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Naomi Dann

Overview

Naomi Dann was arrested during an anti-Israel protest and has demonized Israel as the Media Program Manager at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), since 2014.

Dann helped found [00:15:00] a chapter of Students For Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Vassar College (Vassar), while serving [00:15:20] as president of the Vassar Jewish Union.

Dann has promoted the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and is affiliated with IfNotNow (INN), an organization that has demonized Israel and seeks to drive a wedge between American Jewry and Israel.

In 2015, Dann collaborated [00:09:03] with the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USPCR), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and CODEPINK to launch a campaign targeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Dann has promoted JVP’s #returnthebirthright initiative against the Birthright Jewish heritage tour.

As of June 2018, Dann’s LinkedIn page said she is a 2014 graduate of Vassar, with a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Justice Studies.

Arrested for Anti-Israel Activity

In July 2014, Dann was arrested during an INN protest against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge (OPE). The protest took place inside the lobby of the New York offices of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organisations.

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

Spreading Hatred of Israel

In an August 17, 2017 article, Dann accused Israel of “white supremacy" and compared a far-right rally that featured neo-Nazis to "fascism in Israel."

In an August 16, 2014 article written during OPE, Dann claimed that “It is the daily brutality of the occupation, and the underlying racism and colonialism of the State of Israel, that is at the root of the current crisis."

Promoting BDS

In February 2014, Dann co-authored an article in the Miscellany news, Vassar’s student newspaper, in support of the American Studies Association (ASA) resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The resolution was adopted in December 2013.

According to an April 2015 Mondoweiss article, Dann was involved in a campaign at Vassar called “Open Hillel." According to Dann, Open Hillel pressures Hillel International to “drop its ‘Standards of Partnership,’ which currently prohibit campus affiliates from partnering with or hosting individuals and groups who support" BDS.

In April 2016, Dann wrote an article promoting BDS on college campuses, claiming “there is growing recognition that political and economic outside pressure [on Israel] will be necessary to bring about a semblance of justice and security for all people living in the region."

Demonizing Israel’s Prime Minister

In 2015, Dann collaborated [00:09:03] with USPCR, AMP and CODEPINK to launch a JVP campaign demonizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The campaign involved an online petition called “Skip the Speech," which called on US Congress members to skip Netanyahu's speech to the U.S. Congress warning of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The petition also accused Netanyahu of promoting “war over peace."

In addition to the online petition, 110,000 letters were delivered [00:09:23] to Congress members across the US, urging them to skip Netanyahu’s speech.

Condemning Jewish Heritage Tour

On September 2, 2017, Dann promoted the #returnthebirthright campaign launched by JVP on Twitter, tweeting: “#ReturntheBirthright campaign: fundamentally unjust Jews get a free trip while Palestinians cant return."

Return the Birthright Campaign

In September of 2017, JVP issued its #ReturntheBirthright campaign manifesto, calling on American Jews to boycott the Birthright Israel (Birthright) program. Birthright was founded by Jewish philanthropists “in 1999 to address the growing divide between young Diaspora Jewish adults and the land and people of Israel."

After decades of demographic decline in the American Jewish community, Birthright set out “to strengthen Jewish identity, build a lasting bond with the land and people of Israel, and reinforce the solidarity of Jewish people worldwide." The program offers “the gift of a life-changing, 10-day trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26."

JVP’s anti-Birthright campaign was launched precisely to coincide with “the very moment that college students across America are returning to campus and registration for Birthright winter visits are underway."

The #returnthebirthright manifesto accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing" and alleged “the modern state of Israel is predicated on the ongoing erasure of Palestinians."

The text claimed: “We reject the offer of a free trip to a state that does not represent us, a trip that is only ‘free’ because it has been paid for by the dispossession of Palestinians."

The manifesto concluded: “And as we reject this, we commit to promoting the right to return of Palestinian refugees… Israel is not our Birthright… Return the Birthright."

On June 22, 2017, just prior to the launch of JVP’s #returnthebirthright campaign, JVP received a $140,00 two-year grant for general support for its operations from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF).

Since 2015, JVP has received $280,000 from RBF, which has a history of supporting anti-Jewish causes, including BDS campaigns and various organizations that promote BDS campaigns throughout the United States.

JVP

JVP was founded in Berkeley, California in 1996, as an activist group with an emphasis on the "Jewish tradition" of peace, social justice and human rights. The organization is currently led by Rebecca Vilkomerson and its board members include controversial Israel critics Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky and Tony Kushner.

JVP, which generally employs civil disobedience tactics like disrupting pro-Israel speakers and events, consists of American Jews and non-Jewish "allies" highly critical of Israeli policies. A staunch supporter of the BDS movement, JVP claims to aim its campaigns at companies that either support the Israeli military (Hewlett-Packard) or are active in the West Bank (SodaStream).

Although several Jewish groups critical of Israeli policies, like J Street and Partners for a Progressive Israel, make efforts to operate within the mainstream American Jewish community, JVP functions outside. The group is often criticized for serving as a tokenized Jewish voice for the pro-Palestinian camp and is widely regarded as the BDS movement's "Jewish wing."

JVP denies the notion of "Jewish peoplehood" and has even gone so far as to refer to its own Ashkenazi (Jews who spent the Diaspora in European countries) leadership as supreme inside of JVP."

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has accused JVP of being "the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States," and said the group "exploits Jewish culture and rituals to reassure its own supporters that opposition to Israel not only does not contradict, but is actually consistent with, Jewish values... JVP consistently co-sponsors rallies to oppose Israeli military policy that are marked by signs and slogans comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, demonizing Jews and voicing support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah."

According to the ADL website, JVP "uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide it with a greater degree of legitimacy and credibility."

BDS

The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti and asserts that it "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."

BDS initiatives include compelling institutions and individuals to divest from Israeli-affiliated companies, academic boycotts, 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, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, student governments have brought to vote on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities. These 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. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a "secret ballot" in order to ensure its members' safety.

SJP

SJP was co-founded in 2001 at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) by Professors Hatem Bazian and Snehal Shingavi. Bazian served as president of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) while studying at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and headed the Muslim Students Association (MSA) while earning his M.A. at UC Berkeley. In 2004, while the second intifada was already winding down in Israel, he called for an intifada in the United States.

Shingavi, an activist tied to the International Socialist Organization (ISO), has been criticized for using his literature course as a vehicle for promoting anti-Israel propaganda. SJP has grown to become the primary student movement advancing the Palestinian national agenda on North American campuses and is the primary force behind BDS campaigns at most schools.

SJP activists frequently intimidate and harass Jewish and pro-Israel students. SJP members have physically assaulted Jewish students, aggressively disrupted pro-Israel events and possibly vandalized communal property. SJP rallies regularly include hate-speech and chants such as "Long Live The Intifada" and "From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free" — calls for violence and for the destruction of the Jewish state.

SJP chapters frequently run inflammatory campaigns against Israel, including BDS resolutions, rallies, Israel-Apartheid initiatives, propaganda comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, mock checkpoints and "die-ins."

SJP chapters regularly host speakers who use language considered anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department and individuals linked to terrorist activity.

Social Media and Web Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naomi.dann.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/naomi_dann

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/naomi-dann/77/961/b76


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