THE ADL IS NOT AN ALLY

August 12, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

100+ racial, economic, and social justice organizations and coalitions have issued an open letter with an accompanying primer encouraging community institutions and organizations to rethink their relationships to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The letter comes in response to the ADL’s history of targeting and co-opting movements for justice—particularly those led by communities of color—and advancing Islamophobia, policing, and global militarism while projecting a false badge of progressivism.

Open letter to progressives: The ADL is not an ally.

We are writing to ask you to reconsider the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a partner in social justice work.

Many organizations in our communities find themselves in spaces with the ADL, using its anti-bias education materials, or counting on the ADL to support our political goals. In light of a growing understanding of the ADL’s harmful practices, many progressive groups are rethinking those relationships.

Even though the ADL is integrated into community work on a range of issues, it has a history and ongoing pattern of attacking social justice movements led by communities of color, queer people, immigrants, Muslims, Arabs, and other marginalized groups, while aligning itself with police, right-wing leaders, and perpetrators of state violence. More disturbing, it has often conducted those attacks under the banner of “civil rights.” This largely unpublicized history has come increasingly to light as activists work to make sense of the ADL’s role in condemning the Movement for Black Lives, Palestinian rights organizing, and Congressional Representative Ilhan Omar, among others.

We are deeply concerned that the ADL’s credibility in some social justice movements and communities is precisely what allows it to undermine the rights of marginalized communities, shielding it from criticism and accountability while boosting its legitimacy and resources. Even when it may seem that our work is benefiting from access to some resources or participation from the ADL, given the destructive role that it too often plays in undermining struggles for justice, we believe that we cannot collaborate with the ADL without betraying our movements.

This primer lays out some of the ADL’s practices. We hope this can open conversations about this important issue.

Signed,

American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine

Arab Resource & Organizing Center

Asian American Advocacy Fund

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Black and Pink, Inc.

Causa Justa: Just Cause

Center for Constitutional Rights

Center for Political Education

Christian Peacemaker Teams

Coalición de Derechos Humanos

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Critical Resistance

Democratic Socialists of America

Detention Watch Network

Dream Defenders

DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

Highlander Research and Education Center

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Jewish Voice for Peace

Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

MADRE

MediaJustice

Methodist Federation for Social Action

Mijente

Movement for Black Lives

Movement Law Lab

Muslim American Society

National Lawyers Guild

National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression

New York Collective of Radical Educators

No Dakota Access Pipeline Global Solidarity Campaign

Palestine Legal

Palestinian Youth Movement

Project South

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

Rising Tide North America

School of the Americas Watch

South Asian Americans Leading Together

Southerners on New Ground

Stop LAPD Spying Coalition

Teachers 4 Social Justice

The Red Nation

United We Dream

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

US Palestinian Community Network

Veterans for Peace

War Resisters League

A full list of signatories can be found here.

Sign your organization on to the letter here.

Press inquiries: droptheadl@gmail.com

August 2020, www.DropTheADL.org

Share the letter with your community using these graphics, tweets, and more.

Resources on Defunding the Police and Police Abolition

June 11, 2020

 

Jews Say No! stands with all those fighting for a just world and understands deeply that the powerful organizing taking place today against anti-Black racism and anti-Black violence reflects the long, hard, and deeply committed work of so many organizations and individuals, particularly Black activists.
We know people are receiving lots of resources, but we wanted to particularly share some that we have appreciated and learned from that focus on defunding the police and police abolition since we know many of us may be thinking seriously about these issues for the first time. We also make some suggestions of people and groups to follow, including where we can directly contribute to some of the Black-led and police and prison abolition organizing.
 
In solidarity,
Jews Say No!

Articles that focus on defunding the police and police abolition:

America, This is Your Chance  Michelle Alexander in the NYTimes  

 The State is Failing Black People  NYTimes  Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

 No More Money for the Police    NYT Philip V. McHarris and Thenjiwe McHarris

Don’t Let Cops Join Our Protest The Appeal, Derecka Purnell

Police “Reforms” You Should Always Oppose   Truthout 2014 Mariame Kaba

Is Prison Necessary? NYTimes Rachel Kushner with Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Are Prisons Obsolete?  feministes-radicales by Angela Davis

Learn more about abolition  Abolition study resources

The End of Policing Verso Books Alex S. Vitale

What would it mean to ‘defund the police’?  NBC News Jon Schuppe

Organizations and individuals/websites/resources  on prison and police abolition, transformative justice, and envisioning a just future:

What are we talking about when we talk about “a police-free future?” MPD 150 A people’s project evaluating policing

MPD 150 FAQ  Frequently Asked Questions

Transform Harm

8 can’t wait coalition

Building-an-Abolitionist-Trans-Queer-Movement  Dean Spade

Critical Resistance

Survived & Punished

Black and Pink

INCITE!

Reclaim the Block 

Dream Defenders 

Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective

National Bail Fund Network  Contribute to local and national bail funds 

On Chanukah We Rekindle our Commitment To Justice

December 18, 2019

As Jewish communities approach Chanukah, the festival of lights, on Dec. 22nd, Jews Say No! and friends joined together in NYC to rekindle our commitment to challenge Islamophobia and racist violence, both interpersonal and state-sponsored, and to be partners in the broader struggle for justice and dignity for all.

 

 

We pledge to work urgently for climate justice, which is inextricably connected to our movements for racial and economic justice. 

We resist all forms of injustice from the US to Palestine. 

We stand against misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia in all their forms.

We will not be silent about the White Supremacy and White Nationalism in our government and in our streets. Never Again means never again for anybody. 

 

We fight anti-Muslim & racial profiling and institutionalized racism & anti-Black violence in all their forms. 

We stand strong with immigrant and refugee communities fighting for dignity and justice. 

We stand against US policies, driven by the “war on terror,” that demonize Islam, and devalue, target, and kill Muslims.

We challenge Islamophobia, antisemitism, and anti-Black racism and all forms of injustice and violence against any community.

 

and in Los Angeles

 

and in South Florida

 

South Florida

Shaming the Jewish Communal Fund 11/14/19

December 3, 2019

November 14, 2019

JEWISH GROUPS TELL JEWISH COMMUNAL FUND:  STOP FUNDING ANTI-MUSLIM HATE

 Islamophobia endangers people and threatens their lives.

 Outside the Jewish Communal Fund (JCF) offices in NYC, a coalition of Jewish groups–the Defund Islamophobia Now campaign–called upon the JCF to end its funding to groups promoting Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate. A report  released in 2018 by three progressive Jewish groups documents how, according to JCF federal Form 990 filings, JCF has funded anti-Muslim hate groups going back at least to 2001, with six of them receiving a total of $2,082,212 between 2013 and 2017.  (In the following year, JCF gave five of these groups nearly $600,000.) This funding coincides with a rise in white nationalist violence and with Muslim communities being increasingly targeted on our streets and by our government.

According to Elly Bulkin from Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism (JAAMR), one of the members of the Campaign, “We have shared our report with the JCF and asked them to meet with us. Their answer has been silence. Two weeks ago, we delivered to their office a petition signed by over 5,000 people calling upon them to defund Islamophobia and, yet again, we asked for a meeting.  No response. So we are standing outside their offices today having a teach-in and calling upon the JCF to defund the hate that they are funding.”  “It’s not enough for us to say that Muslim lives matter as much as Jewish lives. We need to show it through our actions,” said Gail Miller from Jews Say No!, another member of the Campaign, who also appears in the video the groups created to highlight the issue. We must remember that Islamophobia is not an abstraction. It endangers people and threatens their lives,” said civil rights lawyer Alan Levine.

 “We wouldn’t—and shouldn’t–stand silent in the face of support for anti-Jewish hate. We also shouldn’t stand silent in the face of support for anti-Muslim hate,” added Asaf Calderon from Jewish Voice for Peace-NYC, also a Campaign member.

 “We know the JCF funds groups that do important work. But that does not justify a penny going to the kind of vicious hate that places an entire community in jeopardy and is an affront to all groups that seek a more just society,” stressed Karen Ranucci, who has been a donor to the JCF. “I recently withdrew my money from the fund as they did not respond to my requests to meet with them to discuss this issue. I would encourage other donors who believe in justice for all to do the same,” she added.

 Some of the Islamophobes who are funded by the JCF include:

·       Pamela Geller, who writes that Islam “is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth”; 

·       Clarion Project, which funds virulently anti-Muslim films; 

·       David Horowitz, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement”; 

·       Steven Emerson, who forged a “dossier” linking American Muslim groups with terrorism; and 

·       Daniel Pipes, who claims Muslims wish to “impose Islamic law” in the United States. 

The event, held at 6 PM in front of JCF offices at 575 Madison Avenue between 56th and 57th Street, was sponsored by the Defund Islamophobia Now campaign, initiated by three Jewish organizations–Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism, Jews Say No!, and Jewish Voice for Peace-NY. They can be contacted at DefundIslamophobia@gmail.com. The event is also endorsed by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Kolot Chayeinu, and NYU JVP. 

JSN!’s report on the role of the Jewish National Fund in the ongoing Nakba can be found  here

What About Palestine?

November 19, 2019
Published in TIKKUN  https://www.tikkun.org/what-about-palestine

The President claimed recently that Jews are disloyal to Israel and the Jewish people for voting Democrat because, in his view, the Democratic party is disloyal to Israel.  Underlying Trump’s cheerleading for loyalty to Israel is his hostility towards the Palestinian people and those calling for Palestinian rights. If we look at the actions that preceded his recent remarks, we can understand them best in the context of his and the Administration’s unequivocal backing of the Israeli government; support for continued theft/annexation of Palestinian land; consistent anti-Palestinian, Islamophobic positions; and relentless attacks on Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, two pro-Palestinian rights, pro-justice, Muslim Congresswomen (whom the President said Israel shouldn’t allow into its country).

Following his remarks, a barrage of articles and tweets characterized them as anti-Semitic, asserting that the language he used was reminiscent of long-time smears accusing Jews of having “dual loyalty,” that is, of not being sufficiently loyal to the countries in which they lived (and, since the creation of Israel, of being more loyal to Israel than to their own countries).

Adalah-NY: Campaign for the Boycott of Israel

Many groups decried Trump’s remarks about Jewish disloyalty but ignored the abusive, anti-Palestinian policies underlying his comments. The clearly anti-Palestinian significance of his remarks and the Administration’s obvious disdain for Palestinians were lost or side-lined in most of these discussions. That is, accusations of his anti-Semitism took center stage with little focus on the US government’s ongoing assaults on the Palestinian people and those supporting their struggle for freedom.

We can also not ignore the irony and hypocrisy of many who called out the President for his comments.  His remarks are not markedly different from what is said regularly by numbers of American Jewish organizations. They too assume that “good” Jews support and are invested in the state of Israel. They too make it a practice to attack Jews who support Palestinian rights. In fact, Jews working in solidarity for justice in Palestine are all too familiar with being accused of “disloyalty” (to Israel and to the Jewish people), or with being called “self-hating” Jews or–even–kapos, by some of these organizations and supporters of Israel. 

Trump’s remarks did not quite fit into the dual loyalty trope as it is generally understood. His comments assume alignment between the U.S. (right wing) and Israel in which loyalty to the Republican Party ultimately means “proper” loyalty both to the U.S. and Israel, whose interests are understood to overlap. Many Jewish organizations also consider their unwavering support for Israel to be in full alignment with their support for the U.S. (whether as Democrats or Republicans). This framing reflects the anti-Palestinian politics that have been pervasive within both parties.

U.S. Administrations have played a major role in supporting Israel’s historic and ongoing brutality toward the Palestinian people. Today’s Administration is no exception and is continuing, and furthering, this policy full-force and with tremendous cruelty.

Why is it that so many groups and commentators have seized the opportunity to criticize Trump’s anti-Semitism but have avoided calling out his anti-Palestinian policies?  That criticism seems to suggest that, while Trump’s anti-Semitism is considered beyond the pale, on the flip side, the anti-Palestinian violence he is enabling isn’t considered deserving of criticism.

The public conversation around Trump’s comments focused on the charge of dual loyalty, but paid little attention to how these accusations of “disloyal” (self-hating) Jews are a direct response to support for the Palestinian-led movement for justice. As this movement for Palestinian rights continues to grow across the country and globally, both Republicans and Democrats will be faced with ongoing resistance to US support for a grave injustice of our time—Israel’s ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people who have the right to live in dignity and with full justice in their homeland.

We are with you  

March 19, 2019
In the wake of the heartbreaking, horrifying violence against Muslims worshiping in Christchurch, New Zealand, we must continue–with all the strength we have–to join with Muslim and all communities to challenge and resist anti-Muslim racism, white supremacy, and hate in the streets, in mosques, in domestic and foreign policies, in all spheres of our societies. To our Muslim friends and partners in the struggle for a just world, we are with you.  
 
Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism and Jews Say No!

We call on the Jewish Communal Fund to Defund Islamophobia

January 16, 2019

Read the Defund Islamophobia report here.

Defund Islamophobia Now

December 19, 2018

The Defund Islamophobia report is described in the article below.

Ben Gingell via Shutterstock)Ben Gingell via Shutterstock)

by Donna Nevel and Elly Bulkin

Imagine a scenario in which the communal fund of a major U.S. religious or cultural organization gave money to virulently anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi groups. Imagine the totally justified outrage that would accompany those revelations. Imagine how Jewish communities would react: with indignation and the demand that the fund immediately stop supporting hate and anti-Semitism. This would absolutely be the right thing to do.

Now imagine what has actually happened: New York’s Jewish Communal Fund (JCF) has been financially supporting hate directed toward Muslims. It has funded the work of some of the most virulent purveyors of Islamophobia in the country. When Jewish mainstream organizations learn about this support for anti-Muslim racism, imagine that they react with the same outrage as if it had been directed toward Jews. Let’s hope that will be the case when they learn the facts.

report recently released by three progressive Jewish organizations (two of which we work with), documents how the JCF is funding Islamophobia. JCF federal Form 990 filings reveal that, going back to at least 2001, it has funded anti-Muslim hate groups, with six of them receiving a total of $2,082,212 between 2013 and 2017, the last years for which 990 forms are publicly available.

These organizations are key parts of what was described in a Center for American Progress 2011 report—Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America— as “the Islamophobia network in America.” They include the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) whose public face is Pamela Geller, a notorious Muslim-basher who promoted a nationwide anti-Muslim ad campaign that placed vitriolic anti-Muslim ads in public buses and subways; the Clarion Project, which has produced Islamophobic propaganda films and uses inflammatory images to demonize and smear Muslims (along with Palestinians); and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a major purveyor of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, which the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as “the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement.”

But that’s not all. JCF also funds the Investigative Project on Terrorism, led by Steven Emerson, perhaps best known for claiming immediately after Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that the attack had “a Middle Eastern trait” because it “was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible;” the Middle East Forum, whose Daniel Pipes alleged that President Obama “enforced Islamic law;” and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which the Center for American Progress has described as the go-to source for those in the Islamophobia network who want to “make the case that Islam is inherently violent and promotes extremism.” JCF has also accepted financial support from two funders of the Islamophobia network: the Abstraction Fund and Gotham Charitable Foundation Trust.

The Center for American Progress describes the leaders of the Islamophobia network as “misinformation experts.” They not only provide misinformation to media outlets, but they also have relationships with government officials, whose support lends credibility to these anti-Muslim bigots, allowing them to secure funding from government and private sources.

Anti-Muslim racism has a long, ugly history in the United States, which has accelerated since 9/11 and intensified still further under the current administration’s policies. Islamophobia has become deeply entrenched within U.S. society—on the streets, in government, in institutions, in the media.

JCF has the power and obligation to stop funding anti-Muslim hate groups. Its rules give it the right to reject any and all grant recommendations, with includes individuals with donor-advised funds who designate a specific organization for funding. According to JCF’s handbook, “all grant recommendations are nonbinding,” with JCF retaining the power “to decline grant recommendations.” Although JCF gives to many worthwhile projects and grantees, that does not make it acceptable to give a single penny to anti-Muslim hate.

In addition to JCF’s funding of anti-Muslim racism, activists in Chicago exposed in 2017 similar funding of Islamophobia by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago through its donor-advised funds. Its funding between 2011 and 2014 included the Middle East Forum and Investigative Project on Terrorism, recipients of nearly $650,000 from JUF. In the 2013-2017 fiscal years, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (the local Jewish federation) also funded anti-Muslim hate, including giving more than $360,000 to three of the anti-Muslim hate groups highlighted in the JCF report.

More recent research on the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which is “housed and staffed” by the Federation, documents substantial financial support for anti-Muslim hate going back to 2003. Nearly $2 million in the 2013-2017 fiscal years went from the Federation and Diller to the six groups that are the focus of the New York City report, as well as substantial funding to other anti-Muslim groups. It was heartening to learn that the Diller Family Foundation agreed to stop funding the blacklist website Canary Mission, which targets pro-Palestine activists, just hours after a report about its $100,000 donation appeared in the Jewish press. At this moment, however, there has been no public sign that it is ending its support of anti-Muslim racism.

White supremacists, including those with the power of the state behind them, feel emboldened these days to act upon their violent and aggressive combination of racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, transphobia, homophobia, and more. It’s critical to be principled in the commitment to challenge all forms of injustice—in words, actions, and the insistence that community institutions be accountable. This means that the JCF and others need to cut off all funding to anti-Muslim hate groups, now and in the future.

Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, and Elly Bulkin, a writer, are co-founders of Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism (JAAMR).

Israel’s Environmental Colonialism and Eco-Apartheid

December 18, 2018
The construction of Israel’s mammoth apartheid wall has separated Palestinian farmers from their fields and destroyed Palestinians’ legally owned fertile agricultural land.

By Ben Lorber

July 12, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal — Since the idea of Zionism first gripped the minds of a few intellectuals and the limbs of many agrarian pioneers in the early 20th century, the state of Israel has presented its settlement of the land of Palestine, and its uprooting of the Palestinian people, as a rejuvenation of the earth. By “greenwashing” the occupation, Israel hides its apartheid behind an environmentalist mirage, and distracts public attention not only from its brutal oppression of the Palestinian people, but from its large-scale degradation of the earth upon which these tragedies unfold.

Determined to “make the desert bloom”, an international organisation — the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemet LeYisrael (JNF-KKL, or JNF) planted forests, recreational parks and nature reserves to cover over the ruins of Palestinian villages, as refugees were scattered far from, or worse, a few hilltops away from, the land upon which they and their ancestors had based their lives and livelihoods.

Today, as Israel portrays itself as a “green democracy”’, an eco-friendly pioneer in agricultural techniques such as drip irrigation, dairy farming, desert ecology, water management and solar energy, Israeli factories drain toxic waste and industrial pollutants down from occupied West Bank hilltops into Palestinian villages, and over-pumping of groundwater aquifers denies Palestinians access to vital water sources in a context of increasing water scarcity and pollution.

Read the rest of this entry »

JEWISH COMMUNAL FUND SUPPORTS ANTI-MUSLIM HATE GROUPS

November 29, 2018

The Shame of the UJA-Federation of New York

HOW ITS JEWISH COMMUNAL FUND  SUPPORTS ANTI-MUSLIM HATE GROUPS

The Jewish Communal Fund (JCF), the funding arm of the UJA-Federation of New York (UJA-Federation), has for years funded a host of anti-Muslim hate groups—contributing more than $2 million to six such groups just in 2013-2017. While JCF is understandably proud of its funding of numerous community, health, and other such organizations, it seems decidedly reluctant to call public attention to its support for these Islamophobic groups. We call upon the JCF to make a firm, public commitment to stop contributing to these anti-Muslim groups and to others that share their ideology.

READ MORE

 


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