Pride Goeth Before Destruction, and a Haughty Spirit Before a Fall: The Very Public Undoing of the Kohelet Policy Forum
I. Follow the Money
Last Friday afternoon I popped into a wine and cheese event showcasing a foreign artist in central Tel Aviv; not the sort of venue where one would expect that the Kohelet Policy Forum would be the hot topic of discussion.
But it was.
Earlier that day, Israelis learned that the main funder of the Jerusalem-based, extreme right-wing think tank had pulled the plug. No more money.
The Israeli business daily, Calcalist, broke the story that Arthur Dantchik, a Philadelphia-based hedge fund multi-billionaire had been the discreet financier of Kohelet from inception. Responding to an inquiry by Calcalist, Dantchik issued a statement explaining that he has long supported a range of organizations which support individual liberty and economic freedom. The statement continued:
“Nevertheless, when a society becomes dangerously fragmented, people must come together to preserve democracy. I stopped donating to think tanks in Israel, including the Kohelet Policy Forum. I believe what is most critical at this time is for Israel to focus on healing and national unity.”
Dantchik is correct, but the Kohelet Forum has left a disaster in its wake.