Far-left Jewish groups slam ‘false accusations of anti-Semitism’ against them
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Far-left Jewish groups slam ‘false accusations of anti-Semitism’ against them

Joint statement signed by 36 organizations defends criticism of Israel which, ‘does not represent us… when committing crimes against Palestinians’

IfNotNow activists marching to demand that then President-elect Donald Trump fire Stephen Bannon, Philadelphia, November 22, 2016. (Courtesy of IfNotNow/via JTA)
IfNotNow activists marching to demand that then President-elect Donald Trump fire Stephen Bannon, Philadelphia, November 22, 2016. (Courtesy of IfNotNow/via JTA)

Thirty-six far-left Jewish groups from around the world have signed a statement condemning the conflation of anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel.

“As social justice organizations from around the world, we write this letter with growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in particular,” the Tuesday statement said. “These attacks too often take the form of cynical and false accusations of anti-Semitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid.”

Among the US-based groups to sign the statement were Jewish Voice for Peace, which initiated the move; Jews for Palestinian Right of Return; Jews of Color & Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in Solidarity w/ Palestine; and Jews Say No!

Jewish groups from Israel, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Argentina and the United Kingdom also signed the letter.

The letter calls on their governments to reject the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which it says  “is worded in such a way as to be easily adopted or considered by western governments to intentionally equate legitimate criticisms of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights with antisemitism, as a means to suppress the former.”

The groups signing support BDS to varying levels, the letter notes, including some that take no position.

“Israel does not represent us and cannot speak for us when committing crimes against Palestinians and denying their UN-stipulated rights,” the letter says.

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