Extremist group U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights ambushed Booker: “amid the rush, he was posing for a photo and was passed a sign to hold — he didn’t have time to read the sign, and … didn’t realize it had anything to do with Israel”
Senator Cory Booker appeared at the Netroots 2018 conference.
Netroots is the annual gathering of far-left (“progressive”) activists. For presidential hopefuls hoping to generate buzz among the base, Netroots is a must. This year Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker were among the speakers.
Also in attendance was the anti-Israel group U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (fka U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation).
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights – An Extremist Anti-Israel Group
USCPR is among the most extreme groups and acts as a coordinator for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) efforts nationally. In a recent post, we highlighted the background and role of USCPR, ALERT: Anti-Israel coordinating group to launch municipal-level campaigns against Israel in June:
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, formerly known as the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, is a leader and mobilizer of BDS activism in the United States. A 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in 2001, it self-describes as a “national coalition working to end all US support for Israel’s military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians.”
According to NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based watchdog group, in 2016 USCPR had a budget of approximately $850,000. It claims that it receives the majority of its funding through “small individual donations.” However, it reportedly recently received $90,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which as we noted in several recent posts also funds JVP along with other virulently anti-Israel and pro-BDS groups:
- Anti-Israel ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ Funding Network Revealed
- Rockefeller Brothers Fund finances Jewish Voice for Peace as it launches new anti-Israel campaign
USCPR works behind the scenes as an umbrella organization to organize and coordinate hundreds of groups…
As documented by NGO Monitor, some of the groups that USCPR supports have ties to Palestinian terror organizations. One of its staff members, Director of Grassroots Organizing Ramah Kudaimi, has promoted incitement to violence against Israelis.
It’s worth noting too that Josh Ruebner, who serves as USCPR’s Policy Director, is an ADL-flagged activist who has publicly claimed that the IDF “studied what the Nazis did” during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in order to “attack and kill Palestinians” in Gaza.
Munayyer has also been at the forefront of the ugly effort within U.S.-based anti-Israel circles to exploit the U.S. civil rights struggle for the Palestinian cause. Under Munayyer’s directorship, USCPR has preposterously cast Israeli policies toward the Palestinians as a discriminatory “matrix of control” with laws similar to those used against Black Americans during the Jim Crow era.
These days, Munayyer spends an inordinate amount of his time trying to racialize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, making untenable connections between the experiences of black men in America’s inner cities and his own as an Israeli Palestinian and trying to sell the idea that Palestinians are people of color oppressed by privileged white Jews.
It is not surprising that Netroots would offer USCPR the opportunity to host a panel during the conference.
Co-opting progressive events and organizations has been a key strategy of anti-Israel activists, from Ferguson to Black Lives Matter. We explored this “intersectional strategy” in If you are surprised #BlackLivesMatter joined war on Israel, you haven’t been paying attention:
For years we have been documenting the efforts by anti-Israel activists to stoke racial hatred of Israel through the concept of “intersectionality” – the notion that all revolutionary struggles, particularly against racism, are connected.
The almost exclusive focus, however, is Israel. Hence, Israel is falsely blamed for local police shootings of blacks in the U.S. based upon false and misleading claims I debunked in my post, Exposed: Years-long effort to blame Israel for U.S. police shootings of blacks.
The movement to connect Ferguson-to-Palestine launched after the Michael Brown shooting, and has been a singular focus of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists ever since….
No other country except Israel is used as pervasively as the connector for intersectionality. It’s a seedy tactic meant to exploit domestic U.S. racial tensions having nothing to do with Israel, and to turn those tensions into racial hatred of the supposedly “white” Israel. Underlying it all are anti-Semitic stereotypes of omnipresent Jewish manipulation…
USCPR at Netroots – Intersectional Anti-Israel Activism
So there they were at Netroots 2018, pushing the anti-Israel intersectional agenda:
USCPR’s messaging at Netroots sought to equate Zionism to racism, sexism, and even anti-Semitism. That’s right, USCPR equates Zionism to anti-Semitism. As I said, these are true extremists:
Comparing Mexican Border and Israeli Security Barrier
The USCPR messaging also equates the Israel security barrier, which was erected during the Second Intifada to prevent the suicide bombing campaign that killed several hundred Israelis, with barriers at the U.S.-Mexican border.This attempt to tie Israel’s security barrier to Mexican border issues predates Trump. At it’s 2015 conference, for example, USCPR was pushing the Mexico-Israel connection:
But in the age of Trump, anti-Israel groups are trying to steer the Resistance into an anti-Israel stance with signs and messaging that say “From Palestine to Mexico, All the Walls Have To Go.” This close up of the panel shows that slogan on signs in front of each speaker:
Senator Cory Booker in Photo With Anti-Israel Sign
USCPR appeared to score a goal when it posted on Twitter a photo of U.S. Senator Cory Booker holding the “From Palestine to Mexico” sign, suggesting it was the result of discussions with him.
We immediately tweeted to Booker questioning his judgment in appearing with USCPR:
The image also generated immediate coverage, including at the Free Beacon:
Standing next to Booker in the picture is Leah Muskin-Pierret, who heads government affairs for the group and is wearing a shirt that says, “Palestine is a feminist/queer/refugee/racial justice issue.”
Muskin-Pierret has been a vocal anti-Israel advocate since her college years at Tufts University, where she was an active member of Students for Justice in Palestine, the main vehicle for rising anti-Israel activity on college campuses across the United States.
Muskin-Pierret’s views on Israel are so radical that she has even targeted J Street, a left-wing advocacy group highly critical of Israel.
“Lobbies like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the only superficially more progressive J-Street continue to strong arm congressmen and presidents alike to swear their allegiance to Israel and hound those who dare voice even tepid dissent,” wrote Muskin-Pierret, who goes on to say the groups are controlled by “the same corrupt political money.”
She also contributed to the legal defense fund for Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted for her role in 1969 terrorist bombings in Jerusalem that killed numerous Israelis. The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights has regularly voiced support for Odeh, professing its “love” for the terrorist and saying it hopes to see her in a “liberated Palestine.”
Booker Says Was Caught Off Guard – And Supports Israel’s Need for a Security Barrier
We reached out to Booker’s office, and by the time they responded just a little while longer, they were seeking to halt the building firestorm.
According to a statement released by Booker’s spokesperson, Booker was leaving Netroots when someone approached him for a photo and handed him a sign he didn’t pay much attention to:
“Just before delivering a speech in New Orleans, Senator Booker was approached by dozens of people for photos. In one instance, amid the rush, he was posing for a photo and was passed a sign to hold — he didn’t have time to read the sign, and from his cursory glance he thought it was talking about Mexico and didn’t realize it had anything to do with Israel. He hopes for a day when there will be no need for security barriers in the State of Israel, but while active terrorist organizations threaten the safety of the people living in Israel, security barriers are unfortunate but necessary to protect human lives,” said Booker spokesperson Jeff Giertz.
Booker’s stated scenario has a ring of truth to it. Anti-Israel activists are constantly seeking misleading photo ops to further their agenda. They understand the power of an image, and if the image is not what it seems, they don’t care. It’s a form of Pallywood.
But is Booker completely innocent here? He was at Netroots pandering to progressives. Someone handed him a sign and he didn’t even look at it? He may not have understood the significance of the slogan, but it should have raised a red flag with him even in that environment.
The best thing to come out of this is that a lot of people have been alerted to the deviousness of USCPR, and Booker reaffirmed the justification for Israel’s security barrier:
“while active terrorist organizations threaten the safety of the people living in Israel, security barriers are unfortunate but necessary to protect human lives”
So the anti-Israel activists scored a goal, but it appears to be an own-goal.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.