Friday, October 22, 2021

  • Friday, October 22, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

JTA reported on Wednesday:

The Washington D.C. branch of a national climate action group turned down a role at a voting rights rally because a “number of Zionist organizations” will be taking part.

“Given our commitment to racial justice, self-governance and indigenous sovereignty, we oppose Zionism and any state that enforces its ideology,” Sunrise DC said in a statement it posted Tuesday on Twitter.

The group named the National Council of Jewish Women, the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs as groups supporting Israel, which Sunrise DC called a “colonial project.”
All three Jewish groups cited by Sunrise DC have long-established records of pro-Israel advocacy but have in recent years devoted much of their focus on domestic issues. The three groups all back the two-state outcome; NCJW and the Reform movement’s RAC have sister groups in Israel that advocate for the rights of minorities and for women.
Reaction was swift from both the Zionist and anti-Zionist sides. One other Sunrise group, based at George Washington University, responded forcefully and succinctly:

Sunrise GW unequivocally condemns the Sunrise DC hub’s statement this week calling for the removal of 3 Jewish organizations from the Declaration for American Democracy Coalition. 
Standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people is morally just and not antisemitic. Singling out explicitly Jewish organizations despite non-Jewish organizations in the coalition holding similar stances on Israel is unquestionably antisemitic and has no place in our movement. 
Our movement is rooted in principles of justice, equity, and anti-oppression. We do not and will not place a litmus test on Jewish students or any students to be a part of our movement at GW. 
But while even another progressive Sunrise group was easily able to identify the antisemitism behind its sister chapter, Jewish liberal organizations - while critical of the statement - refused to say the same.

Americans for Peace Now said that SunriseDC's position  "crosses any line" but didn't use the A word:

“If you look at NCJW, for example, nowhere on their website does it say that they’re a Zionist organization,” said Hadar Susskind, president and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, an organization that advocates for a two-state solution. “This is not boycotting the ZOA [Zionist Organization of America] or AIPAC or even [Americans for Peace Now]. This is boycotting groups because they are Jewish and state a general … support of Israel, which is the position of 90% of the American Jewish community.”

Susskind said such a view “crosses any line.” 

“To say that any group that is in any way supportive of Israel should be excluded from our civic life is unacceptable,” said Susskind. 
The three groups targeted by Sunrise DC also refused to say that the stance was antisemitic:
In separate statements to Jewish Insider, senior leaders at the RAC, NCJW and JCPA expressed commitments to dialogue and coalition-building but did not criticize the Sunrise Movement by name nor call the group’s stance antisemitic. When asked specifically what they thought about the Sunrise Movement statement and its language about Zionism, all three declined to elaborate. 
J-Street likewise refused to point out the antisemitism:
Kevin Rachlin, J Street’s vice president of public affairs, expressed his support for “the critical work of the Sunrise Movement in combating the urgent dangers of climate change.”

But, Rachlin told JI, “we find the statement by the local Sunrise DC Chapter to be saddening, harmful and wrong,” he said. “Seeking to bar liberal pro-Israel and Zionist groups and individuals from progressive coalitions and spaces disrespects and alienates a large portion of the American Jewish community — and does nothing to actually help the Palestinian people, combat occupation or promote peace. Progressive advocates for Palestinian rights and other important causes should seek to engage and share views with liberal Jewish institutions — not treat them with dismissive contempt.”
The only exception listed in the JI article came from the Jewish Democratic Council of America:
This is antisemitism, plain and simple.

Targeting Jewish Americans in is such an open and blatant way is a shameful attempt to bar Jews from participating in civic spaces. We stand with 

We won't stand for such blatant attacks against our community. 
This is modern dhimmitude.

Most (but not all) Jewish progressives are often so frightened of maintaining their status among other liberal groups that they are not willing to call out obvious antisemitism when it happens in their own spaces.  They prioritize being one of the "in crowd" than they do their own Jewishness. 

SunruseGW's unequivocal statement of condemnation towards SunriseDC was stronger that of nearly all liberal Jewish groups. And that says volumes about how secure liberal Jews are in their liberal spaces. 

They know that there is a huge amount of antisemitism on the Left - but they are willing to let it slide rather than admit it and fight it. This cowardly attitude is what helps modern antisemitism grow and fester. They prioritize politics (calling out right-wing antisemitism, real or imagined) rather than defending themselves from the hate from some of their own allies.

The organizations that refused to call out this hate for what it was are doing a disservice to all Jews, liberal or otherwise.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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