Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
Jane Kahn and Michael Bien, two activists with the anti-Israel New Israel Fund, had a complaint about San Francisco’s Jewish Community Federation. They were unhappy that JCF wouldn’t fund Hamas.
Or more specifically, they whined that “we were unable to make donations through our JCF donor-advised philanthropic fund to certain organizations that we support”. One of those organizations was the American Friends Service Committee because the JCF narrow-mindedly refuses to help fund groups that “endorse or promote anti-Semitism” or promote BDS.
The American Friends Service Committee does these things and more. It promotes BDS as if that were its religion right down to a “BDS Summer Institute”. And it has a long and troubled history with anti-Semitism from urging Jews to “tolerate some anti-Semitic remarks” to throwing a shindig for Iranian madman Ahmadinejad.
But, more importantly, the AFSC has urged the United States to deal with Hamas despite its call for the eradication of the Jewish people. It has a history of supporting Hamas front “charities” and its website defends Hamas and describes its murderous terror attacks against Israeli civilians as “the use of violence in resisting Israel’s occupation”. It tells supporters “U.S. government policy officially supports Israel’s continued siege on Gaza and the Isolation of Hamas. This is a situation that must end.” It urges supporters to demand a, “complete end to Israel’s siege on Gaza and engagement with Hamas.”
AFSC Palestine-Israel program director Mike Merryman-Lotze justifies anti-Semitic terrorism by arguing that, “Violence is the inevitable response.” AFSC figures advocate the destruction of Israel in various forms. AFSC coordinates with other extreme anti-Israel groups, including JVP. This isn’t a new development for the AFSC which has an ugly history of defending politically correct genocide.
Like many on the left, including Noam Chomsky, the American Friends Service Committee denied Pol Pot’s crimes for as long as they could, instead describing the horrifying atrocities as “the example of an alternative model of development and social organization.” There is doubtlessly an anti-Semitic component to the AFSC’s hostility toward the Jewish State, but the AFSC has supported enough horrifying dictatorships for ideological reasons that it is simply what the organization does.
The left has become so thoroughly corrupted that it is possible for Judith Butler, the Hannah Arendt Chair at the European Graduate School, and Zaid Jilani, formerly of the Center for American Progress, to argue that Hamas or Hezbollah are “progressive” organizations. The notion that there is a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is swiftly collapsing as a former Doctors Without Borders president argues that Jews wearing Kippahs have it coming because Jewish religious clothing shows “allegiance to the policies of the state of Israel” or when a respected NPR host casually accuses Bernie Sanders of dual loyalty, despite his anti-Israel credentials, simply because he is Jewish.
The question though is should the Jewish Community Federation be expected to provide aid and comfort to the advocates for an organization that speaks of “Our struggle with the Jews” and states that, “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews)”?
Is it really too much to ask that a Jewish community group shouldn’t be funding organizations that “endorse or promote anti-Semitism” or promote the revival of Nazi boycotts of Jewish businesses?
According to Jane Kahn and Michael Bien of the New Israel Fund, an organization that is responsible for more than its own share of controversial funding programs to groups that libel, smear and wage an unceasing war against the Jewish State, it is.
This debate did not begin yesterday. The original open letter attacking the Jewish Community Federation’s “No anti-Semites” policy back in 2010 was signed by, among others, Cindy Shamban of the misleadingly named Jewish Voice for Peace, who more recently became the only speaker to oppose a call by Jewish faculty, alumni and students for the University of California to fight anti-Semitism.
There’s a pattern here and it’s a very ugly one. Advocates of boycotting Jews complain that it’s wrong for Jewish charities to boycott them. Endorsers of an academic boycott against Israel warn of a “chilling effect” if they and their groups don’t get the money they want. Activists with organizations that aid anti-Semitism demand civility and respectful dialogue even while their comrades scream hate outside Jewish synagogues and businesses in a twisted hateful reenactment of 1930’s Germany.
All of this is an obscene farce and it should have come to an end long ago.
Jewish charities should not be funding organizations that hate Jews, that kill Jews and that justify the murder of Jews. There is no dialogue, civil or otherwise, to be had about this subject.
These phenomena are not new. Max Naumann and his VNJ blamed Nazi anti-Semitism on the Zionists. They boycotted pro-Israel programming and sponsored a tour by an “Ex-Zionist” to reveal the “Truth About Palestine”. They endorsed Hitler. The Gestapo came for them anyway. The Marxist movements in Russia that became the Yevsektsiya, the Jewish Section, helped the NKVD round up and kill Rabbis and Zionists. Until their turn came and they ended up on the wrong side of the fence. Just like the VNJ.
JVP is just VNJ. J Street is just the Yevsektsiya. And none of their twisted antics will stop a Muslim terrorist from killing them anyway. A great deal of spilled ink has been wasted on analyzing such pathological behavior. But it’s a waste of time and energy. Arguing with the insane is insanity.
Aiding those who want to kill you or those who want to help kill you is suicide. Anyone who aids their own killers is by definition insane and their arguments and justifications should be viewed as the ravings of the utterly unhinged who have chosen to commit suicide and want to take everyone else with them.
The insane can have great charismatic powers of persuasion. Not everyone who drank the Kool -Aid at Jonestown was crazy. But those who had a choice, chose to participate in homicidal and suicidal insanity. The Jewish Anti-Israel left is just Jonestown on a multinational scale. Their Kool-Aid is routed through a sophisticated network of NGOs and delivered to students on campuses around the world.
But for all the cleverness and sophistication, the billionaire funders and policy papers, the front groups and brand names, it’s all just a Jewish Jonestown with a much better marketing campaign.
That’s all it was in 1930. That’s all it is today. That’s all it ever will be.
Instead of following insanity through its complex pathways of rationalization in which black turns white and up seems down, insanity is best met with common sense. If you follow the logic of madness far enough, you can come to a point at which mass suicide seems like the logical solution. It takes common sense to say that we should not kill ourselves and we should not fund our killers or those who aid them.
The San Francisco’s Jewish Community Federation’s policy of not funding those who hate Jews and the Jewish State is only controversial to those whose survival instincts have been drowned in ideological insanity. It is elementary common sense to everyone else.
The only people who really think that a policy of not funding anti-Semitism is controversial are anti-Semites and their insane Jewish accomplices.