A leading Jewish group is pushing for the U.S. to ban the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), which it says is anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.
The American Jewish Committee on Tuesday urged the Justice Department to impose a broad anti-discrimination order against the JFNA, a major player in the U., Jewish, and Israeli communities.
The JFna has been a vocal critic of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who was recently criticized for visiting Israel on his last trip.
JFNAs national executive director, Rabbi Avraham Boteach, said the group should not be permitted to participate in any international programs and that it has called for a boycott of its affiliates, including the World Zionist Organization (WZO), which represents its members in the United States.
The Jewish Federated Conference, the largest of the three major Jewish organizations, has also expressed support for the ban.
“It is not our role to be in the business of picking sides,” said Boteah.
“The JF NA is not part of our business.”
The JFA’s boycott campaign is in opposition to the Jewish Community Relations Council of North American, which has been advocating for an international ban on the JFA for decades.
The two organizations are also at odds over whether the JFCA, the JNF and other anti-Jewish organizations are in the wrong, said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the executive director of the JFI, a non-profit group that is the nation’s largest anti-Zionist advocacy organization.
Cooper said the JSFNA is not anti-Semitism but it does not consider itself a member of the Jewish community.
“What they are doing is not the right way to go,” he said.
Cooper, who is also the president of the North American branch of the American Jewish Board of Trustees, a nonpartisan organization that oversees the country’s Jewish institutions, said he would not support an international boycott of the group.
He said he also does not support a ban on all JFnas affiliated with the JFSNA.
The BDS movement has been growing in the past year, and has attracted support from Jewish groups that oppose Israeli policies.
But Cooper said that he believes a boycott is needed because of the current political climate and the ongoing debate over the Iran nuclear deal.
The anti-BDS campaign has been largely confined to the United Kingdom, where it has been banned in several countries including Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Sweden and Spain.
But other countries, including China, have recently announced they are moving ahead with plans to ban JFas membership.
The U.K. and other countries have said they will begin restricting their membership of the federation later this month.
Cooper pointed out that the boycott movement is based on a “fantasy.”
It is based entirely on lies, he said, adding that his group is in the process of drafting a “list of anti-Semites” that the U, the UCC and the Jewish federations would then “ban” from entering the United State.
Cooper is not alone.
“They are not just anti-American, they are anti-European and they are just anti Jewish,” said Rabbi Stephen Baskin, the co-founder of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Jewish Affairs.
Basker said the BDS movement is not about anti-Judaism.
“These groups are not anti, they don’t even know what anti-judaism is,” he told The Jerusalem News.
“That’s why we need to stop them, because we need a more balanced discourse, which is needed in this day and age.”