Forward cries “McCarthyism” over exposure of BDS-backing Jewish leaders


“The Talmud teaches that the Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed because of sinat chinam, ceaseless and unwarranted hatred that Jews needlessly displayed towards other Jews.” How ironic that Deborah Lipstadt and David Ellenson would write that, since that is just what they’re guilty of doing: spreading unwarranted hatred toward Ronn Torossian and me for daring to expose the Jewish leaders and philanthropists who are betraying the Jewish people by funding Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions programs against Israel.

“Do Creators of Attack Ads Have No Sense of Decency?” is the subtitle of this ad. “Joseph McCarthy hounded honest Americans in misguided hunt for Communists” is the photo caption. The left claims that Joe McCarthy falsely accused loyal Americans of being Communists. Is the Jewish Daily Forward here claiming that our allegations against Jewish BDS supporters are false? No, they don’t have the chutzpah to do that. Instead, they just defame us for telling unwelcome truths.

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“Echoes of McCarthyism in Smear Campaign Against New Israel Fund Backers,” by Deborah Lipstadt and David Ellenson, Forward, March 13, 2015:

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…Unfortunately, McCarthy’s tactics are apparently still alive and well in the Jewish community today. Ronn Torossian and Pam Geller have attacked Karen Adler, Alisa Doctoroff, Edith Everett, and Carol Zabar — among the most prominent leaders of our community — as supporters of the BDS campaign against Israel who seek to undermine the Jewish state. Torossian did so in a New York Post opinion piece and Geller’s group has sponsored bus ads repeating the charge.

The shameless attacks compel us to ask of Torossian and Geller, as Welch did of McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency?”

We proudly call these persons whom Torossian and Geller are slandering our friends. They hardly need us to testify on their behalf.

Their decades of service to our community speak far better than any testimonial. Nevertheless, decency demands that the libels against them not remain unchallenged. We feel compelled to raise our voices, protest these attacks, and call for their cessation.

These leaders of our community have a long track record of acting on behalf of the Jewish people in all the places where we live. For decades they have shown their love for and defense of the State of Israel. They have been unsurpassed in their generosity – both with their means and their time – to so many vital causes in our community and beyond. Most of all, they have been exemplars of concern for civility in our Jewish community. And in recent weeks in the face of gutter level attacks on them they have become models of derekh eretz (decency). The way in which they have conducted themselves and quietly endured the abuse and lies that have been heaped upon them testifies more powerfully than a thousand libels as to their goodness as well as to their attachment and support of Israel.

Notice that nowhere do Deborah Lipstadt and David Ellenson say that Karen Adler, Alisa Doctoroff, Edith Everett, and Carol Zabar don’t fund BDS. And without that, their attack on Ronn Torossian and me is not derekh eretz; it’s lashon hara.

Their deeds have consistently enhanced the Jewish people and promoted and secured the Jewish State. How blessed the Jewish people would be if there were millions and millions of more Jews like them in both Israel and the diaspora. Why are Torossian and Geller engaged in this unrelenting campaign? What is their “sin”? They are supporters of The New Israel Fund.

There have been repeated attempts to demonize the New Israel Fund (NIF) for several years. The NIF is an organization that works ceaselessly to promote the progressive values of equality and democracy in Israel. The NIF seeks a Jewish State which protects the human rights of all its citizens – and for this our friends are censured? One may not agree with every single cause that NIF supports. However, it is simply wrong to question the commitment and loyalty of this organization and its supporters to the Jewish state.

Is Edwin Black a “McCarthyite” also? According to Black on The Daily Caller, “Vocal critics in both the U.S. and Israel charge that the New Israel Fund has knowingly financed groups that support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and worked to get Israeli soldiers prosecuted for so-called ‘war crimes.”

Is Benny Yanay another new “McCarthy”? Yanay is a member of an Israeli military organization called Consensus, representing some 3,000 members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He stated, “The New Israel Fund acts against Israel — against the soldiers of our country. It is supported by foreign governments and organizations so that Israeli soldiers will be weakened.” Other Israeli military men and women have alleged that the NIF is trying to “destabilize the IDF.”

These are the words of another “McCarthyite,” Naftali Bennett, one of Israel’s leaders, who only a few weeks ago as posted on Facebook that he would boycott the NIF: “Yes, New Israel Fund, I will boycott whoever persecutes Israeli soldiers. I will not apologize for it. Please share.”

The Forward doesn’t tell you any of that. It would have gotten in the way of their irresponsible attempt to smear Torossian and me.

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