The Washington DC chapter of a national climate activist group is being accused of anti-Semitism after turning down participation at a voting rights rally because a “number of Zionist organizations” will be taking part in the event.
“Given our commitment to racial justice, self-governance, and indigenous sovereignty, we oppose Zionism and any state that enforces its ideology,” Sunrise DC said in a statement it posted Tuesday on Twitter.
The group named the National Council of Jewish Women, the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs as groups supporting Israel, which it calls a "colonial project."
The Freedom to Vote Relay-Rally on Saturday features a bike ride to the U.S. Capitol from West Virginia, the home state of Senate Democrat Joe Manchin, who is sponsoring a voting rights act named “Freedom to Vote.”
Sunrise DC called for one of the rally’s main organizers, Declaration for American Democracy, to remove the three pro-Israel Jewish groups from a coalition it has put together.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism posted a response on Twitter, calling it "unfortunate that any organization would refuse to join together to protect voting rights."
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives and a leading voting rights advocate in Congress, also weighed in. “Refusing to participate in civic life with Jewish groups — especially those groups who are committed to social justice here in the U.S., in Israel and around the world — is misguided, unproductive, offensive, and wrong,” he said on Twitter.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that the action by Sunrise DC is "the vilification of Jewish nationhood and a litmus test for all who support it. This is antisemitic – plain and simple."