News Release

Antisemitism Charge Used to Silence Criticism of Israel in U.S. and Britain

CNN reports: “Trump to sign order to interpret Judaism as a nationality.”

ABBA SOLOMON, abbasolomon at gmail.com, @Abba_A_Solomon
Solomon is author of The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein’s Speech “The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews.” See his writings at Mondoweiss.

Rabbi ALISSA WISE, via Sonya E Meyerson-Knox, sonya at jvp.org
Wise is acting co-executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. The group released a statement Tuesday “Trump’s Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds,” which states: “Trump’s Executive Order allegedly targeting campus antisemitism is the culmination of decades of attempts by anti-Palestinian organizations to suppress Palestinian organizing, advocacy, research and teaching on college campuses. The EO, which would codify a dangerous and overly broad definition of antisemitism into federal civil rights law, fails to offer any protection to Jewish students. Instead, it will usher in a climate of fear on college campuses, where university administrations will be incentivized to silence student activism, faculty research, and teaching about Palestine — while white supremacist organizing, which has been steadily increasing under Trump, will go unchecked.”

Rabbi Wise said that a few days ago “Trump said Jews would vote for him because they like money. And yet now he suddenly pretends to care about Jewish safety? He has never cared about stopping antisemitism — this Executive Order is about silencing Palestinians and the people who speak up with them. The Executive Order is his way of forcing through a deeply unpopular and unconstitutional bill. Jewish Voice for Peace calls on members of Congress to immediately condemn this Executive Order and commit to overturning this authoritarian act.”

[See from Mondoweiss: “The Trump administration has declared war on the Palestine solidarity movement.” The British election is Thursday. See from the Electronic Intifada: “What Britain’s election means for Palestine.”]

Last year, Jewish Voice for Peace’s board of trustees responded to attacks on the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn: “As Jews, we are all too aware that real antisemitism is on the rise. In our country it shows up in the neo-Nazis marching through Charlottesville, in white supremacist hate groups rising across the country, in former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke who offered full-throated support to the president following Trump’s inauguration.

“We believe political leaders have a responsibility to condemn and to fight against the linked dangers of white supremacy, xenophobia, anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism — and they should be able to do so without fearing intimidation or personal attack. Criticism of Israel does not equal antisemitism.”