Ford Foundation Funds Anti-Israel Event
The Ford Foundation is paying to send at least eight anti-Israeli scholars to a conference at an Italian villa.
A total of 21 scholars will meet in the villa in Bellagio, on the banks of Lake Como, to discuss academic boycotts and their relation to academic freedom.
More than a third of the participants publicly support boycotts of Israeli universities out of opposition to the Jewish state, according to the New York Sun.
The foundation is contributing $70,000 to fund the meeting and publish the conference’s proceedings.
The move comes less than three years after reports of Ford Foundation funding of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activity led to an international uproar. In November 2003, The foundation apologized for some of its funding and announced policies requiring grant recipients not to engage in bigotry.
Now some critics are wondering if the foundation’s funding of the conference Italy "violated its pledge not to support any grantee who promotes terrorism or bigotry, or calls for the destruction of any state,” the Sun reports.
Sen. Rich Santorum, R-Pa., a critic of the 2003 funding, called the organization’s support for the conference in Italy "distressing.”
In a discussion about academic boycotts and academic freedom, "it doesn’t make any sense to have a conference which is dominated by people who are basically anti-Israel in their approach and only use the academic boycott as a technique … for demonizing Israel and pursuing its destruction,” Gerald Steinberg, a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, told the Sun.
The Ford Foundation was established by Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite. The foundation no longer has a relationship with the automaker or the Ford family.