(JUNE 24, 2021 / JNS) As a two-degree alumnus of Temple University in Philadelphia and national president of the Zionist Organization of America, I cannot remain silent regarding the recent appointment of Dr. Jason Wingard—chair of the anti-Israel, antisemitic Tides Foundation—to be Temple University’s next president.
Under Wingard’s leadership, Tides has been funding and elevating organizations and individuals who demonize Israel, support terrorists, lead anti-Israel boycott campaigns, lead lawfare attacks on Israel and Jews, and oppose the Jewish state’s very existence. Temple University must rescind this appointment so that Wingard can’t bring Tides’ hateful ideology to Temple University’s 37,000 students, many of them Jewish, potentially via appointing anti-Israel, Jew-hating deans and faculty and programming, and other means at the disposal of someone given the powerful position of heading a major university. Wingard is still listed as a Tides Center board member.
Under Wingard’s chairmanship, Tides has been funding the following hateful groups:
AROC (Arab Resource and Organizing Center): AROC is a vicious anti-Israel organization. AROC’s ongoing BDS campaigns include violently and unlawfully blocking numerous U.S. ports, and harassing and attacking American dockworkers to prevent cargo ships operated by an Israel-based company (ZIM) from unloading medical supplies and other items needed by Americans.
Adalah Justice Project USA: AJP is another leading anti-Israel demonization and BDS organization intertwined with Adalah in Israel, which defends terrorists. Adalah USA also lobbies for sanctions against Israel; falsely claims that Israel is mistreating Palestinian “children” when Israel arrests 17-year-old Arabs who murder innocent Israelis; falsely likens Israelis to police who murder black Americans; and falsely accuses Israel of “indiscriminate war crimes” and similar demonization. Adalah and Tides collaborator, Dream Defenders, co-authored the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL, the parent of Black Lives Matter/BLM) platform that falsely states Israel is a genocidal, apartheid state and promotes anti-Israel BDS. BLM leaders publicly state that their goal is Israel’s destruction.
Palestine Legal: Palestine Legal promotes “mock eviction” campaigns to terrorize Jewish students on college campuses; mounts numerous anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns; defends hate groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP); advocates against anti-BDS laws; and participates in anti-Israel “Days of Rage” in U.S. cities.
In addition to funding these horrific anti-Semitic organizations, Tides boasts that it also “provide[s] the organizational and operational support and the network to help [such groups] grow [their] impact.”
Dream Defenders: Tides also boasts that it has a “radical collaboration” with and works closely with Dream Defenders (DD). It is intertwined with the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), which is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. DD promotes the PFLP in educational materials and sponsors anti-Israel trips to “Palestine” to demonstrate and work with PFLP operatives.
Tides’ website moreover prominently features, in multiple places, articles titled “Meet These Extraordinary Palestinian Leaders.” In this article, Tides promotes anti-Israel leaders such as AROC Executive Director Lisa Kiswani and AJP executive director Sandra Tamari.
AROC Executive Director Lisa Kiswani’s documented long list of ugly activities include demonizing Israel and America; promoting BDS; co-founding hate group SJP, and stating at a BDS conference displayed in a YouTube video that “bringing down Israel really will benefit everyone in the world, everyone in society.”
Adalah Justice Project executive director Sandra Tamari likewise has a long documented record of antisemitic activity, including glorifying PFLP terrorist Rasmea Odeh (convicted for murdering two Jewish students in a Jerusalem supermarket); agitating against Israel; leading BDS activities, including co-chairing the steering committee of the leading U.S. BDS group and more.
It is virtually impossible that Wingard, chairman of Tides’ Board of Directors, was unaware of, and did not approve of Tides’ prominently featured support for these antisemitic, anti-Israel hate groups and leaders.
I understand that Temple’s chair, Mitchell Morgan, never questioned Wingard about his leadership of Tides before offering the presidency, which is a shocking lack of due diligence for the chair of a major university. The ongoing controversy over Temple’s continuing refusal to fire Professor Marc Lamont Hill, who calls for ending Israel’s existence and has attempted to justify murdering Jews, should have made Temple University’s chairman especially sensitive and careful to avoid giving the top post to someone likely to magnify the harm Lamont Hill has done to the university’s students and reputation.
I thus call on the Temple University’s Board chairman, Mitchell Morgan, to step down if he fails to rectify this situation by promptly rescinding the offer to Dr. Jason Wingard.
Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America.
This article was originally published in JNS and can be viewed here.