Anti-Israel Groups In U.S. “Conspicuously Silent” in Wake of Murders of Three Israeli Teens

New York, NY, July 2, 2014 … Anti-Israel groups have been conspicuously silent in the wake of the tragic murder of three Israeli teenage boys, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which surveyed the websites and social media profiles of more than 25 of the leading anti-Israel groups in the United States in the days since their bodies were found in the West Bank.

Only one group out of the more than 25 anti-Israel groups and activists reviewed -- Jewish Voice for Peace -- acknowledged the kidnapping or condemned the murders. But their one paragraph statement condemning the kidnapping was quickly followed by a full six paragraphs outlining all that Israel had allegedly done wrong in response.

Many anti-Israel groups challenged the fact that the teens were even kidnapped at all. 

“It is shocking and shameful that the same groups who swiftly condemn in the strongest terms any perceived misdeed by Israel do not seem to have an ounce of moral outrage left to speak out against the murder of three innocent Israeli teenagers,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “It is easy for these groups to pay lip service to principles of justice, human dignity and nonviolence. The tacit condoning of the kidnapping and murders shown by the silence of these anti-Israel activists confirms they are only willing to speak out on the side of human rights when it serves them to do so. Those principles apparently do not extend to Israel.”

The bodies of the three kidnapped teenagers – Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach – were discovered earlier this week buried under a pile of rocks near Hebron.  The boys were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on June 12, prompting an intensive manhunt in the West Bank.

Some of the anti-Israel groups -- including Students for Justice in Palestine, Adalah-NY, American Muslims for Palestine, and If Americans Knew -- only mentioned the kidnappings in order to condemn Israel’s alleged “collective punishment” operations in the West Bank as Israel searched for the missing teens.

ADL researchers reported their findings after an intensive review of the websites and social media profiles belonging to more than 25 U.S.-based anti-Israel groups and well-known activists.  Among the findings:

  • Ali Abunimah, perhaps the most prolific speaker and writer associated with the domestic anti-Israel movement, used his Twitter page to lambast Israel and call for its destruction. Shortly after news broke that the boys’ bodies were found, Abunimah wrote “Now is precisely the time to say: let all the bloodshed and horror end. Dismantle the racist regime that terrorizes millions of people.” He also wrote, “Almost every night, Israel unleashes the most advanced weaponry against a 1.7 million people caged in a ghetto because they are not Jews.”
  • The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s National Director Anna Baltzer issued a statement in late June that condemned Israel’s searches and operation in the West Bank as “deadly collective punishment” while avoiding the term kidnapping and instead referring to the students as having “disappeared.”
  • American Muslims for Palestine failed to condemn the kidnapping and only mentioned the incident on its Twitter page in order to condemn the “collective punishment” of Palestinians.
  • Other groups, including the International Solidarity Movement, described the youths as “missing” and dismissed Israel’s claim that Hamas was responsible for kidnapping the three youths. 

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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