JCC Festival Accused Of Hurting Israel

Member presses board to adopt guidelines against ties to pro-Palestinian groups; JCC says it’s being ‘misrepresented.’

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Concerned that an annual film festival at the JCC in Manhattan is lending credibility to organizations that are hostile to Israel, a JCC member is calling on the board to impose guidelines against such affiliations.

Richard Allen wants the JCC and other Jewish institutions to formally reject any cooperation with organizations that want to hurt Israel economically, academically or culturally as a means to affect the peace process.

He says the Upper West Side JCC is providing such cooperation through the website of its Other Israel Film Festival, which links to two non-governmental Palestinian advocacy organizations. The Other Israel Film Festival is intended to show the diversity of Israel by highlighting work by and about minorities, particularly Arab Israelis.

“I have nothing against the film festival,” Allen said in an interview Monday. “I am not making judgments against the films but against the fact that they are linking to, giving free advertising to and calling partners, groups that support BDS.”

BDS is the widely used acronym for the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting Israel. None of the Palestinian groups Allen cited are listed as “Partners” on the film festival’s site; they are instead listed under “news and resources.”

The Other Israel Film Festival, founded in 2007, has itself been targeted by BDS groups, with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel saying that the festival “endorsed the oxymoronic notion of a democratic Jewish state.” It does not take an official position on Israeli policies.

Allen, who joined the JCC last year, said he did not attend the November film festival but was upset to see that J Street, the left-wing pro-peace process lobby group, had a table at the event to give out its literature. (J Street opposes the BDS movement.) He soon learned that J Street’s Education Fund, the Israeli human rights advocacy group B’Tselem and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival were listed by the JCC as partners, but pay no fees to the JCC for their participation. In Allen’s view this represents a “heksher,” or endorsement by the JCC of these groups. Human Rights Watch has likened Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to South Africa’s apartheid.

“That prompted me to take a closer look,” he said.

Among the groups linked to the film festival’s site are the Mossawa Center, an advocacy center for Arab Israelis and the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. Adalah is not affiliated with Adalah New York, an organization that works to promote the boycott of Israeli products in the United States.

The NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based site run by Professor Gerald Steinberg of Bar-Ilan University that focuses on the role of humanitarian groups in the Arab-IsraeI conflict, notes that the Mossawa Center was one of 18 co-signers of a letter to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund’s Council on Ethics urging the fund to liquidate investments in “all corporations that support and maintain the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.” That letter is posted on the website of the Coalition of Women for Peace.

Unlike the Mossawa Center, Adalah does not appear on NGO Monitor’s list of organizations involved in the BDS movement. A grantee of the New Israel Fund, the organization is cited by NGO Monitor as an active participant in the Durban 2001 Conference, widely considered by Israel supporters as biased against the Jewish state, where boycotts of Israel were strongly advocated. The site also said Adalah often conflates Palestinian issues with the status of Israeli Arab citizens.

Allen sent a detailed letter to the JCC’s board members last month expressing his concerns.

The co-presidents of the JCC, Marti Meyerson and Alice Gottesman, sent Allen a Jan. 10 letter acknowledging his concerns, saying they “will be studying the matter thoroughly and will be in touch when our board has had a chance to understand the issue that you have raised.”

In a phone interview Tuesday the JCC’s director, Rabbi Joy Levitt, said, “We don’t support BDS or any organizations that support BDS.

“The JCCs by definition work with hundreds, if not thousands of people and groups in our community. We bring people in, we engage with them, we do all kinds of arrangements. Every JCC does that. Anyone who says the JCC is not a strong supporter of Israel is misrepresenting us and our programs.”

She noted that the JCC will soon implement a program to engage alumni of Birthright Israel and integrate them into Jewish life and that board members have made 11 recent missions to Israel.

The controversy comes on the heels of efforts late last year by two donors to the Foundation for Jewish Culture to adopt a resolution by a board member that the foundation will not award funds to anyone who participates in academic or cultural boycotts of Israel. David Eisner and his wife, board member Karen Lehmann Eisner,  were upset that some of the films the foundation helped produce were critical of Israel, and wanted to see the board impose some minimal standards.

The foundation’s board declined to do so, with members saying it should avoid political statements and others fearful that it would send a wrong message of censorship to artists and potential grantees, The Jewish Week reported in December.

Elise Bernhardt, the FJC’s director and CEO, said on Tuesday that while letters condemning the board’s stance continue to pour into her office, the foundation’s position remains firm.

“The idea that there are many points of view is a Jewish virtue,” said Bernhardt. “We should be able to see and discuss all of them. This will continue to be difficult because some people believe that circling the wagons and stifling discussion is protective. I don’t think so.”

Allen, 59, says he’ll keep up the pressure, spending his own money on the campaign.

He has purchased the address “JCCWatch.org,” but he has yet to post anything on the website.

“All action endeavors to educate the public will be on the table: website, print ads, transit ads, demonstrations, leafleting and public picketing,” he said in a letter to a supporter, which he forwarded to The Jewish Week. “The JCC in Manhattan board will have only themselves to blame if they do not act and pass guidelines to stop their partnerships and links to BDS groups.”

Hank Sheinkopf, the outspoken Democratic political consultant, said he supported Allen’s campaign and, as a former JCC member, would not patronize any programs until it canceled the Other Israel Film Festival and severed what he called its ties to BDS organizations.

“They won’t stop unless they are punished financially,” said Sheinkopf. “At this time when Israel’s very life may be at stake it’s especially important not to patronize anyone who doesn’t stand with the State of Israel. … Stop claiming you are a Jewish community center, because there is no place there for centrist people.”

The JCC houses an extensive Israel Film Center with a large archive available to members. The IFC’s stated goal is to be “a leading resource for Israeli film, with the goal of expanding Israel’s emerging film industry and promoting Israeli culture in America.” But Sheinkopf says the JCC shouldn’t show films that are critical of Israel.

“Do you know of any group that shows films that criticize them besides Jews?”

Allen provided the JCC and The Jewish Week with bylaws of San Francisco’s Jewish Community Federation stating that it will not fund organizations that “advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure, independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, in whole or in part.” He said the JCC should consider similar guidelines.

The BDS campaign initiated by Palestinian NGOs dates back to 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice condemned Israel’s construction of the West Bank barrier. There are active campaigns targeting Israel’s academics, culture and economy in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada. n

Last Update:

03/10/2011 - 16:16

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I have been having an email conversation with Manhattan JCC officials, and I get the impression they are trying to play both sides of the issue, and I told them that.

On one hand I received a statement from the JCC rabbi stating "....We do not partner with organizations that support BDS..." yet they are the key sponsor of a film festival with J Street for which Ambassador Ayalon said "They should not call themselves pro-Israeli."

I see internal problem at the Manhattan JCC.

Fred Taub,
Author, Boycotting Peace

I just came across this article and the responses that follow and I find it interesting that Mr. Allen engages in a serious and respectful dialogue while on the other side the supporters of the JCC and the New Israel Fund engage in personal attacks, name calling and rude statements. Any observer, I think, would have to conclude that the supporters of the JCC and New Israel Fund are trying to avoid the facts and avoid serious scrutiny by trying to turn the tables and attack the messenger. I think the readers of this comment section, and the jewish community in general, are smarter than that and the tactic of personal attacks merely shows the JCC and New Israel Fund lack a substantive basis to rebut the charges in this article. Accordingly, I conclude that the charges must be true.

Is Mr. Allen saying that anti-racism work in Israel is akin to boycott, divestment and sanctions? Or is he saying that racism doesn't exist in Israel? Aside from the letter to the Norwegian pension fund which Mossawa recanted, the rest of what Mr. Allen seems to hate about Israeli Arabs is that they aren't Jewish.

Mr. Murane has not addressed the hundreds of Thousands of dollars the New Israel Fund has donated to organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the State of Israel.

The New Israel Fund should be truthful and change their name to meet the truth in advertising law. Their correct name is the -----------THE NO ISRAEL FUND

Mr. Murane's false charge of Racism shows his discust for the free democratic State of Israel. You will notice his false charge of racism is taken out of thin air, with not a thread of reality to it.

He must have received training on how to attack Jews and the State of Israel, for he uses words like "Seem", so as to avoid the weight of Legal action.

I do not use the word "Seem".

The New Israel Fund supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

How can anyone believe Mr. Murane's false words, look at the New Israel Fund's CheckBook. They support BDS.

This is an excellent discussion and an important one. In an effort to make sure it remains on track I'd like to suggest the following ground rules for civil discourse: _Rafi's Rules of Non-Parliamentary Procedure Specifically For The Orderly Conduct Of Jewish Meetings_ So that all Jewish meetings may be conducted in an orderly manner, with due respect for propriety and dignity, the following rules are hereby established by universal consent (with the majority dissenting): Point Of Personal Outrage: At any time during a meeting when a participant becomes extremely upset, he or she shall have the right to interrupt any other speaker, will not be required to wait for recognition from the Chair, and has the obligation to speak at a volume considerably higher than required for normal conversation. Point Of Irrelevant Interjection: Irrespective of the motion on the floor, the participant shall have the right to monopolize the meeting for not more than five minutes as he or she discourses on a point the relevance of which escapes all other participants. Point Of Personal Attack: In response to a point raised by another speaker, the participant shall have the right to reply by launching a personal attack. At no time shall the point itself be addressed. Point Of Associative Guilt: The participant shall have the right to impugn the Jewishness of any other Jew by alleging that he or she is, was, might be, has a third cousin who is, or may have great-grandchildren who will belong to any and all organizations designated by the participant as dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish people. Point Of Contempt: The participant shall have the right to grunt, throw papers down on the table, shake his or her head vigorously, or otherwise demonstrate contempt for the proceedings. Point Of Harassment: The participant shall have the right to introduce irrelevant motions for the sole purpose of delaying the meeting. It is only permissible to resort to a point of harassment when the outcome of an imminent vote is obvious. Point Of Redundant Information: This is not to be confused with the more familiar "point of information." Whereas a point of information is a request for information from the Chair, a point of redundant information entitles the participant to tell those in the meeting something they already know. Point Of Redundancy: This is a motion that entitles the participant to make a point made by another participant no more than five speakers earlier. Point Of Pious Posturing: This motion entitles the participant to make reference to any teaching in the Bible or rabbinic literature that allegedly supports his or her point of view. A correct quotation, however, immediately disqualifies the point. Point Of Grudge: Entitles the participant to raise an issue debated by the organization not less than five years earlier, for which the participant has not yet forgiven those involved. It is hoped that prompt and wide distribution of these rules will serve to bring order out of chaos that on occasion characterizes Jewish meetings.
The New Israel Fund is very proud to support the Other Israel Film Festival in educating our community about the common disparities in Israel, issues which left ignored are dangerous for Israel's future as Jewish democratic state. We also have a strict policy against funding groups that engage in boycott, divestment and sanctions: http://www.nif.org/about/frequently-asked-questions.html#12 The incident Mr. Allen erroneously cites here occurred a decade ago before Mr. Allen had likely ever heard the acronym "BDS." After the grantee signed the letter in question, NIF met with the group's leadership and explained why that was against Israel's and their best interests. They haven't mentioned support for BDS again. Instead of losing one of Israel's premier groups fighting for equality -- akin to Israel's NAACP -- we instead now have an advocate for working within Israel's legal system and for Israel as a legitimate state. Mr. Allen seems committed to burning bridges, not building them.
What Mr. Murane has concealed in his comments to the readers of the Jewish Week: The New Israel Fund has a long History of funding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel; Here are just a few of the facts from the highly regarded Organization: www.NGOMonitor.org: "•In 2008, NIF distributed over $20 million to over 300 NGOs in Israel. Approximately 20% goes to NGOs that engage in political activities related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including some that reject the legitimacy of Israel as Jewish democratic state, and are active in boycott and similar campaigns." Mossawa Center: (The JCC in Manhattan had web Links to this group) •"Established in 1997, the Mossawa Center strives to improve the social, economic and political status of the Arab citizens of Israel, while preserving their national and cultural rights as Palestinians" •Mossawa was founded by Ittijah and NIF’s Shatil. •In 2006-2008, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $517,642 to Mossawa (2006, 2007, 2008). •Donors include European Union, Sweden (via Diakonia), UK, Germany, Moriah Fund, Oxfam UK, Open Society Institute, and Abraham Fund Initiatives. •Mossawa’s main focus is political, and aims to delegitimize Israel on the basis of blanket charges of racism and other pejoratives. It often removes or minimizes the context of terrorism to demonize Israeli security measures. •Publishes an annual racism report (Hebrew) that alleges “incitement against Arab citizens” and “violat[ions of] the political freedom of Arab public leadership.” Examples include news articles claiming that “Hezbollah terrorists were supported by Israeli Arabs” (incitement), the indictment again MK Muhammad Barake for assaulting a police officer (violation of political freedom), and activities designed to “strengthen the Jewish character of Nazareth Ilit” (racist events by Jews towards Arab citizens). •Joined a coalition of NGOs in a letter to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, calling “upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.” The letter accused a number of Israeli and international corporations of “provid[ing] specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments.” •Mossawa’s proposed constitution is based on the premise that “[t]he State of Israel was established on the ruins of the Palestinian people, for whom the event was a national tragedy – the Nakba.” The paper rejects Israel as a Jewish state and the “state symbols: for Jews only” (the flag and national anthem). •Mossawa publicized a protest vigil against “the occupation army which perpetrates cruel ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people in Gaza.” Mossawa also referred to Israel’s “harsh violations of international humanitarian law,” including “collective punishment,” and “consciously injuring innocent civilians.” •On March 1, 2010, the Nazareth District Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Mossawa against NGO Monitor for alleged defamation" ..................It seems the New Israel Funds (NIF) says one thing to the Jewish Community through their PR, yet keeps the money running to fuel the BDS fires against Israel
Daniel Sieradski and Kung Fu Jew are the same. He also writes in Mondoweiss, the anti-Israel website, He is also Know as JewSchool on the Web. Several Personalities, enough to make Sybil seem like a Loner! The Best one is The JCC in Manhattan's Web Designer! In his World: Anti-Israel = Good for Israel What a muddled Mind
Even if I did still work at the JCC, God forbid a Jew who works at a Jewish organization should have the temerity to express a dissenting view about Israel without his or her livelihood being threatened by McCarthyites like Allen. In Richard Allen's world, J Street, NIF and everyone else that makes space for anti-occupation Jews within the Jewish community are treyf and verboten. If we let men like him continue to draw the boundaries of acceptability you can kiss future generations' connections to the Jewish community and Israel goodbye. Richard Allen is just another Jewish oligarch trying to force everyone else to bury their heads in the sand alongside his own. If the JCC allows him to drag them under with him, simply because he has money and powerful friends, then they deserve the fate they will share: Irrelevance.
Mr. Allen, I know you disagree, but J-Street is actually good for Israel in most peoples mind. The alternative to J-street is a truly anti-Israel policy or an unethical state - which is also not good for Israel. Let me guess, you did not vote for Obama because you thought he was bad for Israel. Someone pushing Israel towards peace is not bad for Israel. George W Bush gave Israel a free hand and that led Israel nowhere good. I think it is great that you are doing your research. The only way to overcome this situation is by understanding the other in the conflict. Are you listening to the other position or simply throwing mud? Finally, I have no idea what the JCC has to do with any of this... I have gone to many Israeli events there, and even right wing Camera events there.
Let us start by what we can all agree upon. First, all would agree that giving a forum to any organization that advocates BDS would be a harmful act against the State of Israel. Second, if you support Israel, you should view giving support to an organization that advocates BDS as something that should be avoided. Now, the article makes clear, as a statement of fact, not opinion, that the Manhattan JCC's Film Festival's web site links to the Mossawa Center. The article then states: "The NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based site run by Professor Gerald Steinberg of Bar-Ilan University that focuses on the role of humanitarian groups in the Arab-IsraeI conflict, notes that the Mossawa Center was one of 18 co-signers of a letter to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund’s Council on Ethics urging the fund to liquidate investments in “all corporations that support and maintain the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.” " It is very clear that by giving a forum to the Mossawa Center, as stated in the article, the JCC supported a group that advocates BDS. Now, for all the comments that denied that this occurred, your problem is with the facts and not Mr. Allen's position.
Mr. Gulick knows very well the subsidy that the J Street organization receives from the JCC in Manhattan. His organization pays nothing to the JCC, and is encouraged by the JCC to solicit money from JCC in Manhattan members. How is it that J Street is given a green light to promote its nefarious organization to JCC in Manhattan members? The J Street logo and links are positioned prominently on the JCC Other Israel website and in its literature. His group is provided with table space and they promote the J Street PAC and its political activities at the JCC in Manhattan. One has to question how and why this special treatment is accorded anti-Israel groups like the J Street. The fact that Mr. Gulick looks to the rabidly Anti-Israel UN to put Israel in a negative position speaks for itself. This UN resolution is the first step in the “Lawfare” war on Israel. The fact that J Street is positioning Israel to be sanctioned with this UN Resolution is not lost on anyone. J Street denied for years, the massive amount of money provided by George Soros to its organization. This also speaks to the veracity of this despicable organization. (See Link below) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/24/soros-funder-liberal-jewish-american-lobby/ One of the most liberal members of Congress, Gary Ackerman has severed his ties to J Street. (See Link Below) Congressman Ackerman Stated: "The decision to endorse the Palestinian and Arab effort to condemn Israel in the UN Security Council, is not the choice of a concerned friend trying to help. It is rather the befuddled choice of an organization so open-minded about what constitutes support for Israel that its brains have fallen out.” http://ackerman.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=254&parentid=4&sectiontree=4,254&itemid=1537 J Street has partnered with and supports groups that directly fund BDS, such as the New Israel Fund: (See Link Below - Amazingly, many of these organizations are also listed as Partners with the JCC in Manhattan) http://conference.jstreet.org/ J Street works hand-in-hand with politicized NGO’s. It was well reported that J Street provided Goldstone with an invitation to assist him in lobbying our Congress with his vile report. The NGO Monitor outlines positions and links that J Street has that work against the Jewish Democratic State of Israel. http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article.php?id=3123 Like the J Street’s denial that Soros did not fund them, their current public Statement that J Street does not support BDS does not ring true when they support, link and work with the BDS movement. It is time that JStreet come clean and reveal all the linkages and Board connections they have with the JCC in Manhattan. The JCC in Manhattan should not have Links and Partnerships to political organizations that use the JCC in Manhattan's resources and membership to further anti-Israel activities.
Mr. Allen's apologia is so full of innuendo, half truths, and outright lies that it's hard to know where to start, but let's pick out one of his many egregious falsehoods: the allegation that "JStreet supports UN Sanctions againts [sic] Israel." What he presumably refers to is the statement issued by J Street's president Jeremy Ben-Ami regarding a draft resolution in the UN Security Council that would condemn the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, using essentially the same terms as United States government policy over the last eight administrations, of both parties. The Resolution DOES NOT call for sanctions against Israel, which J Street explicitly and outspokenly opposes. Here is the operative section of J Street's statement. (The full statement is at http://www.jstreet.org/blog/?p=1381 "The Resolution introduced in the United Nations Security Council this week condemns Israel’s ongoing settlement activity and calls on both parties to continue negotiating final status issues in an effort to resolve the conflict in the short term. These are sentiments that we share and that we believe a majority of Jewish Americans and friends of Israel share. We would urge the government of the state of Israel to recognize that it is in Israel’s own interest to stop further building over the Green Line, and to immediately sit down with the United States and the Palestinians to establish a border and security arrangements that define where it can and cannot continue to build. Barring that, we urge the Obama administration to put forward quickly, and with strong international support, its own bold, proactive diplomatic initiative, including ideas for establishing borders and security arrangements. The lack of movement on the diplomatic front has created the vacuum from which the present Security Council Resolution has emerged. By asserting clear leadership in a serious effort to reach a two-state resolution of the conflict, the United States can likely defer immediate consideration of this new Resolution by the Security Council. Our preferred outcome would be Israeli or American action that averts the need for such a Resolution. However, if the Resolution does come to a vote, we urge the Obama administration to work to craft language, particularly around Jerusalem, that it can support condemning settlement activity and promoting a two-state solution. While we hope never to see the state of Israel publicly taken to task by the United Nations, we cannot support a U.S. veto of a Resolution that closely tracks long-standing American policy and that appropriately condemns Israeli settlement policy." I defy Mr. Allen to produce any evidence whatsoever to back up his mendacious accusation.
So let me get this right. Richard Allen, a nobody with no credentials who has not attended the festival he maligns, who is not a major donor to the JCC, not on the Board of the JCC has the temerity to tell Joy Levitt how to run the place- why because the JCC gave out literature on J Street and Betzelem. Nice. He would also have jewish cultural funds monitor what films are made so that nobody could make films about the occupation, discrimination in Israel and not just towards arabs etc... Do I have it right. Who is this guy and more to the point why is the Jewish Week giving him oxygen. Shame on you. In the meantime the JCC just opening its third annual Disabilities festival-Reelabilities which the Jewish Week opted not to cover. I guess Mr. Allen is sexier. Shame on you
My thanks to those that quoted me correctly. As a member, I love the JCC in Manhattan & its' wonderful facilities. I have no issue with any movie shown at the JCC's Other Israel Film Festival, or with any speaker. Balanced and open discussion is a virtue. What I do not favor is the political free ride given to groups that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, by the JCC in Manhattan. A Jewish organization that receives NY State taxpayer subsidy and UJA/Federation funds should not be taking political positions or subsidizing anti-Israel political movements. Our quick to kick friend (KungFuJew), is slow to grasp that not everyone is an enemy of free speech or is trying to control his thoughts. In fact, it is the JCC in Manhattan that has links to anti-Israel political organizations and is funding them by giving them free advertising, access to JCC members, Political Action Tables in the JCC building, and encorages them to solicit funds from JCC members. This is only offered to "Politically Correct" groups. So who is really trying to force feed us their political agenda? It is clear that the JCC in Manhattan needs to have guidelines, so it's over exuberent political cadre, called its pogramming office, is reined in and not allowed to spend our monies on their political agenda. I am happy that the JCC has removed their links to the BDS groups called Mossawa & Adalah, after this article appeared by Adam Dickter. Now, the JCC in Manhattan's partnership with organizations that claim they do not support BDS, but actually do, should also be severed. JStreet supports UN Sanctions againts Israel. The New Israel Fund, that gives huge amounts of money to BDS groups, and Human Rights Watch, that is also a supporter of the BDS movement, must be removed from the JCC's moneyroll of support. Free advertising, access to members, subsidized speakerships/propaganda programs must all be stopped for these favored BDS groups by the JCC. It is true and I plead guilty that I will make sure the Board of Directors of the JCC in Manhattan will hear our voices. I will not tire, rest, or halt my efforts, until these anti-Israel partnerships and subsidies are also removed from the JCC in Manhattan. There is no room for Anti-Israel alliances at a UJA-Federation subsidized organization. My phone is ringing off the hook with supporters. It is now up to the JCC in Manhattan's Board to determine the future: To keep their support for BDS groups and marginalize themselves with the mainstream world that supports the Democratic Jewish State of Israel, or live up to it's mandate as a Jewish Community Center and enjoy the support of the entire Jewish Community.
Richard, Why do you think it is your job to police what is said and what is not said? Tax payers and federation supporters do not all agree with you. I recognize that the JCC and other institutions will present voices that I do not agree with, does that mean they should not present it? As long as we do not live in a facist state, all voices are welcome. Especially in this case when they are not voicing anti- israel voices but rather partnering with partners who might in some vague way be supporting a questionable boycott. Why not go after the partners? As far as I know, the groups partnered with mentioned here do not support BDS. There is also a big difference between funding and having a link on a website, however much publicity it might give. This is a witch hunt where anyone in reach is being accused. Links on sights are everywhere. Shall we boycott boycotts ? Will that make us any better? If the JCC was blasting anti-israel lies, I think they would be more of a target. But I find they have programs for everyone.
"Mr. Daniel Sieradski" _was_ the web director for the JCC seven years ago, but is no longer affiliated with the JCC in any way. His opinions are his own.
I am glad The Jewish Week and Adam Dicker have the time and the space to waste on such ridiculous accusations. Let me get this straight, Richard Allen is claiming that The JCC has a festival (which I now learn is itself Boycotted by pro-Palestinian groups for being pro-Israel) that partners with groups like NIF and Jstreet (who both appose BDS) but have links to groups that support minority rights in Israel. That is like accusing someone of a crime because a cousin of a cousin did something that was not bad. Are you actually printing this?! This is the weakest case I have ever heard. If it was not clear that this is ridiculous: Allen says that the JCC shouldn't show films that are critical of Israel... Is this Iran? Is their a uniform we should be wearing?
 It is not Mr. Allen but Mr Hank Sheinkopf who said the JCC should not show films that are critical of Israel. Mr. Allen said the opposite, that he has no problem with the films. My article also noted that the festival itself is recommended for boycott by the Palestinian organization.
My mistake, it is Sheinkopf who said it. Good company.
From my blog post on this preposterous accusation: Mr. Allen, in his insecure Crusader mentality, is blowing a chill wind of intellectual petrification into a building that is unafraid, as he seems to be, of tackling pressing issues. The “circle the wagon” types may always insist that Israel’s “dirty laundry” not be discussed outside the tribe — but if we cannot discuss our thoughts inside our JCCs then where can we discuss them? Only when Mr. Allen is there to chaperon the conversation? What next? That those insufficiently pro-Israel won’t be able to use the pool? That an inquiry be instituted into the loyalties of JCC membership applicants? http://www.jewschool.com/2011/02/02/25358/the-other-israel-film-festival-represents-me/
the JCC of Manhattan also does not support the Israel Day parade. I am not aware that they have ever hosted a float or group to march. They have full programming on that one Sunday afternoon of the year.
Proposterous. The Palestinian solidarity movement has itself called for a boycott of the Other Israel Film Festival in accordance with the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Ie., the film festival itself is a target of BDS and has explicitly rejected BDS in various statements. http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/supporting-the-other-israel-film-festival-is-not-good-news.html Richard Allen is just one of several thousand little Zionist McCarthys trying to exclude Jews who use their wallets to oppose the occupation from the Jewish community. All these thought police do is contribute infinitely more to the alienation of young Jews from Israel and the Jewish community, as they are made to feel – as Peter Beinart eloquently articulated in his NY Review of Books piece – that they cannot be Jewish and also act upon their moral conscience.
Mr. Daniel Sieradski is the Web designer at the JCC in Manhattan. This shows the JCC's Political Agenda. Name calling and false charges means this article must be exposing their dark little secret - Backing for BDS groups and their supporters.
No. Daniel Sieradski is not presently the designer of the JCC website and hasn't been so for years.
Daniel Sieradski has not worked at the JCC in over seven or eight years. Let's just add more misinformation to the mix shall we? Does anyone fully do their research on anything anymore? Or is the first Google search pop-up the answer to everything.
I was amused when I read that "Rabbi" Joy Levitt stated that “We don’t support BDS or any organizations that support BDS." This from one of the leading supporters of the Ground Zero mosque. Get rid of her, and all the other fellow travelers who are doing the dirty work for their anti-Israel, anti-semitic handlers.

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