Fields of operation: media, publications
If Americans Knew is an organization whose mission is “to inform and educate the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported in the American media,”505 declaring that “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation.”
Its founder is the freelance journalist Alison Weir, who, according to the ADL, has “established herself as a prominent voice in the anti-Israel movement,” framing it as “a violent aggressor in the region and charges that the United States, through its aid, is the driving force behind this aggression.”506 Alison Weir writes and speaks at university campuses. In the past, she published content that relied on a report by the Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom, who accused Israel of harvesting organs from Palestinians. Weir added to this report a long list of past examples.507
Orientation: minority rights
Fields of operation: legal
The CCR is a human rights organization founded in New York in the 1960s. The Center runs various legal projects, mainly within the American arena (focused around the rights of migrants, Blacks etc.), but it also runs a department for judicial assistance for Palestinians.508 The CCR’s Executive Director is Vincent (Vince) Warren, a Black American Doctor of Law (LLD), who “oversees CCR’s groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work, which includes using international and domestic law to hold corporations and government officials accountable for human rights abuses, challenging racial, gender and LGBT injustice, and combating the illegal expansion of U.S. presidential power and policies such as illegal detention at Guantanamo, rendition, and torture.”509
In April 2016, Israeli TV Channel 10 aired a series of reports on the boycott movement in the United States, where Warren was described as one of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter campaign. Warren explained that Black people look at the question of “resistance.” Therefore, an emotional connection is made with the Palestinians because of the “militarized response” of the Israeli police or the IDF when knife attackers in Israel are sometimes killed following their attacks.510
The CCR has been involved in several relevant legal cases. For example, it sued Caterpillar for selling bulldozers to Israel, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) lawsuit regarding U.S. knowledge of the treatment toward the 2010 Freedom Flotilla, and more lately partnered with an organization called Palestine Legal to document “efforts” in the United States “to silence advocates for Palestinian human rights and provide them with legal support and advocacy.”511
Fields of operation: “direct action” – BDS promoting
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a central U.S.-based Quakers aid organization founded in 1917. The Quakers (Society of Friends) are a small pacifist religious movement founded in England during the 17th century. A fundamental tenet of Quaker belief is that every person contains a divine “inner light” of God, which leads many of its followers to respond to human suffering with compassion and active assistance regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. During World War II, the Quakers, the AFSC in particular, assisted many refugees, including Jews who fled to Lisbon.512 The AFSC and its British counterpart were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1947 for their post-war record in refugee relief.
The shift in approach began when the AFSC was invited by the United Nations to run Palestinian refugee relief in Gaza in late 1948. The Gaza experience—where in fact the AFSC excelled at providing relief and creating infrastructure, despite resistance from the refugees themselves—was enough to convince the leadership to get out of the relief business altogether. At the same time, a faction of the organization’s leadership advocated a radical pacifist, and anti-American, agenda, aimed at nuclear disarmament and elevating the status of the Soviet Union and Communist China. By the 1960s, the AFSC became a liberal pressure group, one that openly supported North Vietnam. Support for Saddam Hussein and North Korea quickly followed.513 Today, AFSC supports BDS and coordinates its efforts with other far-left and Islamist organizations.
The UK Quakers joined a politicized campaign for the first time when the Enough! Coalition, which comprises of far-left and Islamist groups, was launched in January 2007 to mark the “40th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”514 In the United States, for example, the AFSC launched in February 2014 a five-day summer camp for students hoping to become BDS activists, who were to receive a “fun, comprehensive” training program on the subject, including sessions on grassroots organizing, media, and messaging training, and nonviolent direct action planning. It was organized in conjunction with the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).515
In September 2017, the AFSC announced the appointment of Joyce Ajlouny as its new general secretary. Ajlouny is a Palestinian-American experienced in strategic planning, financial and personnel management, fundraising, and communication. She served, among other posts, as the director of the Ramallah Friends School in Palestine, the country director for Palestine and Israel with Oxfam-Great Britain, and more.516 In an interview, Joyce Ajlouny stated that “my interest to and commitment for social justice programs is amplified with having lived through a horrific and continuing injustice in Palestine, and also after seeing the present social and political turmoil taking place in the United States … As someone who has lived through horrific injustice and violence myself, I am able to draw the parallels and appreciate the complexity and intersectionality of the social justice issues that are very important in AFSC’s work in the United States and internationally.” Ajlouny added she hopes to “engage in meaningful dialogue on social justice issues like Black Lives Matter.”517
Fields of operation: anti-Israel Christian lobbying
Christ at the Checkpoint is a Christian organization whose mission is to “challenge Evangelicals to take responsibility to help resolve the conflicts in Israel/Palestine by engaging with the teaching of Jesus on the Kingdom of God.”519 Among other themes, its manifesto maintains that, “Any exclusive claim to land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of scripture.”520 The organization purports to research religious extremism and its effect on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its members maintain ties with Christians in Bethlehem and seem to be close to the Bethlehem Bible College there, whose address is also provided for contacting the organization. The organization’s director is Munther Isaac, Dean of the College.521 Members of Christ at the Checkpoint go on tours along the Separation Wall and its surroundings and hold the bi-annual Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (CATC) at which anti-Israeli rhetoric is heard.522
American Lawyers Promoting Anti-Israel Agenda:
- Stanley Cohen is a New York-based anti-Zionist lawyer of Jewish origin, known for his long-term relations with Hamas leaders. Cohen is among the lawyers who sue Israeli senior political figures who go abroad – he sued Ariel Sharon and George Bush for murder at the international court in the early 2000s. He represented Hamas’s Mousa Abu Marzouk during his trial in the 1990s, and prevented his extradition to Israel. In July 2010, he partnered with other lawyers, including Hamas’s French attorney Liliane Glock, to file a legal complaint with chief prosecutor to arrest senior Israeli figures who led the Cast Lead operation in Gaza.523 In January 2015, Cohen was sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax evasion.
- Abdeen Jabara is an American-born human rights lawyer of Lebanese descent, who was once president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).524 The ADC was founded by former Senator James Abourezk in 1980 and is devoted to the protection of the rights of people of Arab descent and promoting their cultural heritage. Jabara has been an activist for Arab and Palestinian issues since the 1960s, and throughout his legal career took on several nationally prominent cases of Arabs, Arab-Americans, and Palestinians accused both in the United States and Israel of terrorist acts.525 In December 2013, Jabara was one of the organizers of the “Gaza Freedom March” that took place in New York.526
- Max Blumenthal is an anti-Zionist Jewish journalist, author, and blogger who promotes the delegitimization of Israel.528 In 2015, he published a book about his findings from Operation Protective Edge while reporting from Gaza, where Israel is described as immoral. Prior to this, in 2013, he published a book describing Israel as Goliath in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is very active in social media and frequently appears on TV. His personal blog is mainly dedicated to Israel, especially attributing to it characteristics of Apartheid and promoting BDS.529 Max’s father, Sidney, a journalist as well, had been a close associate of Hillary Clinton530 and served as her consultant on Libyan issues. Sidney Blumenthal regularly passed on to Hillary Clinton his son’s articles and opinion pieces which, as revealed in her leaked e-mail correspondence, were warmly welcome.531
- Anna Baltzer is a Jewish-American public speaker, lecturer, author, and activist for Palestinian human rights and “nonviolent resistance” and protests. Baltzer has toured across the United States and abroad with a presentation, and she also wrote a book describing her experiences, observations, and photographs from documenting the situation in the West Bank. Her book was endorsed and praised by several prominent far-left scholars. She has also published many articles on various media outlets.532 In the past few years, Baltzer has been serving as Director of Organizing & Advocacy of the aforementioned USCPR. She is also a co-founder of a far-left group and member of the USCPR coalition named St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee.533
Baltzer has been known for her 2009 joint appearance with prominent Israel delegitimization figure Mustafa Barghouti on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Baltzer claimed that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is rather new, that historically, Jews and Palestinians lived together in peace, and Jews “lived better within the Arab world than virtually anywhere in the Western world.” According to her beliefs, Israel’s policies are fundamentally violating the principles of Judaism. On his side, Mustafa Barghouti claimed that the Palestinians have been subjected to the “longest occupation in modern history.” He added that the current Palestinian struggle for liberty is “maybe 99.5 percent non-violent,” and that the Palestinian issue is no longer Arab but a “human issue,” referring to figures like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.534