RBF Statement on Grantmaking in Israel-Palestine

Since 2011, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has made grants in pursuit of justice, security, dignity, and peace for all Israelis and Palestinians: not just the cessation of violence but the building of institutions and structures that sustain peaceful societies and uplift shared humanity.

Our grantees are Israeli, Palestinian, U.S., and international groups that work to open space for pluralistic debate and build civic and political will for successful future negotiations toward just and durable peace. All our partners have been profoundly impacted by the barbaric October 7 Hamas attack and Israel’s devastating invasion of Gaza. Even in these unimaginable circumstances, our grantees continue to advance their work to shift the logic from one of conflict, terrorism, and occupation to one of constructive peacebuilding.

Amid the fear and devastation sparked by the intense human suffering in Israel and Palestine, disinformation and anger have taken root. The RBF is deeply concerned about growing antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States and across the globe and forcefully condemns any individual or organization who would poison the work toward just and durable peace with these hateful ideologies.

It is important not to conflate activism that criticizes the policies of the Israeli government with antisemitism or challenges to Israel's existence. Several of our partners take policy positions that are critical of the government of Israel, but each shares our conviction that all human life is precious and valued. The RBF believes that the only way to achieve justice and security for Israelis and Palestinians is to bring Israel’s 50-plus-year occupation of the Palestinian territories to an end and to ensure full human rights and civil liberties for all.

Organized civil disobedience has a long and successful history in social movements in the United States and worldwide, and the RBF vigorously supports free speech and the right to peaceful protest. Widespread public demonstrations, which have helped spark discourse that opened the opportunity for a pause in the fighting and the provision of humanitarian aid in Gaza, are consistent with historical examples of the constructive impact of peaceful civil disobedience.

We categorically reject any claim that our grantee organizations support, materially or ideologically, acts of terrorism. The RBF deplores violence against civilians under any circumstance. We conduct robust due diligence to ensure our grantees comply with all U.S. laws and regulations.

As a private foundation, the RBF is independent from the Rockefeller family and other Rockefeller entities. Half of RBF trustees are members of the Rockefeller family and half are nonfamily experts in our fields of work. The RBF does not speak on behalf of, nor necessarily reflect the views of, nontrustee members of the Rockefeller family or any other Rockefeller-named entity.

This statement was revised on December 13, 2023, to further clarify the nature of grantee work and the characterization of other Rockefeller-named entities.