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Am Echad weekly update for the week of June 12, 2022

Update summary: Reform and Conservative movements slam the government for the no progress in the Kotel compromise. Jewish Organizations ask PM Bennet to recognize Diaspora terror victims on state ceremonies. The BDS movement was humiliated when it became clear that most Americans are not familiar with it, and an antisemitic map created by the movement backfired. In New York, an investigation is being opened against City University of New York for its widespread antisemitism.


The Kotel Compromise

· Reform and Conservative movements are disappointed by lack of progress in the Kotel deal

Cabinet secretary Shalom Shlomo held a meeting with representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements, briefing them on the current state of the Kotel Compromise. During the meeting Shlomo made it clear to them that the plan will not be advanced in it's current form. All the parties to the meeting released statements, slamming the government after the meeting held no bottom line for them.

"In some ways, there weren’t just no steps forward; we went back further. This is greatly disappointing,” says Yizhar Hess, the former CEO of the Masorti movement. Rakefet Ginsberg, current CEO of the Masorti movement, said: "We came out of the meeting with mixed feelings. At this stage, warm words could not replace actions". She repeated claims that there is a wide public interest in what she called "the families Kotel".

“It’s very disappointing to come in and hear that nothing has happened,” says Anna Kislanski, the head of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism. (Times of Israel, Behadrei Haredim)


Diaspora Relations

· Major Diaspora organizations to PM Bennett: recognize Diaspora terror victims

Jewish Diaspora victims are an "integral part of national memory" and should be commemorated in official State of Israel ceremonies, leaders of major Jewish organizations write in a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. "We view this as extremely important due to the sharp rise in the number of antisemitic incidents compared to last year", says the letter, that was led by the Jewish Agency. The leaders lamented that specifically on Yom Hazikaron, a symbol of unity of the Jewish people, a large portion of Jewish terror victims are not recognized because they are from the Diaspora. "Just as the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and therefore considers itself collectively responsible for the fate of Jews around the world, it must see itself as responsible in this matter as well,” the letter stated. “This is a blood connection between Israelis and Diaspora Jews (Jerusalem Post)


BDS and Antisemitism

· BDS project maps Jewish organizations in Massachusetts, slammed by congress members

BDS Movement crossed the sometimes-blurred line between anti-Israel activism an antisemitism, and created a map of Jewish organizations and institutes in Massachusetts, marking them as "Zionists". The map includes a Jewish arts group, a Jewish high school, a Jewish newspaper and synagogues. Jewish organizations in Boston responded in a joint statement, condemning the map and calling it an effort to "dismantle" the city’s organized Jewish community. The clear antisemitism of marking Jewish organizations was met with strong condemnations from the Capitol Hill, including progressive congresswoman Ayanna Pressley who said the map is an act of antisemitism. " It is not acceptable to target or make vulnerable Jewish institutions or organizations, full stop", said Pressley. (Algemeiner, IsraellyCool)


· PEW Research poll: most Americans are not familiar with the BDS movement

Despite drawing lots of media attention, the BDS movement's influence in the United States is minimal. In a survey that examined Americans' views on Israel and the Palestinians, respondents were asked about the BDS movement. Out of a large sample of 10,441 respondents, the majority, 53%, had never heard of the movement. Another 31% have heard very little about it, and a total of 84% of Americans are unfamiliar with the movement. Among young adults, who may be exposed to movement due to its activity on campuses, the share of those who have never heard of it is the highest among age groups: 60% of those under 30 have never heard of the BDS movement, and another 23% have heard "not much" about it. Only 5% of American adults said they support the movement, including 2% who "strongly" support it. (PEW)


· New York City Council will investigate Antisemitism at CUNY The New York City Higher Education Council launched an investigation of antisemitism at The City University of New York (CUNY). The move comes after last week the city council disappropriated $50,000 of funding for CUNY Law School over the school's vote to support boycott and sanctions against Israel (BDS). Jewish Faculty and staff at the university stepped up their protest against the university, after the Law School honored an antisemitic student to deliver the commencement speech. This, after staff members had already resigned from the Professional Staff Congress union (PSC-CUNY) a year ago, following antisemitism towards Jewish students. Reports of this degrading treatment have continued throughout the past year. (Algemeiner)