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NCCI Toolkit for Government Institutions

You’d think local government would stick to local issues. But if Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is active in your town, you might discover–as we did in Durham, NC–that your local politicians are suddenly taking on world affairs, and from an antiSemitic standpoint. JVP worked quietly behind the scenes for years to elect pro-BDS candidates, in order to promote their “Deadly Exchange” agenda. This antisemitic initiative absurdly and malevolently claims that training with Israel “helps the police terrorize Black and Brown communities here in the US.” The preexisting Jewish leadership reacted to this initiative with staid appeasement, and Durham became the first, and to date only, city in the USA to totally boycott Israeli police. JVP has targeted other cities too, with more limited goals. They do FOIA requests to find out which towns plan to send officers for police training with Israel. Once they know, they lobby local leaders to cancel the trip, based on hate-filled lies like the one above. Their efforts were successful in Northhampton, MA. Don’t let this happen to you!

In other cities such as Ann Arbor, MI, a very vocal group has pushed the city hard for a complete boycott of Israel. Fortunately, Anna Arbor’s leaders conducted solid due diligence.  NCCI is pleased to have been able to assist Ann Arbor government officials in their successful efforts to defeat the boycott, using some of the Take Action tactics described below.

On the national level, we have seen grossly antisemitic, anti-Israel people elected to Congress, most notably Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. Omar falsely claimed that she was against BDS during her campaign, then promptly showed her support for it once she was elected.

Take Action Against Anti-Semitism In Government
Since we are seeing this surge of antiSemites attain positions of political power both locally and on the national level, how can we be proactive? How do we turn the tide? Do the following:

  1.  Regularly check agendas and meeting minutes of your town city council, looking for agenda items that involve Israel or “Palestine.” Your city government should be focused on governing your town; they have no control over foreign policy.
  2. Periodically, request searches of government emails and other records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This is an effective way to avoid JVP/SJP stealth attacks, such as occurred in Durham. By law, these searches must be easy for you to access and of minimal cost, if any. FOIA searches covering terms related to bans, boycotts, and Israel or Palestine may be useful.
  3. If your city council is considering a boycott (BDS) or other anti-Israel resolution, organize and participate in a letter writing campaign opposing this resolution, both directly to the council and to news media and social media. Your voice matters! Another tactic we use is to sign up to speak at city council meetings and work sessions to voice our concerns in person, which may have a great impact on the council and spectators. A number of times, we were offered support by audience members.
  4. Meet with your mayor and city council members to discuss these issues. Most of these people are very happy to meet directly with constituents.
  5. Keep track of election campaigns. If any candidates talk about Israel and the Middle East, this is your chance to influence situations proactively, and help avoid trouble.
  6. Campaign for your state to adopt the State Department definition of antisemitism, as a number of states are working to do. Then when people ask themselves why things go wrong, they may pause before they blame the Jews.
  7. Galvanize local pro-Israel groups into action.
  8. Post your concern on social media…Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Public exposure often influences highly political situations.
  9. Contact NCCI for adviceClick here