A number of Jewish organizations banded together on Monday for a rally outside of UJA-Federation in protest of the UJA's sponsoring of organizations with ties to the Boycott Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Some 200 protestors carrying signs against the BDS movement, called on UJA to cease funding for the New Israel Fund (NIF) as well as to bar the organization from marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade to be held in New York City later this month.
The New Israel Fund has been found to finance organizations that promote BDS against Israel, as well other anti-Israel groups.
Recently, Israeli grassroots organization Im Tirzu published a report tracing NIF funds to a Ramallah-based Palestinian organization that financed reports by Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem accusing the IDF of war crimes during Operation Protective Edge.
At the rally, Helen Friedman, the Executive Director of Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI) called on donators to "close their wallets from the UJA" until the philanthropy's funding of BDS groups is discontinued.
Richard Allen, founder of JCCWatch.org, declared, “We call on the UJA-Federation to stop their promotion and support for groups that call for a boycott of Israeli companies such as SodaStream and Ahava Cosmetics.
“The UJA protects and promotes the BDS groups in the Israel Day Parade, and we insist this be stopped immediately," Allen added.
More than 101 Shofars were blasted in unison to serve as a "wake-up call" to UJA against the "political terrorism" of the BDS movement.
Jewish communal leaders Dr. Paul Brody and Rabbi David Algaze both decried UJA's actions, calling for funding to be stopped, as well as suggested the need to turn BDS in BS"D – B'siyata D'shmaya – i.e. only with God's help can the BDS movement be defeated.
The rally was organized by the Hear O'Israel Coalition consisting of the JCC Watch, AFSI, Zionist Organization of America, Jewish Political Education Fund, Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), the International Committee for the Land of Israel, Jewish Action Alliance, the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, and others.