Originally published July 18, 2019
Last week, a little-known group made national waves when they posted a video of two of their members making a request of presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren at a public-event photo op. The group was the virulently anti-Zionistic IfNotNow, and the request was, “We’d really love it if you also pushed the Israeli government to end occupation.” Before the request was complete, Warren replied, “Yes, yes. So I’m there.”
IfNotNow is working hard to shift the policy in the United States to be more anti-Israel. Founded in 2014 by a group of American Jews, they are in the middle of a full-frontal assault on presidential candidates to have them pledge to “end the occupation.” Regardless of what these radicals might say, the premise of “the occupation” is a fallacy. It is impossible to occupy a country that never existed. There is no Palestinian state, despite many oppurtunities to create one. Israel has a border presence in Judea and Samaria because of decades of terrorist attacks, and soldiers are necessary for security. Israel would much rather have their sons and daughters at home, working for a brighter future. Instead they are preventing another intifada.
In the beginning of their movement, IfNotNow ran counter-programing to the Birthright Israel program. Birthright is an organization that gives free trips to Israel to young, usually unaffiliated Jews who have never been there before, in order to instill a sense of love for their land and heritage. IfNotNow convinces these unaffiliated Jews to leave their tour of Israel and instead take a tour of Palestinian towns, all while blaming the Jews in Israel for what happened to the Palesitinians.
Some may refer to Jews who run these organizations as “self-hating Jews.” That moniker is incorrect. First, they love themselves. Second, they love being Jews. Being a Jew means that you get to be part of a victim group. Without their ethnically Jewish identity, these are just a bunch of white people, and at the bottom of the totem pole for intersectionality. They are not self-hating Jews. These are Judaism-hating Jews.
Judaism has strict laws, a moral code and a deep connection with the land of Israel. The Jews of IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace think Judaism is about liking bagels. Their true religion is social justice leftism. That religion states that if there are two people, and there is a wealthy one and a poor one, the wealthy one must have somehow victimized the poor one to acquire that wealth. To make things “right,” social justice warriors must attack the wealthy one to make them in as bad a position as the poor one.
This is what IfNotNow is attempting to accomplish in Israel. They do not care about the Palestinian people. If they did, they would not economically strangle them by supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which harmed more Palestinian jobs than Israeli ones. They would not blame the Israelis for the poor living conditions in Palestinian neighborhoods, they would blame the terrorist leadership that is hanging onto power. Mahmoud Abbas is currently on year 14 of a four-year term, and has rejected every peace offer and opportunity to create a Palestinian state that he has had, as did his predecessor Yasser Arafat.
IfNotNow began their new ploy with a soft target, Bernie Sanders. Sanders, who has previously referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “racist,” affirmed that he would “end the occupation.” He even took a group photo with the activists with a sign that read “Jews Against The Occupation.” They didn’t really gain traction until they cornered Elizabeth Warren, who also agreed to their terms.
The Democratic Majority for Israel, founded in January 2019, is working hard against IfNotNow’s tactics. They claim that Elizabeth Warren was a “victim of this hit-and-run camping tactic.” They sent a memo to all Democratic presidential candidates with the subject “WARNING on Anti-Israel Campaigners.” Since that memo was distributed, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Cory Booker have been approached by IfNotNow. Buttigieg said, “The occupation has to end,” during a Q&A. Biden, approached in a crowd, said “I think the occupation is a real problem, a significant problem,” and then directed the questioner to look at his past record. This wasn’t good enough for IfNotNow, who sent another person to pester Biden. They are relentless in their pursuit of campaign pledges that will harm the U.S.-Israel relationship.
When New Jersey Senator Cory Booker was approached by an IfNotNow activist, he was already prepped for the tactic. When asked, “Do you think the occupation is a human rights crisis?” Booker deftly replied, “You’re not going to get me to address the question as you want.” He continued, “And I know that’s a question you’ve been asking every presidential candidate, but I’m working on the issue, probably more than any other foreign policy issue.” Booker, with this response, became IfNotNow’s public enemy #1, tweeting that his answers are just “[AIPAC] and [Democratic Majority for Israel] talking points.”
IfNotNow’s influence has surpassed approaching candidates and receiving commitments. Elizabeth Warren hired one of their co-founders, Max Berger, as her “director of progressive partnerships.” Max Berger has a history of tweeting statements such as, “Ilhan Omar Is Right, Israel is not a real democracy,” “Confession: I would totally be friends with Hamas” and “What Israel is doing in Gaza should be familiar to Jews. It’s called a pogrom. You’d think Jews would be against those.” Berger is the essence of a Judaism-hating Jew, and he’s in a powerful position as a major influencer for the Democratic presidential candidate.
American Jews need to be aware of who the enemy is, what they are saying and how they plan to increase their influence. Only then can we arm ourselves with facts when confronted with the obvious lies that organizations such as IfNotNow spout on a regular basis.
Moshe Hill is a political journalist who has written for The Daily Wire, The Queens Jewish Link and The Jewish Link of New Jersey. He is regularly featured on ‘The Josh M Show’ podcast. Subscribe to aHillwithaview.com for more content from Moshe Hill. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/ahillwithaview and follow on Twitter @TheMoHill.