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December 30, 2021 12:27 pm
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‘Jewish’ Group Joins Wiesenthal Center’s Global Antisemites List

avatar by Steven Emerson

Opinion

Logos of US government agencies surround a map of Israel in a scene from a video promoting Jewish Voice for Peace’s ‘Deadly Exchange’ campaign, which opposes initiatives that promote joint training programs between American police and Israeli security forces. Photo: YouTube.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is among 10 of the world’s worst antisemitic organizations, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s new report.

The list, which Wiesenthal Center founder and Dean Marvin Hier said “includes institutions that we never thought we would have to put on our top 10,” also singles out a purportedly Jewish organization.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) opposes Israel’s existence. And it took advantage of the recent Hanukkah holiday to solicit donations to build “a radical, loving, anti-Zionist Jewish movement for liberation.”

JVP members “unequivocally oppose Zionism,” and have pushed conspiracy theories about police exchange programs in Israel that the group now acknowledges are antisemitic.

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“JVP is a group that believes it is immune from being labeled and treated as antisemites,” said Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Abraham Cooper. “They are wrong. Anyone seeking or enabling the destruction of Israel, home to the world’s largest Jewish community — more than 6 million Jews — is an antisemite, whatever their religion or creed.”

Previous lists have focused on the individuals who uttered antisemitic speech. But this year, the center targeted the “gatekeepers,” Cooper said: the organizations that fail to take appropriate action when confronted by blatant antisemitism in their ranks.

That’s why CAIR made the list.

Among many others, it has yet to apologize for antisemitic comments that San Francisco chapter director Zahra Billoo made during a conference last month. As the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) reported, Billoo warned her audience that “polite Zionists,” which she defined as everything from the Anti-Defamation League to campus Hillels and “Zionist synagogues,” are “enemies” who “we need to pay attention to.”

Instead, CAIR defended her and cast her as the victim of an “online smear campaign.”

In fact, she has been making similarly outrageous statements for years.

She “is but one of venomous professional Israel and Jew-haters who use non-existent dots to create phony links between Israel and U.S. social crises,” the Wiesenthal Center report said. “They always wrap their bigotry in the mantle of social justice. The goal is demonizing the Jewish state and silencing Israel’s supporters on campus and Capitol Hill.”

A failure by “gatekeepers” also led the center to include USC and the BBC on its list.

USC has taken no action against a student, Yasmeen Mashayekh, who made profane social media posts about her desire to kill Zionists, and wrote “curse the Jews.” Mashayekh serves on a student diversity and inclusion board. A June post, saying anyone who opposes “the complete destruction of Israel” is “anti-Palestinian,” remains online.

“This individual has no place at USC, certainly no place to be a leader,” Cooper said. “And every day she’s allowed to stay there, the message from the president of USC is, ‘we have two separate sets of rules. And if you’re a member of the Jewish community — faculty or student — don’t come to us when you expect to be treated on a level playing field when it comes to antisemitism.'”

Rabbi Hier spoke of the BBC’s poor history of looking the other way on antisemitism. BBC staffers have posted statements saying “Hitler was right,” and the network tried to blame victims for triggering a recent antisemitic attack on a bus full of students by falsely reporting one of the passengers first made anti-Muslim slurs.

“At a time where antisemitic hate crimes in England are soaring,” Rabbi Cooper said, “… we need the powerhouse of BBC — and they are a powerhouse in terms of their TV, radio, digital, you name it — they should be in the middle of the fight to defeat hatred, not giving a total political spin and signaling to the antisemites, ‘you don’t have to worry about the BBC, because we’re not going to call you out.’ That’s devastating for the Jewish community in the UK.”

Iran topped the Wiesenthal Center list. “There is no greater existential threat to the Jewish people than the growing nuclear threat from the antisemitic, Holocaust-denying, terrorist-sponsoring, human rights-abusing Iranian regime,” the report said.

Hamas, which has an antisemitic charter calling for Israel’s annihilation, was second.

Steven Emerson is executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the author of eight books on national security and terrorism, the producer of two documentaries, and the author of hundreds of articles in national and international publications.

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