We’re fighting to stop a genocide. Slanders against our movements are a distraction.


People of conscience across the country are organizing in unprecedented numbers to demand divestment from Israeli apartheid and genocide. Our elected officials and the U.S. media, desperate to maintain unquestioning support for the Israeli war machine in service of their own interests, have responded by exploiting fears of rising antisemitism and smearing peaceful, anti-war protests as dangerous, anti-semitic mobs.

As the largest anti-Zionist Jewish organization in the world, we unequivocally reject the conflation of antisemitism with anti-Zionism and reaffirm in the strongest terms that there is no place for antisemitism in our movements. We condemn the false accusations of antisemitism leveled against principled, anti-war protesters to discredit our movements. 

We understand these accusations for what they are: a cynical distraction from the ongoing atrocities in Gaza. Over 34,000 Palestinians have been killed, with thousands more feared dead. They are currently unearthing the bodies of their loved ones in mass graves. In Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of displaced people have taken shelter, Israel’s military is preparing to invade.

In the last week, student encampments have been erected at universities across the country, making national headlines as demands for immediate ceasefire and divestment from apartheid become more mainstream. At the same time, Jews and people of conscience are pouring into the streets, inspired by the lessons of Passover — the Jewish holiday of liberation — to do everything in their power to demand an end to U.S. complicity in genocide.

To be clear, the only threats to students’ and other peaceful protesters’ safety that have occurred have been at the request of university administrators and the state. Less than 24 hours after Columbia students established a Gaza Solidarity Encampment on their campus, officers wearing riot gear and carrying zip ties swarmed the encampment, arresting over 100 students at the behest of Columbia’s President. Over 50 Barnard students were suspended and given only 15 minutes to pack their belongings before being evicted from campus housing. 

Just a few miles away in Grand Army Plaza, thousands of Jews and community members gathered on the second night of Passover for an emergency Seder at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s doorstep to demand that the U.S. government stop arming the Israeli military, just as the Senate voted through an additional $14.1 billion to the Israeli government. As 60,000 watched via livestream, the NYPD would make over 200 arrests. In solidarity, bus drivers then refused to transport the arrestees to jail.

The U.S. media and anti-Palestinian politicians insist on telling a different story: one of unruly mobs and anti-Jewish hatred. This playbook is familiar to justice movements across time and geography: portraying isolated individuals or intentional provocateurs who spew antisemitic hatred as a reflection of our peaceful movements, even though movement organizers, leaders, and spokespeople condemn these individuals, and are extremely clear that antisemitism has no place in the fight for collective liberation. In doing so, they ignore that U.S. Jews have been some of the most active voices demanding divestment from Israeli apartheid and genocide on college campuses and in cities across the country.

For months, we have held our elected officials’ feet to the fire, refusing to allow business as usual while a genocide is being armed and funded in our names and with our tax money. We have organized in unprecedented numbers and made ceasefire a mainstream demand. The fear mongering we are seeing today isn’t just completely untethered to reality, but is also clearly intended to discredit and malign our movements and distract from the demands we’ve been making since the genocide began over 200 days ago.

We call on all people of conscience to remain focused on the urgent work at hand: Ending U.S. weapons and funding to the genocide of Palestinians and reaching an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. The lives of hundreds of thousands of people depend on it.