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After Pittsburgh, Jewish Groups Fight BDS, Not White Nationalism

Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
December 2018

"Just days after the most massive anti-Semitic massacre in U.S. history," writes The Forward (Nov 5, 2018). "American Jewish establishment groups got one step closer to achieving one of their long-standing policy goals: passage of a bill that would criminalize boycotts of Israel.."  
Despite the fact that the alleged shooter held white supremacist views and never mentioned Israel or the Middle East, The Forward reports that, "At a meeting called by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the group's executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said that in the wake of Pittsburgh, Jewish leaders should support the passage of the federal law to adopt a 'standardized' definition of anti-Semitism , laws to oppose the BDS movement and efforts to counter anti-Semitism on college campuses."  
According to The Forward, "Some, including leaders within Hoenlein's organization, have questioned linking Pittsburgh with the anti-boycott bill. 'I personally wouldn't use the Pittsburgh massacre to justify the passage of anti-boycott legislation,' said the leader of one member organization."  
Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, declared: "An effort to now use the massacre to move legislation on the Hill that literally has nothing to do with the kind of anti-Semitism that was at play in the massacre, but is about trying to cut down criticism of Israel and activism related to Israel, seems opportunistic and cynical."  
The American Civil Liberties Union strongly opposes legislation which would define "anti-Semitism" as including criticism of Israel, saying that it risked " chilling constitutionally protected speech." •

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