The anti-Israel ‘IfNotNow’ organization is escalating its campaign to drag diaspora Jewish organizations to turn away from their pro-Israel focus, according to an article written this weekend by journalist Eliana Rudee. The organization is working hard to persuade American Jewish organizations to begin to teach their participants the “Palestinian narrative” and distance American Jews from supporting Israel. The group is also beginning to gain traction as an attractive funding option for those who hate Israel.
The types of organizations who are now funding IfNowNow and helping to bring its hate to a larger stage also bear watching. NGO Monitor North American Desk director Yona Schiffmiller notes that one of the funding sources for the organization is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, something he said was ‘very worrying.’
The Foundation for Middle East Peace is also funding the group, Schiffmiller says. IfNotNow just received a grant, in fact, on June 18 that is intended, among other things, to “insert authentic Palestinian voices into mainstream American media coverage.” According to Schiffmiller, the Foundation consistently supports groups that back the BDS movement and those who seek to delegitimize Israel, as does the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Now, IfNotNow will also take its place among that list.
One major target of the group has been the Taglit Birthright program, which was recently infiltrated by a group of five members of the IfNotNow organization. The infiltrators went on the trip only to quit the tour on the last day, brazenly making a speech on the bus to the rest of the participants about their having been “misled” and then inviting them to join a pre-arranged tour of Hebron with the anti-Israel ‘Breaking the Silence’ NGO.
Another target has been the venerable Camp Ramah, which invited 15 alumni of six of its summer camps to sit down with its national Ramah Commission director, Rabbi Mitch Cohen, back in March of this year. Ever the diplomat, the rabbi heard them out and assured them that their views would be included in the summer curriculum.
That didn’t mean, however, that Camp Ramah would suddenly become the bastion of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement that the IfNotNow crowd was clearly hoping for. And to make sure there was no mistake, Ramah issued statement of clarification in which that point was noted: “Unfortunately, some recent articles in the Jewish press have mischaracterized our educational mission, leading some to believe that our 70-year history of strong pro-Israel ideology has changed. It has not. […] Our older teens and staff members represent a range of opinions on many contemporary issues, and a wide variety of positions supporting Israel can be voiced and discussed. We do not, however, permit the sharing of anti-Israel educational messages at camp,” the statement said.
A subsequent statement was also later sent to institutional partners on June 11 to make sure its intent was clear. “Ramah camps have not engaged — and will not engage — in any way with IfNotNow as an organization. This past winter, members of the National Ramah staff agreed to meet with 15 Ramah alumni affiliated with IfNotNow, who wanted to share their perspectives. After listening to their views, we made it very clear to them that while liberal pro-Israel views on the conflict can be voiced and taught at camp, we do not allow any anti-Israel, anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist education at Ramah.”
IfNotNow has said from the start that it seeks to “change the way the Jewish community supports the occupation.”
“The time has come to end our community’s support for the occupation,” announces the organization’s website in large, bold capital letters. “We will be the generation to do it…Through public action and imaginative ritual, we are demanding that our community take action in the struggle for mutual liberation. Our strategy is inspired by a long legacy of social movements in this country – from the Labor Movement to the Civil Rights Movement to Occupy to Black Lives Matter – that have used nonviolent action to create urgency around moral crises and caralyze massive changes in the mainstream.”
Late Saturday night, IfNotNow Boston member Ben Doernberg was arrested demonstrating against the American government’s immigration policies. He was during a protest “demanding an end to family separation and #AbolishICE,” according to an announcement on the IfNotNow website. (ICE is the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that operates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.)
Even if one were to make the stretch and pretend for a brief moment that IfNotNow were remotely relevant as a Jewish organization, one still would have to ask how it is possible to find any connection between its domestic political activities in the United States — which are clearly anarchist — and its stated agenda in the state of Israel.
It is increasingly obvious that IfNotNow is not about positive advocacy for moral progress in Israel; it’s about anarchy and destruction anywhere it can extend its reach, and precious little else.
Jeremy Corbyn leads a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London in 2014, one year before becoming Labour Party leader. Photo: File.
This marked a massive rise from the previous such survey, in which only 39% of Jews believed Corbyn was antisemitic.
British Jews also expressed an extremely low opinion of the Labour Party in general. The poll showed that 85.6% believed Labour suffered from “very high” levels of antisemitism.
Corbyn and his party have been beset with a series of high-profile antisemitism scandals for several years, which has resulted in the resignation and suspension of several prominent officials. Corbyn himself was recently caught on video saying that “Zionists” did not understand “English irony” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time.”
Makuya in Jerusalem 201 (YouTube)
Like an apple tree among trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the youths. I delight to sit in his shade, And his fruit is sweet to my mouth. (Song of Songs 2:3)
For ten days in late August, Israeli Rabbi Benny Lau and his wife, Rabbanit Noah Lau, traveled from Jerusalem to Japan to lead Bible study for groups of Makuya Japanese Christians. The Laus traveled to five Japanese towns and spent three days together at a weekend conference with 3,400 members of the Makuya group.
Makuya is Japanese for the Hebrew word Mishkan, the tent of meeting, where human beings come into contact with God. The Mishkan was the portable sanctuary that the Israelites used in the desert, before entering Israel and building the First Holy Temple.
The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. (Psalm 11:5)
Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. (Credit: Agencia O Globo)
Jair Bolsonaro, the front-runner in the upcoming presidential election in Brazil, was stabbed during a campaign rally Thursday and was undergoing surgery.
The far-right politician, whose heated rhetoric has electrified some voters and angered others – -who accuse him of racism and homophobia – in a deeply polarized electorate, was attacked amid a crowd in the south-east state of Minas Gerais. Bolsonaro has performed strongly in recent opinion polls.
Those same polls suggested that he will likely receive the most votes in next month’s presidential elections, especially if the country’s former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (‘Lula’) remains blocked from standing. He is currently in prison, but is appealing against his candidacy ban – imposed after his conviction for corruption.
Republican lawmakers have made it clear they have no intention of repealing Obamacare in the current Congress.
Republicans in the nation’s top lawmaking body have never really wanted to get rid of Obamacare. They would prefer to present the program, which David Horowitz correctly describes as “the greatest assault on individual freedom and individual choice in our lifetimes,” as a villain and whip up sentiment against it and run against it every election. They view Obamacare as good for the business of politics. They may chip away at it from time to time or tinker with it at the margins, but make no mistake: these creatures of Washington want to keep it in place. This is the Republicans’ dirty secret.
The Trump administration has decided to reopen a case brought by a Zionist group against Rutgers University, previously closed by the Obama administration in 2014, alleging that the university had allowed Jewish students to be subjected to a hostile environment in violation of Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. The issue, ignored by the Obama administration, was whether the students were discriminated against based on their actual or perceived Jewish ancestry or ethnicity. Kenneth L. Marcus, the new assistant secretary of education for civil rights, decided that the case deserved another look.
Nestled in the Han River in the middle of South Korea’s bustling capital of Seoul, Yeoui Island is hardly where one would expect to find the largest mega-church in the world. Home to the city’s business and financial district, its skyline dotted with skyscrapers, the island boasts some of the country’s most powerful institutions, such as the Korean stock exchange and the headquarters of LG, the international conglomerate.
The AfD’s opponents, who often brand the party as “far right” or “extremist,” claim that the party’s alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany’s constitutional order. The AfD’s supporters counter that Germany’s politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.
Israel’s Palestinian foes regard “martyrdom” as the supremely highest expression of Islamic sacredness. Nonetheless, there are certain conspicuously prominent disjunctions between the relevant obligations of faith and expectations of international law. Unambiguously, only the latter set of obligations can offer a suitably authoritative source for assessing Palestinian resorts to armed force.
This is the case even when the stated objective of such resorts would be “self-determination” and/or “national liberation.”
“Setting fire to the ground,” a “major catastrophe,” bringing “new instability” are the headlines that have greeted Donald Trump’s unorthodox decisions over the past year. Withdrawing from UNESCO, moving the US Embassy, leaving the Iran deal and cutting funding to UNRWA and funding for Pakistan were seen as extreme decisions in the Middle East and around the world. Insofar as there is a “Trump Doctrine,” it has been to call this bluff.
In the mind-set of Trump and his team, the time has come for the United States to move quickly to reverse decades of foreign policy norms, ending the status quo, and ripping up what the previous administrations did.
The jihadi assault on and massacre of Christians continued unabated throughout the Muslim word. According to one report titled, “Armed gangs WIPE OUT 15 villages in mass Christian slaughter in Nigeria,” several Islamic terrorists “stormed through 15 villages to massacre Christians and destroy their churches in a violent crackdown against the religion…. Dozens of people have been killed after the gangs ransacked towns and villages to clear them of all aspects of the Christian faith.
Wars are raging in various parts of the Middle East, although there is a tendency not to call the conflicts by that name because of the fear conjured up by the word.
One conflagration is the war Iran is waging against those – headed by Israel – who stand in the way of its plans to take over the entire Middle East.
Another is the Assad regime’s war to take back control of the entire country, and a third is the PLO’s battle for survival.
Much has been written about the first of these wars, and reports have claimed that from early 2017 on, Israel has launched over 200 attacks in Syria, mainly at targets connected to Iran.