It was déjà vu all over again! The shocking story starts several weeks ago, when some great detective work by NCCI Board Member Deborah Friedman revealed a petition online, sponsored by Demilitarize Raleigh2Palestine (R2P), part of the antisemitic Deadly Exchange campaign. Similar to the vile, Jew hating, Demilitarize Durham2Palestine (D2P) petition from 2018, the R2P petition falsely claims that training American police received in Israel “helps the police terrorize Black and Brown communities here in the US.” This scapegoating of Jews is classic antisemitism. Also like the D2P campaign, the R2P petition is asking the Raleigh City Council to ban any Raleigh police training with exactly one named country, Israel. Of course, when they say Israel, they mean Jews.
Combatting Jew Hatred in Public is Critical
In addition to the Jew Hatred espoused by singling out Israel, this petition, if supported by the city council, would deprive Raleigh of the Israeli’s world-renowned police leadership and anti-terrorism training programs. The NCCI felt strongly that we needed to combat this shameful, internationally led, antiSemitic conspiracy by appearing in public to inform the city council and local citizens present at the meeting of the false, immoral, dangerous premise behind this petition. Other local Jewish advocacy groups were quietly talking to council members in private, complementary to our efforts. Unlike the D2P campaign in Durham, we wanted to be out front of the situation, proactively opposing the Jew haters.
Four NCCI members, Amy Rosenthal, Deborah Friedman, Josh Ravitch, and Kathryn Wolf, addressed the council regarding our concerns, as did a member of the local Jewish Community Relations Council. The talks may be found on our North Carolina Coalition for Israel channel on YouTube [link here].
In Durham, council members helped draft the final version of the petition, and 6 out of 7 council members signed the petition being presented to them; their minds were clearly made up before the formal presentation and they paid no heed to opposing views. In contrast, the Raleigh City Council members paid close attention to our talks and took notes. Based on early inklings from the council, we’re optimistic that the R2P petition will be rejected. We plan to let our readership know of the RCC’s decision.