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ACJ 2023 Annual Letter

Stephen L. Naman
December 2023

December 5, 2023  
Dear Friends of the Council:  
We hope this letter finds you well. At this time of strife our thoughts are with  
all those throughout the world suffering from the tragedies of war and the  
burdens of oppression.  
Opposition to Zionism has a long and widespread history within Judaism. Orthodox  
anti-Zionism is rooted in the Torah; Reform Jewish anti-Zionism evolved from its  
enlightened founding fathers in the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885; and liberal  
Jewish anti-Zionism seeking Tikun Olam and a stand against the forces threatening  
the universal and prophetic principles of our Jewish faith are all well founded  
philosophies. These beliefs are the basis for legitimate alternative Jewish  
thought and perspectives and should not be mischaracterized or maligned.  
In our December edition of Special Interest Report Allan Brownfeld writes about  
the erroneous conflating of anti-Zionism and antisemitism by Jonathan Greenblatt,  
president of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It seems to me the real  
antisemitism in this case is being perpetrated by Mr. Greenblatt against his  
fellow Jews. We believe the ADL is operating under a false banner. This might be  
the tact the Israel Lobby chooses, but it is not the leadership the Jewish  
community and the world needs at this time of ever-increasing antisemitism.  
Hopefully others will rise to leadership in the fight against true antisemitism!  
Let me point out one such exercise in mainstream leadership. On August 2, 2023,  
The Workers Circle resigned from the Conference of Presidents of Major American  
Jewish Organizations (COP) and stated… “we have disagreed with the COP’s  
reluctance to critique Israel, its equation of such critique as antisemitism, its  
adoption and promotion of the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and its failure to  
condemn the Israeli parliament’s recent steps to erode democracy in Israel.” The  
Council applauds this decision and the courage of conviction it took. One must  
wonder if any of the other COP organizations will similarly hold our moral and  
ethical values above their allegiance to Israel. And one must question whether  
the COP truly represents the best interests of Americans of the Jewish faith, or  
Israel for that matter, if it is so dominated by the Israel Lobby!  
For over eighty years the American Council for Judaism has voiced its opposition  
to “Jewish Nationalism,” and the harm it has brought to the Jewish religion and  
the Middle East region. In 1990 Professor Thomas A. Kolsky wrote the definitive  
history of the founding of the Council, Jews Against Zionism, The American  
Council for Judaism, 1942 – 1948 with his final passage reading, “Ultimately, the  
Zionists won, and their opponents lost. Israel was born. However, the ominous  
predictions of the American Council for Judaism are still haunting the Zionist  
venture.” And in a 2010 New York Times article by Samuel G. Freedman about the  
Council, “Jonathan D. Sarna, a historian at Brandeis University and author of the  
seminal book American Judaism, said in a telephone interview. ‘Everything they  
prophesied dual loyalty, nationalism being evil has come to pass.’” We remain  
firmly committed to the validity of our charter!  
If you have already made a 2023 contribution to the Council, thank you, we are  
grateful for your support. If you have not yet contributed this year and choose  
to do so, contributions can be made by using the enclosed envelope or by credit  
card using the secure PayPal link on the Donations page of our website,  
www.ACJNA.org. You do not have to have a PayPal account to use this link and all  
major credit cards are accepted. Whatever your decision, we thank each of you for  
your continued interest in and commitment to the American Council for Judaism,  
The Board and Allan Brownfeld join me in sending our hopes that 2024 will bring  
peace to us all.  
Stephen L. (Steve) Naman, President  
American Council for Judaism, Inc.  

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