New York, NY, February 9, 2004 … In an address to the Anti-Defamation League's National Executive Committee Meeting last week, Susan V. Berresford, President of the Ford Foundation, offered her personal assurances that the Foundation will no longer fund organizations that incite anti-Semitism or challenge Israel's legitimacy.
Responding to recent revelations that Ford Foundation grantees were active in the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel campaign at the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, Ms. Berresford said that no future grants would go to organizations that support terrorism, bigotry or the delegitimization of Israel.
Ms. Berresford addressed the National Executive Committee (NEC) – the League's highest policymaking body – during its February 6 meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
"The Ford Foundation continues to show courage and conscience in recognizing that foundations can and must take responsibility to see to it that they are not funding incitement," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We commend Ms. Berresford for understanding that supporters of civil society organizations have a vital role to play in fostering a climate of tolerance and setting standards for fair and equal judgment of all sovereign states."
In a letter, and in subsequent meetings with ADL leaders last week, Ms. Berresford indicated that as a result of the new policy, the Ford Foundation is currently reviewing the funding status of Habitat International Coalition (HIC). The review was prompted after ADL raised concerns that the HIC's Middle East/North Africa office has participated in the dissemination of anti-Israel propaganda and other inflammatory materials.
"Our review of the HIC Web site revealed material that we find offensive and deeply troubling," wrote Ms. Berresford. "We will now have an immediate, full and serious discussion with relevant members of HIC's leadership about these matters. … As we have made clear, we will not support groups that promote or engage in violence, terrorism bigotry or the destruction of any state."