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‘No place like it on earth’ — Kraft launches million-dollar contest to defend Israel from BDS

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft won the 2019 Genesis Prize at the beginning of the year, receiving a million-dollar award given annually to Jewish individuals “who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields.” At the award ceremony in June, the prize was presented by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime friend of Kraft. In his acceptance speech, Kraft told the audience that he would use the prize money to combat antisemitism and BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement. He also pledged $20 million towards the creation of a foundation that would do the same.

“When I was awarded the Genesis Prize in January, I promised to dedicate myself even more than before to fighting anti-semitism, BDS, and other efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel,” Kraft declared, “My vision is to work to end the violence against Jewish communities. To counter the normalization of anti-Semitic narratives that question Israel’s right to exist, disguised as part of legitimate debate on campuses and in the media.”

Now we know specifically how Kraft will use the prize money. He’s teaming up with the Genesis Prize Foundation to launch a competition that will award $1 million in grants to groups that fight against BDS and the delegitimization of Israel. The competition, which is titled “Speak Out Israel,” will disburse the funds (at a minimum of $50,000 per grant) to Israeli nonprofits that portray Israel in a positive manner.

“We see our role as being a catalyst in helping to bring about the change we want to see in the world,” Genesis Prize Foundation president Steven Rakitt told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “We bring together philanthropists to respond to the most critical issues in our community. Given the sharp rise in anti-Israel sentiment around the world, there is no question that we feel a responsibility to focus on combating this scourge.”

A press release on the group’s website includes a quote from Kraft detailing his personal connection to Israel. “Israel is so special to me and my family,” he said, “It’s where I took the love of my life on our honeymoon in 1963. Since then, I have sponsored dozens of missions and countless other trips for people to experience Israel for the first time. Spiritually, there is no place like it on earth. The more people learn about its history, its diverse culture and its innovation, the more we can do to change stereotypes and end antisemitism. That’s why Speak Out for Israel is so timely and important to Israel’s future.”

In the same week that the competition was announced, Human Rights Watch’s Omar Shakir became the first person to be expelled from Israel under the country’s BDS law. The law allows advocates for the movement to be denied entry into the country. Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry recommended that Shakir be barred because “he frequently retweets and shares material about BDS.”

Michael Arria

Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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18 Responses

  1. Kay24 on November 26, 2019, 8:55 pm

    It is time American tax payers stopped propping up an occupier, supplying it with the weapons that kill unarmed civilians, and allowed these stinking rich zionists around the world, to send those billions of dollars that we keep paying for this costly occupation. Surely Adelson and other wealthy American Jews can now step in and put their money where their mouth is?

    The BDS movement must be hurting Israel, or why else should there be this huge effort to shut it down? It must make them feel insecure and afraid.

    • Misterioso on November 27, 2019, 12:23 pm

      @Kay24, et al

      Speaking of Robert Kraft and his fellow “stinking rich Zionists.” –

      “World Jewish Congress: Billionaires, Oligarchs, Global Influencers for Israel”

      If Americans Knew Blog, Nov. 24/19, by Alison Weir.

      “Billionaires, Russian oligarchs, Ukrainian ambassadors, international financiers, the Rothschilds, and glitterati of all sorts gathered at the 2019 gala for the World Jewish Congress.

      “The gathering represented unparalleled power & wealth (and not a little corruption)… martialled on behalf of Israel…

      “The World Jewish Congress (WJC), which calls itself ‘The Representative Body of over 100 Jewish Communities Worldwide,’ held its annual gala at the Pierre hotel in New York City on Nov. 6.

      “It bestowed its annual Theodor Herzl Award (named after Israel’s founding father) on former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for her work on behalf of Israel. Some previous awardees have been Joe Biden and Henry Kissinger.

      “One of the WJC’s main issues is support for Israel. Among its many activities in this realm, it collaborates with the Israeli government to defend Israel from criticisms of its human rights abuses and discriminatory system.

      “The WJC defines many factual statements about Israel to be ‘antisemitic,’ and labels legitimate opposition to Israeli violence and oppression against Palestinians ‘antisemitism.’ As a result, its top issue, combating ‘antisemitism,’ often consists of efforts to suppress information about Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and to combat efforts on behalf of Palestinian human rights.”

      “A Glittering Guest List”

      “The Jewish Voice described the recent World Jewish Congress gala in New York:

      “’It’s 6 PM on Wednesday November 6th in New York City and dozens of Secret Service are gathered at the Pierre to protect billionaires, politicians and global influencers at one of the premier evenings of the year.’

      “JV reports that ‘the illustrious guest list was unparalleled,’ and provides a lineup that represents extraordinary wealth and power (and, in a number of cases, diverse types of malfeasance).

      “JV provided the names of some of the guests, to which are appended their net worths when available (these fluctuate over time) and additional information:

      “Henry Kissinger (net worth $180 million, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under two presidents.)

      “The Rothschilds (estimates of net worth range from $400 billion up to $700 trillion, from the famous Rothschild banking family, more information below.)

      “Robert Kraft ($7 billion net worth, NFL Patriots owner, received Israel’s Genesis Prize at a lavish ceremony in Israel, where he pledged $20 million to combating anti-Semitism and the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel, charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in Florida -Boston’s WBUR radio reports: ‘The diamond-studded legal guns representing the 78-year-old New England Patriots owner (one of them a former Epstein lawyer) may save him… ‘ meanwhile, the women are facing up to 15 years in prison.)

      “Thomas J. Tisch (net worth $121 million, former chancellor of Brown University, son of billionaire Laurence Tisch, former CEO of CBS.)

      “Leonard Lauder ($21 billion net worth, elder son of Estee Lauder)

      “Judy Glickman Lauder (wife of Leonard Lauder, widow of Louis J. Glickman)

      “The Safras (of the ‘sometimes clandestine’ banking dynasty that started over a century ago, Chella Safra is WJC Treasurer)

      “The Richest Banker In The World.
      “Ira Rennert (net worth $3 billion, previously, $6 billion, investor, known as a ‘junk bond billionaire,’ found guilty of corruption in 2015, placed a mill in Baltimore’s outer harbor into bankruptcy, causing more than 2,000 workers to lose their jobs, owes Baltimore $8 million in unpaid city water bills, allegedly used money he looted from his business to build a 29-room mansion & compound – a garage holds 100 cars.)

      “Dick Parsons (former Time Warner CEO, CBS chair, & Citibank chair; in 2012 shareholders filed a lawsuit against Parsons and some other executives for ‘stuffing their pockets while running the bank into the ground.’)

      “Ben Ashkenazy (net worth $4 billion, Israeli American real estate tycoon, a benefactor of the 2015 AIPAC Real Estate Luncheon at New York’s Grand Hyatt Hotel)

      “Jack Chehebar (real estate mogul, sued for alleged breach of contract, accused of beating his son)

      “Ray Kelly (longest serving commissioner in the history of the New York City Police Department, for a period was an Interpol vice president, charged by Muslim groups of discrimination: ‘The commissioner oversaw a spying program that targeted Muslims based solely on their religion, showed poor judgment by participating in a virulently anti-Islamic film, and approved a report on terrorism that equated innocuous behavior such as quitting smoking with signs of radicalization.’)

      • wondering jew on November 27, 2019, 8:16 pm

        “The Rothschilds (estimates of net worth range from $400 billion up to $700 trillion, from the famous Rothschild banking family, more information below.)” Is this credible. Surely it stretches credulity. How can you quote such a trash publishing source?

      • annie on November 27, 2019, 10:36 pm

        Rothschild family: net worth estimated at up to $700 trillion
        One of the wealthiest and most influential families in the world, the banking dynasty was founded in the 1760s. Because the family’s wealth is private, it’s difficult to ascertain its net worth – estimates range all the way up to a staggering $700 trillion, split between legions of descendants. The philanthropic clan has interests in real estate, art and wine.

        sorry if that’s inconvenient for you. the 1st page of the article ( says:

        Click ahead to discover the largest family fortunes, as calculated by Forbes, in the world.

      • wondering jew on November 27, 2019, 11:06 pm

        They have a net worth in excess of 30 times the yearly GNP of the US?

        The estimates range from 400 billion to 700 trillion?

        These numbers are staggering and incredulous.

        An estimate from x to 1750x is not an estimate; it is nonsense. It is numbers designed for conspiracy lovers. Unless one demonstrates where this number comes from I will treat it as nonsense and those who quote it as those who wish to throw numbers around.

      • annie on November 27, 2019, 11:27 pm

        i have no idea yonah nor am i vouching for it. but i believe it when microsoft news (msn) says they got the estimate from forbes and think forbes is likely the same source of IAK. i can’t imagine a trillion. what is that 1000 billions? way over my head.

      • RoHa on November 28, 2019, 3:40 am

        Predictive text strikes again.

        The numbers are staggering and incredible.

        You are incredulous.

      • eljay on November 28, 2019, 7:22 am

        It does seem unlikely that the world’s wealthiest family would be worth roughly 411 times more than the world’s second-wealthiest family (House of Saud at an obscene $1.7 trillion).

        According to Investopedia:

        [CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article cited an estimate of the combined net worth of the Rothschilds at $350 billion. That estimate came from a source that does not meet Investopedia’s standards, and we have consequently retracted it. Similarly, an estimate that the Rothschilds controlled more than $2 trillion worth in assets was also inadequately sourced and retracted.]

      • Mooser on November 28, 2019, 1:45 pm

        “and those who quote it as those who wish to throw numbers around..”

        And when they’re already staggering and incredulous, too!

        “Yonah”, what on earth are you complaining about? If Jews are perceived as rich and more powerful, isn’t that good for Zionism and the Jewish State?
        We are rich, powerful, and stop at nothing to get what we came for. Isn’t that what we want people to think?

  2. Henry Norr on November 27, 2019, 12:10 am

    After the Patriots owner made two trips to Orchids of Asia Day Spa, where a half-hour “massage” costs $59, he was charged with soliciting a prostitute. …

    Later that day, Kraft called his friend. “You won’t believe what happened to me,” his friend recalls him bragging. Kraft explained how he had gone for what he thought was a regular massage, but that the masseuse had given him a hand job instead.”

    • genesto on November 27, 2019, 12:04 pm

      At least some of that prize money will go towards Kraft’s legal fees fighting the massage parlor prostitution (sex slave?) charges against him.

      Maybe the Genesis Prize judges should reconsider their choice.

    • echinococcus on November 27, 2019, 12:42 pm

      And that’s what disturbs you?

  3. eljay on November 27, 2019, 8:12 am

    … “When I was awarded the Genesis Prize in January, I promised to dedicate myself even more than before to fighting anti-semitism, BDS, and other efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel,” Kraft declared, “My vision is to work to end the violence against Jewish communities. To counter the normalization of anti-Semitic narratives that question Israel’s right to exist, disguised as part of legitimate debate on campuses and in the media.” …

    It’s funny how when it comes to I-P Zionists:
    – promote anti-Semitism by repeatedly, strenuously and anti-Semitically conflating Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel; and
    – vow to fight against justice, accountability and equality.

  4. Misterioso on November 27, 2019, 9:54 am

    “‘No place like it on earth’”

    No argument! In fact, to state the obvious, it’s “hell on earth” for the indigenous Palestinians, (i.e. including their ancestors, a continuous presence of about 15,000 years) who for over 71 years have been brutally and illegally occupied, dispossessed, expelled, massacred en masse, tortured, humiliated, imprisoned without trial, subject to collective punishments and destruction of their homes and olive groves, water deprivation, etc. All at the hands of Zionist Jews posing as descendants of the ancient Hebrews (whose presence in the lands between the River and the Sea was less than a blip) while receiving $billions in no strings attached aid courtesy of American taxpayers, (i.e., well over $134.7 billion since 1948) as well as protection by Washington in the geopoplitical arena. The good news is that the world, including Americans and righteous Jews everywhere are waking up and comprehending the pure evil of Zionism.

  5. Albert Westpy on November 27, 2019, 10:27 am

    Robert Kraft · Net worth
    $6.95 billion USD
    (2019) Need I say more ?

  6. brent on November 28, 2019, 4:08 am

    Regardless of the actual number of dollars involved, they are formidable. An endgame strategy and effective tactics are imperatives.

  7. Maghlawatan on November 29, 2019, 2:22 am

    « There is no ‘gatekeeper’ in social media, no one to be held to account ..It’s a new game

    …an age when more people get their news from social media than from any newspaper.´

    Zionism doesn’t have the numbers to manage social media. Even the UK Conservative party is struggling

    It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

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