions in tax-subsidized donations, stand at the forefront of the problem. At the same time, the author details at great length the laudable and helpful activities of such groups as the New Israel Fund; he chronicles a heartbreaking conflict between stated intent and true impact on the ground. In addition to documenting questionable 501(c)(3) activity, Black documents the direct relationship between taxpayer assistance to the Palestinian Authority and individuals engaged in terrorism against civilians.

Chief Findings:

  • Black conclusively documents how millions of American taxpayer dollars are fungibly funding the salaries of specific terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons, salaries that are among the best in the Palestinian Authority. Under Palestinian law, these salaries are calculated to increase with the level of mass murder and destruction inflicted.


  • Some protestors are actually compensated by charitable organizations when they riot—and such riots can and do occur on a scheduled basis in a highly orchestrated fashion. In this enterprise, sponsored American and European activists frequently provoke, incite, and harass soldiers as they video tape the choreographed riots.


  •  A broad spectrum of the Israeli military and numerous Knesset members went on record to say US taxpayer-subsidized NGOs in Israel –which they name--are systematically "destabilizing the Israel Defense Forces." This has resulted in daily harassment and taunting of IDF soldiers in the field, where young men and women in uniform are systematically pushed to react. If they do, the incidents are commonly videotaped, edited and then used as "evidence" to be distributed for boycott efforts and war crime prosecutions. In addition, according to numerous members of the IDF, these named groups are engaged in a robust international effort to create a new "military front" in various international war crime venues — once again at American taxpayer expense.


  • The New Israel Fund and its grantee, B'Tselem, fund programs that tolerate and facilitate the systematic exploitation of children on the West Bank. These incidents regularly include the use of children in the front line for the purpose of provoking Israeli security responses, turning children into human shields, and systematic child endangerment to achieve a political goal. These incidents are then videotaped, edited, and distributed.


  • Massive daily lobbying in Israel to achieve, modify, and block Israeli legislation is undertaken—again by virtue of taxpayer assistance. Key Knesset leaders charge that the intent of this pervasive lobbying is to create an "Israel devoid of Jewish identity," and achieve other political goals. Knesset members state that the intense political activity includes rigorous involvement in candidate selection and election—all enabled by American tax policy.


  • While claiming to advance democracy in Israel, the New Israel Fund has regularly undermined the democratic process in that nation by convincing Israeli Knesset members not to show up for voting on key issues.


  • Taxpayer money is being used to further entrench a human-rights double standard where abuses and mistreatment of Jews by Palestinians are tolerated, ignored, and even promoted. In this system, Jews are singled out for discrimination in their own country in a fashion that taxpayers would never tolerate in America.


  • Ironically, some of the same NGO grantees in Israel accused of being engaged in destabilization of the IDF and receiving funding from the New Israel Fund, and other foundations, also receive charitable monies from foundations controlled by Iran and Saudi Arabia.


Most people should and will be appelled to read the revelations in Financing the Flames. It is a jolt!

Rick Halperin

Financing The Flames exposes the greatest threat to Israel's existence since its 1948 War of Independence

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Financing the Flames by Edwin Black - Book Cover