StandWithUs Condemns anti-Israel Disruption at Creating Change Conference 2019 And Calls For Organizers To Uphold Their Own Guidelines
(DETROIT, MI -- January 27, 2019) StandWithUs condemns the hijacking of the Creating Change plenary session by a group of anti-Israel activists who stormed the stage and took over the microphone for fifteen minutes at the opening plenary on January 24. During this time, they made anti-Semitic allusions about American Jewish organizations, and chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
“The slogan 'from the river to the sea' is an anti-Semitic dog whistle. It is a euphemism for the destruction of Israel, and the resulting subjugation of its nearly seven million Jewish citizens to vulnerable minority status, or even expulsion and murder. Calling for Israel's destruction is not mere criticism of Israeli government policies It is an explicit call for the denial of the inalienable right of the Jewish people to self-determination, as a historically oppressed minority,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs.
At the last "Creating Change" Conference in 2016 in Chicago, anti-Israel protesters also violently disrupted a presentation by Israeli LGBTQ activists sponsored by A Wider Bridge, shutting down the program and silencing them.
"Creating Change," a project of the National LGBTQ Task Force, declares on its web site that it “discourages the disruption of conference sessions, plenary sessions, meetings or exhibits that result in attendees not being able to fully participate in learning and educational opportunities available at 'Creating Change.' We ask that this core principle of free exchange of ideas be respected as essential to the mission and spirit of the 'Creating Change' Conference."
The "Creating Change" organizers, however, did nothing to stop this disruption, have not condemned the anti-Semitic rhetoric, and have not apologized to the Jewish community.
“We call upon the national LGBTQ Task Force to enforce their own policy. While the National LGBTQ Task Force declares as a core principle its commitment to free and open expression, for the sake of moral clarity, it must speak out in the face of such anti-Semitic provocation and halt such disruptions at future conferences in conformity to their own guidelines,” said Rothstein.
StandWithUs (SWU) is a seventeen-year-old, international, non-profit Israel education organization. Through fellowships, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their campuses and communities about Israel.
Based in Los Angeles, SWU has chapters throughout the United States, in Israel, Canada, the U.K and Brazil