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ADL Includes Jewish Group on anti-Israel List

Jewish Voice for Peace named on ADL’s top 10 list of anti-Israel organizations.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/19/2010, 2:41 AM / Last Update: 10/19/2010, 3:15 AM

Flash 90

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published last week its list of the ten most influential and active anti-Israel groups in the United States. The groups listed are ones that organize mass demonstrations featuring extreme anti-Israel and anti-Zionist messages, spread malicious propaganda against Israel, and pursue boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel.

Among the groups on the list are Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), The Council on American-Islamic Relations, If Americans Knew, the Muslim American Society, and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

As ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman explained: “While there are hundreds of groups that organize and participate in various anti-Israel activities, we have identified the largest and most well-coordinated anti-Israel groups. These groups are not promoting peace, they are spreading propaganda to assault Israel's legitimacy.  We want to Americans to know who these groups are and what it is they really stand for, which is to delegitimize the Jewish state.”

In what some may see as surprising, the ADL’s list also included a Jewish organization, the Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization which, according to its website, “works to achieve a lasting peace that recognizes the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination.”

The group boasts of offices in New York and California, 100,000 online activists, chapters across the country and an Advisory Board comprised of numerous prominent Jewish thinkers and artists. Some of its activities, according to the website, include conducting global campaigns to defend and free Israeli and Arab human rights activists, supporting the growth of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement through divestment from companies that profit from what they call “the occupation”, and even supporting “alternative Jewish rituals that include Palestinian narratives.”

Recently, the Jewish Voice for Peace organized a petition signed by more than 150 theater and film professionals, many of them Jews, in support for counterparts in Israel who are boycotting the new theater in the town of Ariel, home to 20,000 Israelis. The petition was signed by four Pulitzer Prize winners, several recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Medal of Honor and scores of recipients of the highest U.S. acting honors, including the Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Obie and Drama Desk awards. In Israel, the boycott was criticized by all sides of the Jewish political spectrum and the theater companies all said they would ignore it.

The Jewish Voice for Peace refuted the claims by ADL. In a statement the organization released, it claimed, among other things, that the organization is neither anti-Israel nor anti-Zionist and that it does not use its Jewish identity to protect anti-Semites.