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August 28, 2020 12:54 pm

Far‐Left Jewish Group IfNotNow Walks Back Condemnation of ‘Free Palestine’ Graffiti at Wisconsin Synagogue

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Police officers stand behind shields during a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Photo: Reuters / Brendan McDermid.

A far‐left Jewish group has walked back its labeling of the vandalization of a synagogue during racial unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as “antisemitic.”

The words “Free Palestine” were spray‐painted on the driveway of the Beth Hillel Temple during this week’s angry protests following last Sunday’s shooting by a white police officer of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man.

Mainstream Jewish organizations denounced the vandalism, with the American Jewish Committee tweeting, “This is antisemitism. Full stop. If you don’t understand why, you need to educate yourself. If you try to justify or explain this in any way, you are part of the problem.”

The far‐left group IfNotNow initially added its voice to the denunciations, with a Twitter post calling the act “antisemitic.”

Said the group: “Spraying this on a synagogue implies that all Jews and Israel are the same ‐‐ which is antisemitic ‐‐ or that all Jews support Israel (factually incorrect). Individual actions like this have no place in our movements and give the Right even more chances to smear #BlackLivesMatter.”

But within 24 hours, IfNotNow reversed itself following a flurry of criticism from left-wing activists on Twitter.

“After hearing from friends in and outside the movement, we’d like to do teshuvah (repentance) for the ways in which our tweet’s phrasing fell short and contributed to distracting from the most urgent issues facing our country today: police violence and anti-Black racism,” it announced, drawing a slew of sarcastic responses.

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