Local Jewish group on ADLs anti-Israel list

A Bay Area Jewish organization is on the Anti-Defamation League’s top 10 list of anti-Israel groups in America.

Jewish Voice for Peace, based in Oakland, made the ADL’s list, released Oct. 14, of the most influential and active anti-Israel groups in the country.

Also on the list were Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), the Al-Awda Council on American-Islamic Relations, Friends of Sabeel-North America, If Americans Knew, the International Solidarity Movement, the Muslim American Society, Students for Justice in Palestine and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

“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,” said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director.

“These groups are not promoting peace. They are spreading propaganda to assault Israel’s legitimacy. We want Americans to know who these groups are and what it is they really stand for, which is to delegitimize the Jewish state.”

The ADL released the list in an online report that also examines the dynamics of the U.S. anti-Israel movement and the ability of the most prominent groups to organize events, attract supporters and forge relationships with like-minded organizations.

A Jewish Voice for Peace spokeswoman blasted the ADL’s claims, insisting her organization — the only Jewish group on the list — advocates for human rights for both Palestinians and Israelis.

“Under Abraham Foxman’s leadership, the ADL is an embarrassment,” said Cecilie Surasky, JVP’s deputy director. “This is a terrible shame, in part because the ADL, especially in local offices, does so many good things: speaking out against bullying, supporting the right of gays and lesbians to serve their country.”

Surasky added, “But all of these things, and likely the caring staff members behind them, are undermined by Foxman and company’s cynical attitudes when it comes to protecting Israel’s right to infinitely expand into Palestinian territory, elegantly achieved by simply crying anti-Semitism when anyone says enough already.”

On its website, JVP went on to further refute the ADL charges, in particular denying that JVP is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, adding that some JVP members consider themselves Zionists.

The organization recently drafted and organized a petition signed by more than 150 American and film artists in support of an Israeli artists’ boycott of performing in the West Bank.