The U.S. State Department’s “working definition of antiSemitism,” was signed in Bucharest, Romania, in 2016, and adopted by 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, including the USA under the Obama administration. The definition has carried over to the current administration, and the intent is for it to guide American understanding of antiSemitism into the future. This definition is centered around the 3-D’s of discrimination: Demonizing, Delegitimizing, and applying a Double Standard to Israel for actions common to other countries including the USA. It also says, in part, “AntiSemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for ‘why things go wrong.’” Note that antiZionism delegitimizes the Jewish State of Israel, and only this Jewish state among all sovereign states; antiZionism IS anti-Semitism.
Antisemitism has been known to have racist overtones. Judaism is a religion, and there are Jewish people with ancestry from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, among other places. However, the Nazis and neo-Nazis classify Jews as mixed breed, mongrel sub-humans, which is racist and, more recently, left wing extremists try to associate Jewish people with “white privilege” and white supremacy. Thus, antisemitism may be racism in some situations.
YES, Ilhan Omar has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks. Her comments that Jewish members of Congress have dual allegiance to a foreign country (Israel) is a classic example of anti-Semitism, delegitimizing Jewish people by casting doubt on their allegiance to the USA. In February 2019, Omar tweeted that support for Israel in the US Congress was “all about the Benjamins,” implying that the pro-Israel lobby was buying off American politicians. And Omar’s history of anti-Semitic remarks goes back in time: In 2012, Omar tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” This tweet feeds into the blatantly false anti-Semitic trope that Jews have special powers to control people.
BDS, the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement, was founded to economically, academically, and politically isolate the Jewish State of Israel, with the ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state. The BDS movement originated at a conference in Durbin, South Africa, and was intended to pressure and help bring down the apartheid government of South Africa. BDS was hijacked by those intent on the destruction of Israel–hence the false accusation that Israel is an apartheid state (see Glossary section for more detail).
We are a grassroots organization with innovative ideas about how to fight antiSemitism. We are action-oriented, focusing on engagement in our faith communities as well as local and state governments, educational institutions, and broader communities. We are a resource for those who are just becoming aware of the problem of anti-Semitism. One key factor that distinguishes us from other pro-Israel education and advocacy groups is that we’re always looking for and enabling creative new ideas for how to address this very old problem. We are not beholden to the status quo.
No, we are a 501(c)3, and so this is not a forum for taking positions about politics, political figures, or political parties.
Language about Israel has changed over time, particularly in the past few decades. This has skewed the conversation in a way that twists and falsifies reality and has been damaging to Israel and the Jewish people. We are careful to use accurate terminology and to explain the “whys and therefores” of language as much as possible.
We have learned how difficult it is to have a one-stop-shop for information about many anti-Israel organizations, and about pro-Israel organizations too. In order to understand our current situation, it’s important to know the cast of players and what their goals are. We make every effort to include the key organizations, to help those who are just learning to understand about who is doing what in relation to Israel.
There are direct links to recent news, events, and programs on our website under the “News and Events” section. For past events and programs, the “North Carolina Coalition for Israel” channel on YouTube is linked to the News and Events section, where you can view our Durham City Council talks and our speeches before the North Carolina state Human Relations Commission. We also post clips on our YouTube channel from community events where we’ve attended and made recordings, often surreptitiously, such as the infamous UNC/Duke Gaza conference, and widely known anti-Semite, Linda Sarsour speaking at Orange County’s government meeting house.
Following the April, 2018 antiSemitic resolution passed by the Durham City Council (See Our History), many people in our community were shocked and angered, and wanting to work together to educate and advocate for Israel and the Jewish people. We tried working through our synagogues and Jewish Federations, but found that these institutions were working to build “big tents” of as broad a membership as possible, which included placing some of the very people who promoted and supported the April, 2018 Durham City Council (DCC) resolution into leadership roles. We tried working with other pro-Israel advocates, but watched them fail to meet the needs of the community with a philosophy of gentility and appeasement. The more aggressive messaging style coming from the antiSemites was carrying greater weight in the public forum. We felt it was important to “call out” antiSemitism and antiSemites, actively, vigorously, but within the boundaries of reasonable public discourse. We also felt that we needed to be innovative in our approaches to educating and advocating, and that a grassroots group would bring in the creative minds that would help us meet the needs of our community…the creation of the NCCI soon followed.