Shorts: U.S.

ACLU rebukes Ford Foundation

washington (jta) | The American Civil Liberties Union has protested the Ford Foundation’s new anti-terrorism rules.

The rules, designed to prevent grants from being used to assist terrorist groups, were put into place after a JTA investigative series last fall found that the Ford Foundation had funded virulently anti-Israel groups with links to terrorist organizations.

Earlier this month, the ACLU sent the Ford Foundation a letter saying the foundation’s new grant provisions — which require recipients not to promote bigotry, terrorism, violence or any nation’s destruction — stifle debate and threaten academic freedom, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported.

In May, nine universities protested the new provisions, which also have been adopted by a number of other foundations.

Despite its protests, the ACLU said it would continue to accept money from the Ford Foundation and abide by its anti-terrorism rules. For its part, the foundation said the provision’s language “should not restrict ACLU’s activities as we understand them.”

New plan for Holocaust restitution?

new york (jta) | At the annual board meeting of the Claims Conference, the main group charged with Holocaust restitution, an agreement was reached to centralize world Jewry’s restitution efforts.

“Instead of sitting here and fighting about the pie, let’s go out and get a bigger pie,” Amir Shaviv, assistant executive vice president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, said of the new strategy to bolster worldwide restitution efforts. The JDC is a member of the Claims Conference.

The meeting may also have quelled — for the time being — the controversy surrounding the distribution of unclaimed funds left from the $1.25 billion Swiss banks settlement. A presentation by Claims Conference officials showed there actually may be no funds left over from that settlement once all claims have been resolved.