"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act" George Orwell
Letter from The Simon Wiesenthal Organisation to the Federation
Shalom Elcott
President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Orange County

Dear Mr. Elcott,

I have become aware of an event on November 22, 2010, in which the Olive Tree Initiative will be providing a platform for anti-Israel activist and International Solidarity Movement cofounder George Rishmawi. Further, the Olive Tree Initiative that will be hosting him is funded in part by Jewish philanthropy, through your organization as well as Hillel at UC Irvine.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges the Jewish Federation to disassociate itself from an event that invites the leader of a group whose own website states the following:

“Apartheid is not going to be defeated by words alone; occupation, oppression and domination are going to be dismantled the same way they were erected — through people’s action. The Israeli army and apartheid in Palestine can be defeated by strategic, disciplined unarmed resistance, utilizing the effective resources Palestinians can mobilize — including international participation.”

We further urge the Jewish Federation to investigate the Olive Tree Initiative, which has selected a speaker who advocates overthrowing the Jewish State. What kind of group would funnel impressionable Jewish students into this “wolf in sheep’s clothing” program that aids and abets the enemies of Israel in their pernicious mission?

I look forward to hearing from you about this serious matter.

Rabbi Aron Hier
Campus Outreach

cc: Rabbi Marvin Hier
Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Rabbi Meyer May

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