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Max Berger

Overview

Max Berger was arrested with fellow IfNotNow (INN ) activists for occupying and refusing to leave the lobby of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (Conference of Presidents) building in New York City.

Berger has spread hatred of Israel, protested against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), demonized pro-Israel American Jews and promoted INN- organized “Liberation Seders."

He has also defended anti-Israel agitators and supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

As of May 2019, Berger’s Twitter bio page said he was a “Co-founder" of INN.

As a co-founder of INN, Berger either made the decision or was complicit in INN’s decision to partner with the anti-Semitic American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).

Berger’s Haaretz author page bio also said: “[Berger] was a “political organizer, trainer and writer in New York City. He was one of the leading participants in Occupy Wall Street."

As of May 2019, Berger was listed on the Momentum website as one of the group’s co-founders.

On June 21, 2019, Berger, a leader with INN, announced on Twitter that he began working as the Director for Progressive Partnerships for the U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. A June 30, 2019 Haaretz article, highlighted INN’s new policy to “officially lobby political leaders to speak out against the occupation and the policies of the Israeli government, focusing on Democratic candidates in the 2020 elections."

In 2013, Berger was affiliated with Dream Defenders (DD). Berger also reportedly worked as a “new media assistant" at J Street.

Berger also reportedly “attended Reed College."

Arrest

On July 29, 2014, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (OPE) in Gaza, Berger was arrested with eight other INN activists at a protest against the Conference of Presidents, after refusing to leave the lobby of the organization’s building in New York City.

Israel commenced Operation Protective Edge (OPE) in July 2014, to stop rocket fire targeting Israeli civilians and to destroy Hamas attack tunnels.

On July 29, 2014, Berger tweeted: “Just got out of jail for the #IfNotNow sit-in & Kaddish action at @Conf_if_Pres. Beautiful video by @rhodesmessiah: m.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm74xb…"

The Jewish ritual of the Mourner’s Kaddish is a prayer customarily reserved for close relatives.

Supporting Violent Protesters

On May 15, 2018, Berger tweeted: “The violence of the past few weeks at the Gaza border is truly sickening. But, the protestors will to resist the oppression they face gives me hope. The young Americans -- Muslims, Jews, Christians, secular Americans -- rising up to oppose the US response gives me hope."

In May 2018, violent riots, instigated by Hamas on the Israeli-Gaza border, saw thousands of rioters attempting numerous breaches of Israel’s border fence, with participants declaring their intention to harm Jews across the border under the pretext of “peaceful resistance."

Also on May 15, 2018, Berger tweeted: “It's disappointing that potential Dem Presidential contenders @CoryBooker, @SenGillibrand, @KamalaHarris, @JoeBiden have yet to condemn Israel's massacre in Gaza. Like #MedicareForAll, @SenSanders and the movements will push the Democratic Party to take the right stance by 2020."

On May 14, 2018, Berger tweeted: “Party Leader Sanders shows Democrats how to talk about the grotesque Israeli violence against peaceful protestors in Gaza. Now, let's hear @SenSchumer do the same."

On May 16, 2018, senior Hamas official, Salah al-Bardawil, stated that 50 out of 62 protesters killed during the May 14 Gaza border protest were Hamas operatives. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also claimed that three of its members were killed at the same protest.

On March 30, 2018, in response to a tweet by MSNBC that read: “6 Palestinians killed, hundreds hurt in protests on Israel-Gaza border," Berger tweeted: “Killed by whom? Hurt how? The Israeli state can't tolerate nonviolent resistance to their brutal subjugation and military occupation of millions of Palestinians...."

On May 16, 2018, senior Hamas official, Salah al-Bardawil, stated that 50 out of 62 protesters killed during the May 14 Gaza border protest were Hamas operatives. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also claimed that three of its members were killed at the same protest.

Most of the Gazans who died between March 30, 2018 and April 6, 2018 were identified as terror operatives who were killed while rioting against IDF forces, carrying out terrorist attacks, or attempting to breach the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Spreading Hatred of Israel

On February 20, 2013, Berger tweeted: “Confession: I would totally be friends with Hamas."

On August 21, 2014, Berger tweeted: “.@IsraeliPM If Hamas is ISIS, what is Jewish Home? Or Likud? Your coalition seems more analogous to Hamas than ISIS."

On July 18, 2014, Berger tweeted: “What Israel is doing in Gaza should be familiar to Jews. It's called a pogrom. You'd think Jews would be against those. #Shanda #NotInMyName."

On April 27, 2014, Berger tweeted: “I dare anyone to visit Hebron and tell me what's happening there doesn't look an awful lot like apartheid."

On May 14, 2018, Berger tweeted: “It is a profoundly tragic irony that nudniks like Netanyahu and Kushner have taken responsibility for Jewish liberation. The hateful zealots that speak on behalf of Jews in the US and Israel have fallen prey to the same ideologies that have been used in the past to destroy us."

On January 1, 2019, Berger criticized his 2006 Outdoors Birthright trip on Twitter accusing it of a “heavy dose of right wing propaganda"

Birthright Israel is a heritage trip to Israel for Jewish young adults from across the world.

On January 31, 2019, Berger tweeted: “.@IlhanMN is right: Israel is not a real democracy. Israel is like the south before 1963: millions of people under Israeli control are denied the right to vote, speak freely or assemble because of their ethnicity. It's a democracy for Jews only. That's not a real democracy."

Demonizing Pro- Israel American Jews

On March 21, 2017, Berger tweeted: “It's a sad state of affairs when the most powerful Jewish org in America gives a fascist a standing ovation. #DumpTrump #DumpAIPAC"

In an April 16, 2016 Haaretz article, authored by Berger, he claimed that the “rise of groups like IfNotNow" was due to “generational shift" in the American Jewish community, who he accused of having “hatred of Palestinians."

On June 17, 2014, Berger tweeted: “Sometimes I feel the biggest obstacle to peace in Israel-Palestine is the bigotry of American Jews. Case in point: @JeffreyGoldberg's TL."

Protesting AIPAC

On March 26, 2017, Berger tweeted a video from an INN protest outside the Washington D.C. venue of the AIPAC Policy Conference and wrote: “Stand up for our liberation, no more endless occupation! #ResistAIPAC."

The stated mission of AIPAC is to “strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of the United States and Israel."

Protestors chained themselves to the entrance of the conference center and several hundred spent hours dancing and chanting outside the venue.

That same day, Berger tweeted a photo of the protest and wrote: “The crowd here at the #JewishResistance is so full of love and power. This is the Jewish community I want to be a part of. #ResistAIPAC."

Also on March 26, 2017, Berger tweeted: “.@IfNotNowORg has shut down various entrances @AIPAC! #JewishResistance #ResistAIPAC."

Promoting Liberation Seders

On April 19, 2016, Berger tweeted: “Jews can't celebrate our liberation while we oppress another people - that's why @IfNotNowOrg is having #LiberationSeder actions this week."

A Seder is a Jewish Passover ritual, that involves telling the story of Israelites’ Exodus from slavery in ancient Egypt, to travel to the Promised Land.

That same day, Berger tweeted: “I am so proud of the @IfNotNowOrg leaders having a #LiberationSeder in DC. Jewish liberation is incomplete until the Palestinians are free."

On April 20, 2016, Berger tweeted: “I'm super inspired by this @IfNotNowOrg songful takeover of the @ADL_National for #LiberationSeder."

Berger’s tweet featured a video of INN activists, seventeen of which were later arrested for holding a “liberation seder" and occupying the lobby [00:05:44] of the building housing the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Protesters demanded that the ADL publicly oppose Israeli “occupation."

On April 22, 2016, INN announced that they rejected an invitation to a meeting with the ADL. INN wrote that “the ADL...AIPAC, Hillel International, and the Jewish Federations" had collectively “spent many millions of dollars to create an environment in the Jewish community that vilifies anyone who doesn’t meet their litmus test of what it means to be a member of the Jewish community."

In April 2016, prior to the Jewish holiday of Passover, when seders are traditionally held, INN leaders Ethan Miller and Sara Sandmel wrote an op-ed stating that INN actions would take place in Washington DC, Boston, New York City, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Many of the activists set up tables and manipulated symbols from the Jewish Seder table to represent different aspects of “the occupation." INN uploaded resources for public use to their website and claimed that approximately 500 people participated in their liberation seders across the country.

Defending Anti-Israel Agitators

On May 10, 2019, Berger tweeted: “The right wing is going after @omarsuleiman504 because they're afraid of Jews and Muslims fighting together. [Imam] Omar [Suleiman] has been an ally to Jews -- we should have his back."

In 2014, Imam Omar Suleiman called on Twitter for a “Third Intifada" to destroy Israel. His tweet perpetuated the incendiary claim that Israel intended to desecrate the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

On May 8, 2019, Berger tweeted: “As a Jew, I’m ashamed of @RepJoshG. We need Jewish leaders to fight for the freedom and dignity of all - not use their power to tear down progressive women of color like @RashidaTlaib. A new generation of leaders like @IfNotNowOrg is rising. Stand with us or get out the way."

Rashida Tlaib was elected to the U.S. Congress in November 2018. Tlaib has advocated for a one-state solution, endorsed BDS and called for reduced foreign aid to Israel.


On February 1, 2019, Berger tweeted: “The right wants to vilify powerful women of color - especially Muslim women - who come out swinging against the 1%. @RashidaTlaib and @IlhanMN are allies to Jews in the fight against white nationalism. We can't let the right use Israel to divide us."

Ilhan Omar was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2018. In February 2019, top Congressional leaders denounced Omar for tweeting anti-Semitic remarks. She has also demonized Israel and endorsed BDS, including introducing a pro-BDS resolution in the U.S. Congress.

In July 2019, Omar introduced H.Res. 496, referred to as a “pro-BDS" resolution, which Omar described as “an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support...the BDS movement."


On April 28, 2019, Berger tweeted: “...Ilhan does not promote Jew hatred. She promotes solidarity..."

On November 17, 2017, Berger tweeted: “When Jewish establishment hacks attack @lsarsour they hurt our community as well...Linda [Sarsour] embodies solidarity in a way her Jewish critics do not. #JewsForLinda."

Sarsour frequently uses the word “Zionist" as a pejorative and has tweeted that “nothing is creepier than Zionism."

On January 23, 2017, Berger tweeted: “As a Jew, I am proud to say #IMarchWithLinda. If they come for one of us, they come for all of us. I stand in solidarity with @lsarsour!"

Supporting BDS

On April 20, 2018, Berger responded to a tweet discussing INN and tweeted: “Lollllll (I personally support BDS, but the org does not!)"

Also on September 7, 2017, Berger tweeted: “I support BDS because ultimately it's the only way to stop the occupation. Personally, I care more about equal rights than a Jewish state."

On September 6, 2017, Berger tweeted: “As a Jew, I stand with @CDRosa. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party must be open to supporters of BDS."

On July 1, 2014, Berger tweeted: “BDS disciplines a collective actor: the Israeli state. It is legitimate collective target because it's a collective actor."

IfNotNow (INN)

IfNotNow (INN) is an anti-Israel organization founded in 2014, in response to Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (OPE) against Hamas.

INN claims to be “young Jews angered by the overwhelmingly hawkish response of American Jewish institutions" to OPE. INN presents three demands on its website: “Stop the War on Gaza, End the Occupation, and Freedom and Dignity for All."

INN defines “the Occupation as the military rule over Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza," which is land Israel has controlled for nearly 50 years since the 1967 Six-Day War. However, INN leaders have made [00:34:32] the claim [00:13:49] at protests that the occupation is 70 years long, referring to Israel’s founding in 1948.

INN actions have aimed to demonize [00:38:13] Israel, harass [00:05:44] mainstream American Jewish organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and decrease support for Israel among American Jews.

INN has used “public action and imaginative ritual" to achieve its goals, including disruptions where activists were arrested.

One of the high-profile arrests occurred at a May 2018 disruption at a U.S. Senator’s office in Washington, D.C. to protest legislation against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

At the same incident, INN used [00:07:17] the Jewish ritual of the Mourner’s Kaddish prayer to mourn [00:09:10] protesters who were killed during the Hamas-organized and funded Great March of Return riots on the Israel-Gaza border.

INN activists have also staged and promoted walk-offs from Birthright Israel trips, a heritage trip to Israel for young Jewish adults from across the world.

INN claims to take no position on the BDS movement and that it is “open to any who seek to shift the American Jewish public away from the status quo that upholds the Occupation." However, INN organizes with pro-BDS, anti-Israel organizations including American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

BDS

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement was founded by Omar Barghouti in 2005 as an allegedly “Palestinian-led movement" to challenge “international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism."

In 2015, Barghouti was quoted saying that “BDS aims to turn Israel into a pariah state, as South Africa once was, and to isolate its regime of oppression in order to achieve our UN-stipulated rights."

The dominant organization in the BDS Movement is the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC), founded by Barghouti in 2007, during the First Palestinian Conference for the Boycott of Israel.

The movement has been linked to numerous terrorist organizations and received a public endorsement from Hamas.

BDS initiatives include calling on institutions and individuals to divest from Israeli-affiliated companies, promoting academic and cultural boycotts of Israel and anti-Israel rallies and protests.

The movement’s most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for “BDS resolutions." In these cases, student governments, backed by anti-Israel affiliates, have proposed resolutions on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities.

These boycott resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.

BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It has been noted that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus. In 2013, when the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution, reports emerged of violent threats and the spitting on a student wearing a Star of David necklace.

Dream Defenders

Based in Florida, DD was founded in 2012 and aims to create a "new generation" of organizers working to end domestic and foreign wars, free public education, community control of economic resources, release of prisoners from American prisons and an end to the Capitalist system in the United States.

The group later adopted a harsh anti-Israel position, falsely linking Israel’s existence to the same Capitalist system they view as responsible for the issues their communities face. DD has led several delegations to Israel and where they met exclusively with anti-Israel groups and individuals, including militants from the terrorist organization PFLP.

DD is a project (page 3) of the Tides Center, linked to anti-Israel billionaire George Soros and is a leading organization within the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that was founded in 2013.

DD has supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as early December 2014.

Social Media and Web Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/9701201

Twitter: https://twitter.com/maxberger

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/max_berger/ [Private]

Occupation:
Professional

University:
Dream Defenders, Reed College

Organizations(s):
BDS,
DD,
INN

Related Profiles:

Last Modified:
02/18/2020

Videos

    Photos & Screenshots

    Infamous Quotes

    “Confession: I would totally be friends with Hamas.”
    “@IsraeliPM If Hamas is ISIS, what is Jewish Home? Or Likud? Your coalition seems more analogous to Hamas than ISIS.”
    “What Israel is doing in Gaza should be familiar to Jews. It's called a pogrom. You'd think Jews would be against those. #Shanda #NotInMyName.”
    “Sometimes I feel the biggest obstacle to peace in Israel-Palestine is the bigotry of American Jews.”
    “I support BDS because ultimately it's the only way to stop the occupation. Personally, I care more about equal rights than a Jewish state.”

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