New England’s Jewish Federation honors activist tied to both anti-Israel and pro-terrorist groups
Last week, the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) reported that the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) — Boston’s version of a Jewish federation — has honored Nadav David, an activist with ties to the rabidly anti-Israel IfNotNow.
CJP says it honored him for “doing amazing things . . . to better Greater Boston’s Jewish community.” This is absurd: IfNotNow defames Israel at every turn and does so as a “Jewish organization,” giving anti-Semites cover to say: “even the Jews know Israel is criminal.” CJP’s award normalizes IfNotNow within the Jewish community, giving it even more power to do us harm.
In addition to IfNotNow, Mr. David also works for the Muslim Justice League, an organization founded to torpedo U.S. government counterterrorism efforts in Boston. Stunningly, the CJP even cited David’s work with MJL in his “Chai in the Hub 2020” award profile.
Where the hell was the ADL?
After the Boston Marathon bombing, President Obama launched a program called “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) to deal with homegrown terrorism in the United States. New England’s ADL became an integral part of this effort. Its executive director, Robert Trestan, insisted that CVE is vital to Jewish safety, telling Boston’s Jewish Journal: “Islamic extremists are trying to recruit people for violence, particularly violence against Jews. We can’t afford to waste time discussing any longer. We need to take action to prevent them from recruiting vulnerable people in our community.”
Yet Nadav David’s Muslim Justice League opposes the very CVE efforts that the ADL considers vital to the safety of New England’s Jews because, according to the MJL, they are “grounded in false, racist assumptions.” The MJL’s founder has gone into local synagogues and handed out flyers that alleged, without evidence, a widespread conspiracy by the Obama administration and its predecessors to “target Muslims through U.S. government policy.”
The MJL flyers cited the case of Tarek Mehanna, a convicted Al Qaeda terrorist from Sudbury, MA, for the proposition that the U.S. government unconstitutionally prosecutes “Muslims’ First Amendment-protected activity.” What Nadav David’s group didn’t mention was that Mehanna had pledged his loyalty to and worked for Al Qaeda in Iraq, the forerunner of ISIS, or that he had plotted a machine gun massacre at a Massachusetts shopping mall in Everett.
According to the Department of Justice, “Mehanna and his co-conspirators, who shared videos of the deaths of American servicemen, seemed to delight in the most horrific atrocities.” (The videos included American soldiers having their rib cages ripped open and set on fire with gasoline. “[N]ice juicy BBQ,” Mehanna gloated. “Texas BBQ is the way to go. . . . I want more BBQ sauce videos.”)
Tragicomically, Nadav David brags in his CJP award profile that he’s out there working hard to keep all of us safe:
“For the last two years, I have been a part of developing safety and security strategies for Jewish communities, centering the needs of all of our members — especially those of us who are most impacted by the presence of armed security and law enforcement (e.g. Jews of Color, Jews with disabilities, transgender Jews).”
David seriously believes that it is the presence of armed security and law enforcement that constitutes the greatest threat to Jewish safety and security, with disabled and minority Jews most impacted. This claim is both malicious and dumb, with zero connection to reality. But CJP, which needs the support of police and law enforcement to protect Jews — now more than ever — gave a prize to this loony cop-basher.
APT’s next discovery is even more painful: MJL — which agitates against the police, fights the ADL’s counterterrorism efforts, and says that a local jihad terrorist who planned a machine-gun massacre in New England was just exercising his First Amendment rights — is funded by the Lenny Zakim Fund.
This is simply tragic: Lenny Zakim, may his memory be a blessing, was head of Boston’s ADL in the years when anti-Zionism became the “new anti-Semitism.” He was my friend. He quietly (secretly, actually) took risks by supporting our early pro-Israel efforts against media bias while his boss, the ADL’s national head Abraham Foxman, was refusing to criticize the New York Times and the Boston Globe for its hostility to Israel. Lenny must be rolling in his grave, bemoaning the idiots who now use his name to support everything he fought against.
If Boston’s Jews wish to understand how and why the political situation — and even the safety — of our community has so radically deteriorated, they need look no further than the abject failure of the pathetic leaders of our so-called “defense” and “community outreach” organizations.
Neither JNS’s exposé, documenting CJP’s honoring an anti-Zionist, nor our own research (conducted by APT Executive Director Ilya Feoktistov) exposing Nadav David’s work for the anti-police Muslim Justice League, is surprising to those who have followed — and fought against — the abject failure of Boston’s Jewish leaders that we have been continuously documenting for years at www.peaceandtolerance.org.
Documents and videos on our site show exactly how and why the Hub’s Jewish leaders, and their organizations — the ADL, the JCRC, and the CJP — have failed and how they continue to fail us even now. Visit our site to see how they have:
1. Covered up and denied the existence of the anti-Israel curriculum in the Newton public schools;
2. Embraced — and made “kosher” to the Boston public — the radical anti-Semitic leaders of Boston’s mega-mosque;
3. Been shockingly silent in the face of the execrable Boston Globe’s continuous assault on Israel; and
4. Shamefully abandoned Jewish students who are under physical and ideological assault on New England campuses.
The CJP’s public blessing of a man involved in sabotaging U.S. counterterrorism efforts and defaming Israel is more than a simple error of oversight: it is emblematic of our leaders’ failure to understand the times we are in, the nature of the “new” antisemitism, and the painful fact that their supposed progressive community allies promote it. This is what happens when our leaders stubbornly refuse to change with the times, to create a strategy for the current political circumstances.
What you can do:
1. Call or email the CJP and ask Rabbi Marc Baker to rescind the award, immediately, to explain how this happened, and to tell us the steps he is taking so it won’t ever happen again. You can call the main office at (617) 457-8500 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Support our work. Contributions are tax-deductible.
3. Host a discussion by APT president Dr. Charles Jacobs and executive director Ilya Feoktistov on Ilya’s recently-published book on the radical Islamist mega-mosque in Roxbury and our “leaders”’ failure to tell the New England public what they know about the Islamic Society of Boston.
And, stay tuned: there is much more coming.