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ECI calls on Jewish foundations to defund Media Matters, CAP

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Emergency Committee for Israel called on Jewish charitable foundations to stop funneling money to two liberal groups that have offered criticisms of Israel.

A full-page ad in The New York Times by the right-wing pro-Israel group published Thursday highlights criticism by Jewish groups and opinion shapers of the Center for American Progress think tank and Media Matters, a liberal media watchdog.

CAP has taken steps in recent months to address some of the harsh rhetoric voiced by some of its staffers, and two of the three Jewish groups cited in the ad have since praised its efforts. The ad does not note the steps by CAP.

Media Matters has stood by a staffer who calls right-wing pro-Israel advocates "Israel firsters," a term that analysts have shown has its origins in anti-Semitic writings.

The ad lists the phone numbers of Jewish foundations and federations that have funneled donor-advised funds to the groups.

The practice among federations and foundations of acceding to donor requests to transfer trust money to an array of groups is commonplace. Jewish foundations in general agree to transfers to all but the most extreme groups, as well as groups that seek to convert Jews to Christianity.

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