Anti-BDS Protest At UJA Headquarters - Oh, What A Night!Richard Allen, founder and head of JCC Watch, was the MC.
A protest took place in the late afternoon/early evening of May 11, 2015 outside the UJA headquarters in Manhattan. Members of the pro-Israel community were out en force energetically protesting Lisa Doctoroff (President of the UJA), BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) and the NIF (New Israel Fund).
Shame on the UJA for funding the New Israel Fund, thereby enabling these BDS, anti-Israel groups to march in this year's Israel parade.
The following is a synopsis of the protest from AFSI:
"An energized group of more than 100 people protested outside the UJA, blowing shofars (real and toy) to wake up the UJA leadership to the dangers they are perpetrating on the Jewish people.
Richard Allen explained that Alisa Doctoroff, President of UJA-Federation, is guilty of supporting the New Israel Fund (NIF) with millions of dollars which are then given to NGO's that work to destroy Israel.
Incredibly, some of these groups are marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade when their purpose is NOT to celebrate Israel, but to denigrate it.
He then introduced Rabbi Allen Schwartz, Rabbi of Ohab Zedek on Manhattan's Upper West Side, who spoke about all the remarkable contributions Israel makes to the world, but regardless, is still castigated and ostracized by much of the world.
And Lauri Regan spoke for EMET (Endowment for Middle East Truth), outlining the injustices of the BDS system and the great harm it does both inside and outside Israel.
Helen Freedman, Executive Director of AFSI spoke next.
She began by asking, "Does Israel have the right to exist?" The crowd roared back with a resounding YES. She then asked, "Do you want your tzedakah supporting those who de-legitimize Israel?" The crowd responded with a strong NO. She then stated, "Our purpose here today is to announce that we are closing our wallets to UJA - while it supports the demonizers of Israel."
Helen mentioned how Europe is consumed with BDS, and how the Netherlands cut the pension of a 90 year old Holocaust survivor for the "crime" of moving to Israel and living over the green line.
Helen then listed some of the groups funded by the NIF, including Adalah, B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Machshom Watch, Mossawa, Partners for Progressive Israel and Physicians for Human Rights. She held up the photo of an IDF soldier cradling a Nepalese child.
The caption read, "0.1% of the world is Israeli. 30% of the international medical team in Nepal is from Israel. Will the UN and BDS groups condemn Israel's "disproportionate response."?
Helen continued, naming Alisa Doctoroff, Michael Miller, Eric Goldstein and Jerry Levin, all officers or former officers in UJA and JCRC, as being responsible for allowing the delegitimizers to have standing. The crowd booed their disapproval.
Helen concluded, "Rejecting Israel's legitimacy by accusing Israel of war crimes, and violations of humanitarian law, which would justify international intervention, like the International Criminal Court, is criminal.All the condemnations are built on lies and fabrications. They must not be allowed to pass for truth. That is why we are here today and why we must continue to raise our voices against those whose greed and willful blindness lead Israel and America into a dangerous downward spiral. We won't let it happen. "
Other speakers followed, including Rabbi Algaze, Paul Brody, Mort Klein, Robin Ticker and Charlie Bernhaut.
VIDEO PLAYLIST of all the speakers. They all emphasized the intolerable and dangerous de-legitimization and demonization of Israel spurred on by the BDS movement.
Final Thoughts: " We hope UJA heard us and will heed our messages BEFORE this years CELEBRATION of Israel Parade. " (thank you to AFSI for this report)
[ The final blasts on the 100 shofars begins in video at 4:00]
++ Plan on Celebrating Israel on May 31, 2015++
Slideshow of a few pictures