Zionist groups set up ‘taskforce’ to defend Israel under guise of combatting anti-Semitism

Middle East Monitor  /  July 26, 2023

Eight major pro-Israel Jewish organizations from seven different countries have united to create a new task force to defend Israel under the guides of combatting anti-Semitism. The groups in the Task Force Against Anti-Semitism have all embraced the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism and placed defending Israel from criticism at the centre of their work.

Calling themselves J7, the anti-Palestinian taskforce comprises prominent Jewish organizations from the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Argentina and Australia: the Anti-Defamation League (ADL); the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations; the Board of Deputies of British Jews; Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF); the Central Council of Jews in Germany; the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA); Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas (DAIA); and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).

“Anti-Semitism is rising around the world, especially in countries where there are large Jewish populations. We needed to meet these challenges through coordinated action,” ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt told Haaretz. “This new coalition of major organizations representing seven large Jewish Diaspora communities in liberal democracies will provide a formal framework for coordination, consultation and formulating global responses to anti-Semitic threats against the Jewish people.”

Greenblatt is one of the key proponents of the idea that anti-Zionism and legitimate criticism of the state of Israel equate to anti-Semitism. He is spearheading the initiative. “The idea for the J7 came out of conversations I had with partners in France over our shared challenges and concerns. When we reached out to these seven communities, there was instant enthusiasm about the importance of the seven of us consulting, and what we might achieve working together.”

The collaboration comes as Israel faces sharp criticism for its political shift to the far-right. Internally the occupation state is facing the prospect of a “civil war”, according to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert; internationally, a consensus is emerging about Israel’s practice of apartheid. With the highly controversial IHRA definition of anti-Semitism conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Jewish racism, the increased focus and concern over Israeli policy has reinforced the false narrative with every condemnation of the occupation state and every voice in support of Palestine.

In a recent interview, legal expert Giovanni Fassina spoke to MEMO about the IHRA definition’s chilling repercussions. Fassina uncovered shocking examples of its weaponization against critics of Israel and the suppression of free speech under the guise of combatting anti-Semitism.

The J7 group says that it will monitor and address expressions of hate from all origins. The leadership of J7 will meet regularly, both virtually and in person, with a significant event scheduled for ADL’s Never is Now Summit in March 2024.