The relentless, previously failed attempts of extremist groups J Street and New Israel Fund (NIF) to demonize, silence, and “cancel” strong defenders of Israel and the Jewish people, is now being repeated by JCRC (“JCRC pushed to oust ZOA,” The Jewish Advocate, Sept. 4, 2020), who always prided itself on dialogue and having a “ big tent.” Yet I was never contacted about these false allegations.
Shamefully, J Street, NIF, Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), The Workers Circle—previously Workmen’s Circle—(WC), etc. filed a baseless, ludicrous, false petition alleging “racism,” asking the JCRC to eject me and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), of which I serve as president, for fighting against the Black Lives Matter (BLM)/M4BL organization’s antisemitism and fighting other dangers to the Jewish people and Israel.
J Street/NIF/WRJ/WC’s petition makes no sense.
J Street/NIF’s identical petition to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations was rejected. The Conference also properly rejected Israel-basher J Street’s membership application.
ZOA and I strongly oppose anti-Black racism. ZOA has said so in op-eds and press releases and on TV and radio. I’ve engaged in extensive civil rights activism for both Blacks and Jews. I was arrested and imprisoned for registering Black voters in Mississippi. My friend, the well-known Black rapper/actor Ice Cube, recently wrote to me of our friendship: “We are brothers from a different mother.” A high-profile Black entertainer wouldn’t say that to someone who had even a hint of anti-Black racism. The Jewish Exponent named me one of the top dozen Jewish activists of the last 100 years, and the liberal Forward named me one of the top five most influential Jewish leaders. I am on the Speakers Bureau of both Israel Bonds and Jewish Federation.
ZOA’s criticism of the BLM/M4BL organization’s anti-Semitic activities and platform is not “racism”; it’s proud pro-Jewish, pro-Israel activism. The BLM/M4BL platform, which is still online today and was never abrogated, promotes antisemitic BDS, and falsely accuses Israel of perpetrating genocide and apartheid and regularly imprisoning 4-year-old Palestinian-Arabs. The BLM/M4BL platform was co-authored by a group (“Dream Defenders”) intertwined with Marxist designated terror organization PFLP.
BLM’s tweets and Facebook posts have promoted the same and more anti-Israel “ethnic cleansing” blood libels and BDS, and additional PFLP front groups Al Haq and DCI-Palestine.
BLM-Los Angeles’ leader instigated the pogrom in which BLM destroyed and defaced synagogues, Jewish schools, and Jewish shops and businesses in LA’s Fairfax district, which has a large Jewish population.
J Street/NIF/WRJ/WC’s latest petition also oddly condemns me for statements I never made, including someone else’s comment criticizing Israel-hating extremist George Soros.
Incidentally, Soros (who admitted to 60 Minutes that he helped his godfather, a Nazi official, confiscate Jews’ property and said he felt no guilt about this, and falsely claimed that terror group Hamas has a “moderate” wing) funds numerous anti-Israel groups, including B’tselem, Adalah, and J Street—which for years lied about receiving funding from Soros.
J Street/NIF/WRJ/WC’s petition also seeks to eject me for my promptly deleted, grief-stricken tweet, harshly condemning the Arab terrorist who earlier that day stabbed in the back and murdered my dear friend, father-of-four, Israeli Ari Fuld, while Ari was grocery shopping. My tweet responded to the Israel-hating Electronic Intifada, which helps foment Intifadas in which Arab terrorists murdered and maimed over 10,000 innocent Jews in stabbing, bombing, shooting, and ramming attacks, and are paid by the Palestinian Authority to do so.
J Street/NIF/WRJ/WC’s petition also absurdly seeks to “cancel” and silence:
- ZOA’s condemnation of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for their promoting anti-Israel BDS, ending U.S. aid to Israel, and praising convicted Jew-killer Rasmea Odeh;
- ZOA’s criticism of HIAS for advocating to bring into the U.S. large numbers of refugees from five Mideast majority-Muslim countries, after top Obama administration officials testified that vetting those refugees was impossible, and ADL polls showed that 74-93 percent of the population is antisemitic;
- and ZOA’s strong condemnation of former President Barack Obama’s refusal to veto a UN resolution that falsely declared that all of Israel’s land past the 1949 Armistice lines is “Arab land,” including the Western Wall, Temple Mount, and Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter.
Horrifyingly, J Street lobbied for Obama to take hostile actions against Israel at the United Nations.
J Street’s relentless anti-Israel activities also include lobbying against anti-BDS laws, aid to Israel, sanctions on Iran, moving the U.S. embassy to Israel’s eternal capital of Jerusalem, and pro-Israel appointees (including Ambassador David Friedman). J Street works to turn national political platforms against Israel and raises money to elect anti-Israel congresspersons and defeat pro-Israel congresspersons. J Street also condemned Israel for defending herself from Hamas; promoted the catastrophic Iran deal; supports ethnically cleansing Jews from the lawful, Jewish historic homeland in Judea and Samaria; and justified Arab terror by falsely claiming that Israeli treatment “forces” Arabs to become terrorists. Prof. Alan Dershowitz noted: “J Street has done more to turn young people against Israel than any organization in the whole of history.”
U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Elan Carr and the Simon Wiesenthal Center declared that J Street’s recent tweet opposing Israel’s sovereignty is antisemitism. Carr explained that J Street’s “imagery uses #Antisemitism and crude antisemitic conspiracy theories to advance their agenda.”
NIF funds organizations that demonize Israel, promote BDS, defends Arab terrorists in court, and bring harassing “lawfare” claims against Israel.
The real reason J Street/NIF/WRJ/WC want to “cancel” ZOA is because they strongly abhor our right-of-center policies of fighting BDS, opposing bringing antisemites to America, defending Israel and Israel’s rights to her land, and exposing that a Palestinian state would endanger Israel’s existence.
J Street/NIF/WRJ/WC have also attempted to demonize and/or “cancel”: CUFI, AIPAC, and others, and the ZOA coalition of 27 pro-Israel organizations, including Aish HaTorah, Students Supporting Israel, Hasbara Fellowships, NORPAC, the Lawfare Project, One Israel Fund, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, and Russian-Jewish and Persian-Jewish groups.
The American Zionist Movement tribunal correctly threw out J Street/NIF’s petitions.
J Street’s harassment also included secretly sponsoring a letter condemning ZOA, from so-called “young Jews” (who were really J Street U officials). An organization headed by J Street’s treasurer also posted tweets harassing AEPi and Hillel for not joining false attacks on ZOA.
The Boston JCRC needs to reject J Street/NIF/WRJ/WC’s absurd petition to silence ZOA and should join ZOA’s robust efforts to defend and protect the Jewish people and Israel in this era of rapidly rising antisemitism and Israel-hatred.
Morton A. Klein is president of the Zionist Organization of America.
The original article was published in The Jewish Advocate and can be viewed here.