Watchdog Plans Protest over Center for Jewish History’s Hosting of Anti-Zionist Group

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A flyer for the event in which the Center for Jewish History will host the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace. Credit: JCCWwatch.org.

The grassroots watchdog group JCCWatch.org is planning a protest outside New York City’s Center for Jewish History over an upcoming event in which the museum will give a platform to the anti-Zionist organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

The Center for Jewish History is hosting JVP, which supports the BDS movement, during an Oct. 26 event titled, “The Balfour Declaration: Support for a Jewish Homeland or Jewish State? Is there a difference?”

Protesting the event, JCCWatch.org is organizing an Oct. 18 rally outside the Center for Jewish History, and is running ads in several Jewish newspapers and on commercial radio garnering support for the planned demonstration.

“The center has really hoodwinked many of their board members, and the staff is amenable to have anti-Israel groups come and put forth their positions,” Richard Allen, founder of JCCWatch.org, told JNS.org. “We can only expect this to keep on going and growing,” he said, adding that the center has become a “hotbed for anti-Israel activity.”

The Center for Jewish History is made up of five organizations: the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Each organization has a board of directors and, as Allen points out, they may not be aware of the ties between the center and JVP.

Allen called it “shameful” that the center “receives broad financial support from the Jewish community and has now proudly distanced itself from the state of Israel. The board and many financial backers have no idea this is going on.”

Additionally, Allen said JCCWatch.org and Americans for a Safe Israel join others—including the Zionist Organization of America—in calling for the dismissal of David N. Myers, the Center for Jewish History’s newly named president and CEO. Myers is a board of director for the New Israel Fund and he’s on the advisory board for J Street. He claims he opposes BDS, but has argued that “not all supporters of BDS are anti-Semitic.”

“Until David Myers is expelled from the center, we will be relentless….we will expose what is happening at the Center for Jewish History,” Allen said. “This event with Jewish Voice for Peace is not the problem, it’s the symptom of the problem. The real problem is the staff that allows this to happen…This incredible facade of using Jewish organizations to drive a wedge between the Jews of America and the state of Israel is going to be exposed.”