|In their own words||A “movement to end the American Jewish community's support for the occupation and gain freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians.”|
- In FY 18-19, total income was $605,066; total expenses were $544,286.
- According to its website, donations to IfNotNow are processed through ActBlue Charities, “a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.”
- In 2017-2022, IfNotNow has been receiving $160,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund “for general support.”
- In 2019, IfNotNow received $35,000 from the Tides Foundation.
- In 2019, IfNotNow received $5,000 from the New Israel Fund’s Progressive Jewish Fund.
- In 2018, IfNotNow received funding from the Foundation for Middle East Peace, including a June 18 “rapid response grant … to support groups leading non-violent protests, documenting abuses and highlighting international law, organizing events, and inserting authentic Palestinian voices into mainstream American media coverage.”
- IfNotNow was founded during the 2014 Gaza War by young Jews “angered by the overwhelmingly hawkish response of American Jewish institutions” as a way to “demonstrate their resistance through the beauty of Jewish ritual.”
- IfNotNow’s primary activities are protests and sit-ins at the headquarters of leading American Jewish communal organizations, as well as “running small, weekend-long orientation trainings on our movement DNA – our collective strategy, story, and structure.”
- Seeks “to end American Jewish support for the occupation” and claims that the “occupation is a system of violence and separation by which Israel denies Palestinians freedom and dignity by depriving them of civil, political and economic rights.” It further claims that the “occupation is a daily nightmare for those who live it – and it is a moral disaster for those who support it and who administer it.”
- IfNotNow has been widely criticized for refusing to engage in dialogue with those it criticizes in the Jewish community, indicating that publicity, not influencing the community, is the main goal.
- IfNotNow is involved in a campaign to infiltrate summer camps, providing training seminars for counselors to “develop programming introducing Palestinian narratives and…’the moral costs of occupation’.”
- In May 2021, IfNotNow endorsed pro-BDS legislation introduced by US Congresswoman Betty McCollum, claiming that “Our tax dollars are complicit in apartheid.”
- In May 2021, following the 2021 Gaza conflict, IfNotNow called for people to recite the Jewish Mourner’s Prayer for individuals killed in the fighting, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists.
- In April 2021, members of IfNotNow wrote an article titled “We reject the IHRA definition: why recent efforts to combat antisemitism dangerously miss the mark.” According to the article, “IHRA definition conflates Zionism with Judaism and criminalizes the existence of Palestinian resistance…As Jews, it pains us to see the IHRA definition being used to weaponize Jewish suffering to further silence Palestinian voices.”
- The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by nearly 30 countries and counting, represents the international consensus definition of antisemitism, as well as how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. An example of the latter includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- In July 2020, in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests, IfNotNow Political Leader Emily Mayer stated that “We’ve seen these last few weeks that the Movement for Black Lives is a global movement, which understands that different freedom struggles are connected…The leaders of the Movement for Black Lives, our generation of American Jews, and so many others understand that there is a clear connection between the billions of taxpayer dollars used to fund militarized police in our cities and the billions of taxpayer dollars used to enforce a military occupation in Israel.”
- In July 2020, IfNotNow hosted a series of workshops on annexation to “learn the history of how we got here, understand what annexation will mean for the Palestinian people, and get organized to fight back.” The workshops were held with Combatants for Peace and Breaking the Silence.
- Breaking the Silence makes sweeping accusations based on anecdotal, anonymous, and unverifiable accounts of often low-ranked soldiers. These “testimonies” lack context, are politically biased, and erase the complicated reality in the West Bank. In addition, they reflect a distorted interpretation of the conflict in order to advance the political agenda of Breaking the Silence activists, thereby fueling the international campaigns against Israel.
- While claiming to “allow each side to understand the other’s narrative,” Combatants for Peace activities reflect a strong affiliation with the Palestinian agenda and narrative, placing most of the blame for the conflict on “the occupation.”
- In April 2020, IfNotNow was a co-sponsor for the 15th annual “Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony” hosted by Parents Circle Families Forum and Combatants for Peace. The ceremony represents a narrow, one-sided part of Israeli civil society, and promotes a Palestinian narrative that draws an immoral equivalence between terror victims and terrorists.
- In March 2020, IfNotNow launched a petition to “Demand Israel Protect Palestinians in Gaza — Lift the Blockade,” stating that “Because of its policy of indiscriminate bombing and a tight economic blockade, the Israeli government has made Gaza into one of the least inhabitable places on Earth.” IfNotNow omitted that the blockade was implemented in an effort to stop Palestinian terrorists from smuggling of weapons and rockets into Gaza that would later be used to target Israeli civilians.
- In 2020, IfNotNow launched a campaign titled “Defunding Occupation” calling for people to write to their elected officials stating that “for decades, AIPAC has weaponized Jewish identity and false accusations of antisemitism to ensure that public officials across the board vote to give Israel a blank check even as it continues to deny freedom and dignity to the Palestinian people.”
- In May 2019, following Palestinian terror groups in Gaza firing over 600 rockets and mortars toward Israeli population centers, IfNotNow offered its condolences for a terrorist killed, referring to the death of Imad Mohammad Nseir as “devastating.” According to the Jerusalem Post, Nseir was a “member of a rocket launching unit of the Kataeb Humat al-Aqsa organization.”
- In June 2018, IfNotNow launched an anti-Birthright campaign, claiming that the program “is hiding the truth about Israel from us” and asserting that “Our generation will no longer allow ourselves to be manipulated by right-wing donors and the radical Israeli government who tell us a story about Israel and Judaism that legitimizes, justifies, or simply ignores the Occupation.”
- IfNotNow runs a program called “You Never Told Me” providing a platform for youth to “change their Israel education to include an honest understanding of the Occupation and Palestinian narratives.”
- In 2018, IfNotNow created a “Liberation Syllabus” to aid students to “engage with the reality of the Occupation.” The syllabus features books by Ghassan Kanafani, who was a spokesperson for the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
- In March-April 2018, IfNotNow led an “Anti-Occupation Delegation” to Israel and the West Bank. Participants met with a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israel conflict including: Breaking the Silence, Machsom Watch, Youth against Settlements, and Ta’ayush.
- In April 2018, IfNotNow launched a petition to Senator Dianne Feinstein to “Condemn Israeli violence against Palestinian protestors,” as to “condemn the shooting of unarmed protesters is neither bold nor brave: it is the bare minimum we should expect from any moral leader.” IfNotNow ignores the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
- In March 2018, IfNotNow tweeted its disapproval of ambulances being provided to settlers, claiming that they are “legitimizing settler presence here — which has led to daily oppression of thousands of Palestinians.”
- In 2016, organized Passover “liberation Seders” in various cities throughout the United States. On numerous occasions, members were arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct. In Boston, a number of activists chained themselves inside the Boston AIPAC lobby before being arrested by police.
- Jewish Voice for Peace(JVP), which seeks to create a “wedge” in the Jewish community over Israel, has reportedly “celebrated If Not Now’s activism.” A JVP official said that IfNotNow is “helping to make visible what JVP has known to be true for many years; that a generational gap is growing as many young Jews are disillusioned with the Israel they were taught to admire.”
Examples of IfNotNow Protests
- In April 2018, IfNotNow, alongside Jewish Voice for Peace, protested a gala dinner for Birthright.
- On June 11, 2017, IfNotNow protested the Celebrate Israel festival in Boston because “50 years of Occupation is nothing to celebrate.”
- On June 10, 2017, IfNotNow members were expelled from the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia after creating a “pop-up exhibit about 50 years of Occupation.”
- Organized a “Week of Action to Confront 50 Years of Occupation” during the week of June 5, 2017, with events taking place in cities throughout the US.
- On June 5, 2017, IfNotNow blocked marchers at the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York as “50 years of Occupation is something to resist, not celebrate.”
- In May 2017, organized a protest against Jerusalem Day and the March of the Flags outside of Damascus Gate, in which several protesters were arrested by Israeli police. Yonah Lieberman, an If Not Now organizer, said that “This is a significant moment for us. Our generation is rejecting the occupation. In [its] 50th year, it felt deeply significant for us to come together and put our bodies on the line.”
- In May 2017, IfNotNow members interrupted New York Times columnist Bret Stephens at an event at a synagogue in San Francisco.
- On February 16, 2017, IfNotNow activists were arrested after disrupting the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during confirmation hearings for David Friedman and his nomination as US Ambassador to Israel.
- Founders and early members include Yonah Lieberman, Kara Segal, Max Berger, and Simone Zimmerman.
- Zimmerman was hired as the Jewish outreach coordinator for U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. She was subsequently fired when a profanity-laced Facebook post about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged. As of March 2019, Zimmerman leads B’Tselem’s US political operations.
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