New Israel Fund launches appeal for Gaza

Charity’s associate director in Israel says it is ‘our Jewish and halachic responsibility’


A camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah, Gaza - one tent bears the logo of the USA-based charity World Central Kitchen

The New Israel Fund has launched an appeal to raise funds for humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Under the banner of a line from the Pesach Haggadah, “Let all who are hungry come and eat,” the organisation’s UK branch wrote on its website: “Just as we worked to alleviate the suffering of Israeli civilians in Israel after October 7 and continue to do so, we cannot ignore the desperation and suffering of civilians in Gaza today.”

The charity will allocate donations through two other agencies, World Central Kitchen and the International Rescue Committee.

David Davidi-Brown, chief executive of NIF UK, said, “We have tried to hold many varying perspectives and conflicting emotions and offer a way for those close to and deeply connected to Israel — yet appalled by the devastation, death and hunger in Gaza — to take action.

“In a world where it is often easier to take one side or respond with simplistic slogans, we are trying to show it is possible to respond to the horror of this war with compassion for all affected communities, and whilst recognising complexity.”

NIF UK has previously directed supporters to WCK and Israelis trying to save lives in Gaza.

Shira Ben-Sasson Furstenberg, NIF associate director in Israel, said the appeal was “not just our moral obligation, but our Jewish and halachic responsibility. Our hostages are also relying on this food to reach Gaza, including a hostage who is very dear to me.”

She added, “Both of my grandmothers, one in Hebron, and one during the Holocaust, were saved by people from another nation, who risked themselves in saving my grandmothers’ lives. For me, this is personal. I feel obligated to try to save the lives of my neighbours.”

NIF said that Israelis had contributed more than £10,000 in the first 20 hours of the appeal.

WCK lost seven aid workers in Gaza last week after a drone attack that the Israeli Defence Forces acknowledged had been a mistake. 

The IRC is headed by former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

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