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.
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases