Anti-Zion­ists launch new group

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

THE LAUNCH of a Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cated to iso­lat­ing Is­rael in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity has been crit­i­cised by Zion­ist groups.

The In­ter­na­tional Jewish Anti-Zion­ist Net­work (IJAN) un­veiled its aims in Lon­don last week.

Its char­ter states a de­sire “to help widen [the] cracks [in Zion­ism], un­til the wall comes down and Is­rael is as iso­lated as was apartheid South Africa”.

Work­ing in part­ner­ship with groups in­clud­ing Scot­tish Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Cam­paign and Jews for Boy­cotting Is­raeli Goods,

IJAN wants to in­crease Jewish an­tiZion­ist ac­tiv­ity on cam­puses and pro­mote cul­tural work ex­press­ing re­sis­tance to Is­rael and Zion­ism. IJAN’s co-or­di­na­tor, Michael Kal­manovitz, said: “We be­lieve that Pales­tinian peo­ple must have the right of re­turn given the de­lib­er­ate, planned eth­nic cleans­ing of Pales­tine by Zion­ists over the last 60 years.

“We to­tally op­pose the idea that Is­rael is a Jewish home­land.”

But Gavin Gross, di­rec­tor of pub­lic af­fairs of the Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion, said: “Th­ese peo­ple rep­re­sent the mi­nus­cule, ex­treme, far-left lu­natic fringe of the Jewish com­mu­nity.

“Many would ar­gue that they have deep psy­cho­log­i­cal is­sues about their Jewish iden­tity. Sen­si­ble peo­ple will sim­ply ig­nore them.”

Brian Klug of In­de­pen­dent Jewish Voices said IJV would not co-op­er­ate with the new group. “We have noth­ing to do with them. I do not think they are the prod­uct of any­thing IJV have done. IJV is a net­work of in­di­vid­u­als and is not an anti-Zion­ist group,” he said.

“They are just an­other ex­pres­sion of this ten­dency to speak out more pub­licly against the main­stream trend of de­fend­ing Is­rael — re­gard­less of what the state does.”

A Board of Deputies spokesman said: “The sug­ges­tion that the group in­tends to or­gan­ise ‘a pop­u­lar tri­bunal’ to ‘ex­pose’ Zion­ist in­sti­tu­tions sim­ply sounds like a kan­ga­roo court to tar­get any Jewish com­mu­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion that they dis­agree with.”

IJAN’s first pub­lic meet­ing will take place in Cam­den, North-West Lon­don, on Oc­to­ber 24.

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