Grassroots Activists Force Jewish “Leaders” to Defend the Community

Amy Rosenthal of the North Carolina Coalition for Israel speaks before the Raleigh City Council — June 15, 2021.

Grassroots Jewish activists take the lead where “leaders” fear to tread

Deadly Exchange” is a vicious campaign that blames Israeli and American Jews for police assaults on American blacks. It falsely claims that American police departments that take part in counter-terrorism and leadership training in Israel are actually trained to “terrorize Black and Brown communities” in America. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yet promoters of a campaign to force city officials to boycott the Israeli training had a victory in Durham, North Carolina, when on April 16, 2018, the city council voted to ban that city’s police department from participating in the Israeli programs.

Jewish leaders in Durham were snookered by the city council there who told them in private they would not vote for it, but did, making Durham the model for pushing this BDS poison across American cities.

When the North Carolina Coalition for Israel, one of our coalition partners, found that Deadly Exchange was coming to Raleigh, they asked the JCRC to help them fight it. The pusillanimous “leaders” warned them to keep quiet, as they were taking care of the problem and were convinced that at least some city officials would vote it down.

Amy Rosenthal and Josh Ravitch rebuffed them, and told them they would fail again — like in Durham. In return, the Jewish establishment came down on them like a ton of bricks, with threats.

Our heroes did not cave. Instead, they spoke eloquently at the city council meeting on June 15 and may have saved the day. (The issue has yet to be decided.)

But so eloquent were our activists that the JCRC person herself felt forced to rise and speak at the meeting, defending the community — but only after having been pushed!

Amy and Josh did what Jews should do: push past our failing and cowardly leaders and do what’s right!

Kol ha-kavod!

The story of this brave group was published in JNS and picked up by The Algemeiner.

Please disseminate the JNS piece. If you want to become part of our national coalition, either with your local activist group or by yourself, please send an email to and be sure to use the subject “Roundtable” in the email.

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