A new fund organized by Likud leaders in Europe has enraged senior executives at the Jewish Agency for Israel, who claim it will sabotage the campaigns of both the United Jewish Appeal and its European counterpart, Keren Hayesod.
Heads of Likud offices in Europe, meeting in Brussels earlier this month, launched a new appeal to benefit Jewish settlers in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.
The sponsors of the appeal have also placed ads in prominent European publications. The ads, which charge that money raised by Keren Hayesod goes to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinians, urges donors not to contribute to the traditional fund-raising arms, according to the Jewish Agency. The ads encourage donors who want money to go to Jewish settlements to give to the new fund.
The Jewish Agency’s Zionist executive lashed out at the fund on Monday, with Yehiel Leket, the acting agency chairman, demanding that it cease operation.
Leket said it was unthinkable that a Zionist party represented in the Zionist executive would do something that he said “undermines the Keren Hayesod and sabotages their activity.”
Karen Hayesod Chairman shlomo Hillel said the new appeal would greatly harm the mainstream fund-raising campaign. The chairman of the Likud faction of the Zionist movement, Shlomo Gravetz, said the Likud fully supports the new fund, according to a Jewish Agency spokeswoman. At the same time, Gravetz called on the new found not to harm the appeals of Keren Hayesod and UJA, the spokesman said.