Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Director of Research and Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
This week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in commemoration of Black History Month, has chosen to honor and highlight an African American author Jacqueline Woodson, who is anti-Israel and pro-BDS. ADL is featuring Woodson in ADL’s “Changing the World” program for children and young people. ADL’s program leaves us again wondering, what in the world is the ADL doing? Why, under its CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, does the ADL again and again employ and honor and give podiums to and praise and defend people and groups who hate and harm Jews and Israel? This is the antithesis of ADL’s stated purpose to combat antisemitism and support Israel.
(For some of ADL’s most recent other horrors, see “The Anti-Defamation League and Amnesty International,” by Caroline Glick, JNS, Feb. 6, 2022 (describing ADL’s defense of Israel-hating Amnesty International, which encouraged AI’s recent Israel-bashing report); “ADL Hires Director for Jewish Outreach Who Hates Jews,” by Daniel Greenfield, Feb. 1, 2022; and “Wicked ADL Pushes Hate in Classrooms — Program on Diversity that Is Taught to 1.4 Million U.S. Kids Includes Language that Only Whites Can Be Racist,” by Jim Hoft, Feb. 7, 2022 and The ADL’s Disturbing Obsession With Race, by Jonathan Tobin, Feb. 4, 2022, JNS.)
ADL featured African American author Jacqueline Woodson, whose shameful Israelophobic record includes the following:
- Woodson joined and was featured in radical anti-Israel hate groups “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP)’s and Adalah-NY’s anti-Israel BDS campaign,demanding that the PEN World Voices Festival end its partnership with Israel. (The Woodson-JVP-Adalah-NY BDS campaign may have succeeded. PEN’s World Voices Festival didnot include Israel as a sponsor the following year, although no explanation was provided.) Ironically, PEN’s mission is freedom of expression “across political and ideological bound.”
- Woodson also joined and was featured in JVP’s and Adalah’s demands for Israel to release Dareen Tatour, who was convicted and received a five-month sentence for inciting violence against Israelis and supporting terrorist organizations. In the midst of the “knife intifada” (repeated Arab stabbings of innocent Jews), Tatour called for more Arabs to rise up and to become “shahids” (martyrs – a euphemism for terrorists), and wrote on Facebook that she planned to be the next shahid.
- Woodson avoids calling the Jewish state “Israel” – and instead calls her “Palestine-Israel,” “Israel-Palestine” and “Palestine.”
- Woodson and her partner Juliet Widoff went on a writers’ propaganda tour of “Palestine” sponsored by the anti-Israel propaganda groupBreaking the Silence(which receives millions of dollars from the EU and NIF to fabricate falsehoods against Israel and the IDF) and by Israel-hating couple Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. The tour arranged for writers to meet anti-Israel propagandists and then author anti-Israel chapters for a BtS-Chabon-Waldman anthology (to raise money for BtS) called “Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation.” (See also “American Jews and Their Israel Problem,” by Dr. Kenneth Levin, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, pages 32-34, 43.)
Jacqueline Woodson’s chapter in the BtS-Chabon-Waldman anthology dutifully portrays Jews as destroying makeshift Bedouin homes, falsely claims that this was Bedouin land for 50 years (in fact, there is a massive attempt to take over the Negev using suddenly erected Bedouin camps). Woodson’s chapter also complains about the “occupation” and checkpoints; analogizes American police brutality and brown people dying to Arab children; and praises anti-Israel Israeli activists as having a “deep moral core.” Interestingly, Woodson admitted how little she really knows about the situation, yet despite her ignorance, she still condemned Israel.
- In aninterviewin Atlanta Magazine, Woodson lauded and highly recommended several radical anti-Israel books including Jimmy Carter’s “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” Carter’s infamous book rewrote history, and promoted vicious falsehoods against Israel and the absurd notion that Israel is an “apartheid state.” (See, e.g., “Carter’s Screed Against Israel,” by Alan M. Dershowitz, University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review; and “ZOA Asks Cardozo Law To Cancel Award To Jimmy Carter,” Apr. 9, 2013.)
Carter’s book called for Palestinians to say that they will end suicide bombings and other acts of violence only after they achieve their goals of pushing Israel back to indefensible borders. (page 213).
- In the same interview, Woodson also stated that “no one should leave young adulthood without reading . . . Naomi Shihab Nye’s ‘Habibi.’” “Habibi” is an anti-Israel propaganda youth novel, which portrays Jews as calling Arab shopkeepers “animals” (page 91); portrays Jewish soldiers as being “mean” to Arabs (page 130) and smashing an Arab family’s bathroom for no reason (pages 176-177); and portrays Jews as “insensitive” and as “kicking around” Arabs and making Arabs lose their houses and all their money (page 158), etc.
- Also in the same interview, Woodson stated that the “one book” that she would advise President Obama to read or re-read is Ben Ehrenreich’s “The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine.” The book is simply more anti-Israel propaganda that glorifies Palestinian Arab “resistance” to Israeli “power” in the “West Bank.” Author Ehrenreich openly admitted in the introduction that he avoided providing any Israeli perspectives; and condemned Israel for defending her citizens against Hamas’ rocket attacks.
We are all perplexed and appalled that ADL is honoring and highlighting this particular African American author Jacqueline Woodson who has repeatedly displayed hostility to our beloved Jewish State. There are numerous other African American authors ADL’s Greenblatt could have chosen who have never displayed any hatred of the Jewish State of Israel. Why didn’t he? Why didn’t ADL?