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Environmental Group’s Antisemitism Slammed By Members of Congress, Jewish Groups

The climate group Sunrise Movement issued a statement on October 21 addressing their Washington, D.C. chapter’s decision to not participate in a voting rights rally because of “Zionist organizations.”

Sunrise DC cited the participation of the Jewish Council of Public Affairs (JCPA), National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) and Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) in the October 23 Freedom to Vote Relay – Rally at the Finish Line as being “in alignment with and in support of Zionism and the State of Israel.” “Given our commitment to racial justice, self-governance, and indigenous sovereignty, we oppose Zionism and any state that enforces that ideology,” they said in a statement.

Sunrise Movement’s statement addressing their D.C. chapter read: “Our work on behalf of all humanity is rooted in the value of human dignity and we reject all forms of discrimination, including antisemitism and anti-Palestinian racism.” They added that they had not seen Sunrise DC’s statement before it was published.

“As a national movement that supports freedom and dignity for all people, we will always welcome anyone who acts on our principles and chooses to join the fight for collective liberation,” Sunrise Movement’s statement concluded. “We believe that the rights of Palestinians are a part of that struggle and are committed to embracing that struggle together.”

he Jewish Democratic Council of America tweeted that Sunrise Movement’s statement is “woefully insufficient. The failure to call out blatant antisemitism only leads to further division at a time when we all need to unite to protect our democracy.”

Stop Antisemitism Executive Director Liora Rez said in a statement to the Journal, “Not posting their apology to social media (their main line of communication with followers) [Sunrise Movement’s] condemnation of antisemitism and othering the Jew hatred espoused by their mid-Atlantic hub, DC, is quite troubling; a more firm and transparent stance must be taken for anyone to take this seriously. Furthermore we call on Johnathon Williams, Nakia Stephans and Eden Alem, leaders of Sunrise DC, to immediately step down.”

Sunrise’s chapter at George Washington University, Sunrise GW, condemned Sunrise DC in an October 21 Twitter thread.

“Standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people is morally just and not antisemitic,” they wrote. “Singling out explicitly Jewish organizations despite non-Jewish organizations in the coalition holding similar stances on Israel is unquestionably antisemitic and has no place in our movement.” Sunrise GW added that they will never “place a litmus test on Jewish students or any students to be a part of our movement at GW.”

Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Grace Meng (D-NY) are among the members of Congress who denounced Sunrise DC’s statement as “offensive and wrong.”