(JNS.org) JCC Watch, a pro-Israel advocacy group, is holding protests on
the second Thursday of each month until it sees new guidelines that prevent the
UJA-Federation of New York’s funding of activities that give a platform to activists
of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Richard Allen, head of JCC Watch. Credit: Courtesy Richard Allen.
Between 40 and 50 people attended the first such JCC Watch rally
on July 11 outside of the 92nd Street Y (92Y) in New York City, protesting the
92Y’s recent invitation of anti-Israel speakers including “The Color Purple” author
Alice Walker and Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters (this spring’s scheduled
event with Waters at the 92Y was ultimately canceled, but Walker did appear there
in late May).
The UJA-Federation of New York commits about $900,000 per year
in funding to the 92Y, according to Richard Allen, head of JCC Watch. Allen
told JNS.org that his group is asking
Jewish community members to “close your wallets to any of these charities that are promoting donor
telling their donors that they’re using their money to undermine the state of
Israel,” Allen said of the charities.
92Y has what Allen called “a history of working to promote those who are
working to defame the state of Israel,” Allen said he does not believe the 92Y itself
condones or supports BDS. Rather, Allen believes the 92Y’s recent hosting of
pro-BDS speakers has been “going on under the radar,” and he said JCC Watch is
calling for the Jewish leadership of the 92Y to “regain control and establish
guidelines so that these embarrassing events do not happen again.”
The rally organized by JCC Watch outside the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan on July 11, in response to the Y’s invitation of pro-BDS speakers including Alice Walker and Roger Waters (who ultimately did not appear). Credit: Courtesy Richard Allen.
just Alice Walker,” Allen said. “There’s a pattern here.”
observers of the July 11 rally were sympathetic to JCC Watch’s cause and
expressed disbelief that the 92Y hosted Walker.
and 92Y officials did not immediately return requests for comment from JNS.org.