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Financing the Flames

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Author Edwin Black Reveals Latest Terrorism Funding at IBC-TV Special Event at Beverly Hills City Council

November 20th 2013

Edwin Black

New York Times bestselling author Edwin Black will be the featured speaker at the IBC-TV Special Event being hosted in the Beverly Hills City Council Chambers by the Beverly Hills Forum November 25, 2013. He will reveal new information from his latest investigative book, Financing the Flames: How Tax-Exempt and Public Money Fuel a Culture of Confrontation and Terror in Israel. The IBC-TV Special Event accompanies a special 10-part broadcast series on Financing the Flames produced as part of the Edwin Black Show on the IBC-TV network.

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Financing the Flames 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, he writes, a variety of taxpayer-subsidized organizations have funded a culture where peace does not pay, but warfare and confrontation do.

Financing the Flames has received a cascade of accolades since it was unleashed upon the public last month. Rick Halperin director of Southern Methodist University Embrey Human Rights Program and former chairman of the board of Amnesty International USA called the book “a jolt.” Halperin wrote, “Most people should and will be appalled to read the revelations in Financing the Flames. It is a jolt!”

William Schambra, director of the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy, reviewed the book this way: “Edwin Black takes us behind the scenes at the New Israel Fund, where an ostensibly progressive and humanitarian mission conceals on-the-ground activities that undermine Israel’s very existence. Once again, his rigorous investigation demonstrates that following the money tells us far more about what’s really going on than listening to soothing mission statements. As he proved in his series Funding Hate, which brought the mighty Ford Foundation to its knees, he s one of the few journalists able and willing to hold the world’s largest foundations and nonprofits accountable for their carefully concealed activities.”

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called the volume an “extraordinary job.” The Washington Times called it “compelling and awesome.” The Washington Jewish Week hailed the book as “tenacious and hard-hitting.” The Algemeiner wrote that Financing the Flames was nothing short of “shocking.”

Ironically, Black writes, 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. Black chronicles what he calls “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.

The book, Black’s eleventh in recent years, conclusively documents how millions of American taxpayer dollars are fungibly funding the salaries of specific terrorists currently 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.

Black also chronicles how some protestors are actually compensated by charitable organizations when they riot—riots that 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 the choreographed riots, he writes.
Moreover, a broad spectrum of the Israeli military and numerous Knesset members went on record with Black 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 distributed as “evidence” 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 subsidized by American taxpayers.

Black writes that the New Israel Fund and one of its grantees, 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 also videotaped, edited, and distributed.

Financing the Flames also vibrantly documents massive daily lobbying in Israel to achieve, modify, and block Israeli legislation—again undertaken 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 dollars and charitable contributions. Indeed, states Black, 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.

According to documentation in Financing the Flames, 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.

For his work, which follows up his award-winning JTA-syndicated investigation, Funding Hate, Black had full access to members of the human rights and NGO communities, the Israeli military, Israeli Knesset, Arab protest organizations, as well as to their financial records. The author travelled to Israel where he covered West Bank riots, visited dissident Palestinians in their villages and Israelis in the settlements. Many ordinary Arabs and Jews caught up in the well-financed confrontation were interviewed including numerous Israeli military men, from the lowest ranks to the most senior echelons, as well as both official and confidential Palestinian sources.

Financing the Flames is available in various languages in fifteen countries, both in paperback and electronic forms. Articles and editorial excerpts have appeared in major publications throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, and other countries. Financing the Flames is the focus of a ten-part series on IBC-TV as part of The Edwin Black Show. IBC-TV is also the principal media sponsor of the author’s 2013–2014 international lecture tour.

The November 25, 2013 IBC-TV Special Event is the second time Black has been hosted by the Beverly Hills City Council to present book findings. The evening will be recorded by the City Council for later broadcast on the city’s cable channel and will part of the city library’s permanent video collection.

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