Non-profit

IfNotNow Movement

Website:

ifnotnowmovement.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

47-5178715

Formation:

2014

Type:

Anti-Israel Agitation Group

IfNotNow is a far-left organization that protests Israel’s control of the West Bank, its policies in the Gaza Strip, and Israeli policy towards Arabs. While the organization has a strong stance opposed to Israel’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it takes no “unified stance” on the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign or whether or not Israel should continue to exist as a Jewish state, though the pro-BDS group Jewish Voice for Peace has praised IfNotNow. [1] [2]

IfNotNow has drawn criticism from within the Jewish community over its tactics and its stances. Among the criticisms is that IfNotNow is more interested in getting publicity through its protests than engaging in a dialogue with the leadership of the Jewish community. [3] IfNotNow members have also been criticized for using imagery evocative of historical anti-Semitism and supporting bans on display of Jewish symbols at far-left events. [4] [5]

History and Actions

IfNotNow was formed in 2014 following Operation Protective Edge, a campaign by the Israeli military against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip to combat Hamas rocket attacks on Israelis. The organization demanded that American Jewish organizations end their support for or neutrality toward Israeli control of the West Bank. [6]

The primary activities of IfNotNow are sit-ins and protests at the headquarters and meetings of American Jewish organizations and other public events. Such protest techniques are known as “direct action.”

In February 2017, IfNotNow activists were arrested during the Senate confirmation hearings for David Friedman, who was nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel. [7]

In May 2017, IfNotNow activists interrupted a speech by New York Times columnist Bret Stephens in a synagogue in San Francisco. Also during that month, IfNotNow activists protested Jerusalem Day and the March of the Flags outside of Damascus Gate in Israel. Several protesters were arrested by Israeli police. [8]

In June 2017, Israel celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent state. IfNotNow protested Celebrate Israel parades across the U.S. IfNotNow activists were kicked out of the National Museum of American Jewish History for setting up a pop-up exhibit criticizing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. [9]

In April 2018, IfNotNow joined with pro-BDS group Jewish Voice for Peace in protesting the annual gala dinner for Birthright, an organization that sponsors an trips for Jewish young people to Israel. [10]

In February 2019, IfNotNow members demonstrated a speech by a former Israeli soldier at the University of Texas Chabad Jewish Center. A rabbi also alleged that protesters took pictures of people entering the building and tried to block people from going inside. [11]

In April 2019, IfNotNow led a march on the New York City headquarters of Birthright, demanding that it teach about alleged Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians. It claimed the march showed a generational divide among American Jews over Israel. [12]

In April 2019, IfNotNow called on college Hillel chapters to sever ties with Birthright. It accused Birthright of neglecting to build ties with Palestinians. It also accused Birthright of promoting the Israeli military by encouraging participants to spend time with Israeli soldiers. [13]

In June 2019, the DC Dyke March, which included members of IfNotNow in its leadership, banned U.S. and Israeli flags as “nationalist symbols.” It also banned flying LGBT rainbow flags showing the Star of David. [14]

Advocacy

Despite its claim to represent the American Jewish community, INN has been critical of other American Jewish organizations that have publicly supported the Israeli government. They have openly spoken against Jewish community organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, American Jewish Committee, and the Republican Jewish Coalition. [15]

INN supports controversial U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). INN claimed Tlaib “has been one of the clearest allies of the Jewish people.” [16] INN was also a participant in the #StandwithIlhan campaign. [17]

Stance on Israel

IfNotNow has been criticized by even some on the Israeli left for being silent on whether or not Israel should have the right to exist. The organization does not take a formal stance on whether Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state. [18]

IfNotNow has claimed to be an “American Jewish establishment,” but its protests have often focused on antagonizing other Jewish organizations. INN refuses to meet with other Jewish organizations to discuss the issues of the West Bank occupation. [19]

Leadership

IfNotNow’s founders and leaders are Yonah Lieberman, Kara Segal, Max Berger, and Simone Zimmerman. Zimmerman worked for the 2016 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders fired Zimmerman after a profanity-laced Facebook post criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to light. [20]

Funding

In 2015, IfNotNow’s income was $145,656 and it spent $105,944. [21]

In 2017, it received a $20,000 grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which has funded BDS-supporting groups like Jewish Voice for Peace. [22]

In 2018, it received an undisclosed grant from the Foundation for Middle East Peace. [23]

References

  1. Kredo, Adam. “ADL Pursuit of a Meeting With INN Proves Fruitless.” Washington Free Beacon. April 26, 2016. Accessed June 10, 2019. https://freebeacon.com/issues/adl-pursuit-meeting-anti-israel-activists-proves-fruitless/. ^
  2. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^
  3. Cohen, Debra. 2016. “Anti-Occupation Jewish Millennial Group ‘If Not Now’ Picks Up Steam In U.S.”. Haaretz. https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-protest-not-dialogue-to-end-the-occupation-1.5377976. ^
  4. Bloch, Becca. 2018. “#Antioccupationdelegation Blog Post Day 3: The Beating Heart Of The Occupation”. Medium. https://medium.com/ifnotnoworg/the-octopus-is-one-of-the-smartest-animals-in-the-sea-94c3820f79d0. ^
  5. Sales, Ben. 2019. “The Controversy Over The DC Dyke March, Jewish Stars And Israel, Explained”. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. https://www.jta.org/2019/06/07/united-states/the-controversy-over-the-dc-dyke-march-jewish-stars-and-israel-explained/amp#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s. ^
  6. “About Us”. 2019. Ifnotnow. Accessed June 10. http://ifnotnowmovement.org/about-us/. ^
  7. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^
  8. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^
  9. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^
  10. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^
  11. Oster, Marcy. 2019. “Ifnotnow Protests Outside Chabad On Shabbat Over Visiting IDF Veteran”. The Forward. https://forward.com/fast-forward/419882/ifnotnow-protests-outside-chabad-on-shabbat-over-visiting-idf-veteran/. ^
  12. Brennan, David. 2019. “”Birthright’s Last Chance”: Progressive Jews March On Pro-Israel Cultural Body’s NY Headquarters”. Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/birthright-ifnotnow-new-york-protest-israel-palestine-jewish-american-anti-1387129. ^
  13. Munce, Megan. 2019. “Movement Opposing Israeli Occupation Targets College Jewish Groups”. The Daily Northwestern. https://dailynorthwestern.com/2019/05/01/campus/ifnotnow-movement-calls-on-college-hillel-chapters-to-end-ties-to-birthright-israel/. ^
  14. Sales, Ben. 2019. “The Controversy Over The DC Dyke March, Jewish Stars And Israel, Explained”. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. https://www.jta.org/2019/06/07/united-states/the-controversy-over-the-dc-dyke-march-jewish-stars-and-israel-explained/amp#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s. ^
  15. IfNotNow. “Over the Past Ten Years, While the White Nationalist Movement Has Grown Stronger, American Jewish Establishment Groups like AIPAC, AJC, and RJC Have Been Enacting an Intentional Strategy of Distraction.” Twitter. Twitter, May 1, 2019. https://twitter.com/IfNotNowOrg/status/1123641824101437441. ^
  16. IfNotNow. “Meanwhile @RashidaTlaib Has Been One of the Clearest Allies of the Jewish People, in Fighting Back against the Rise of White Nationalism. She Knows That the Same People Who Hate Muslims Hate Jews – and the Only Way for All of Us to Be Safe Is by Acting against the Threat Together.” Twitter. Twitter, August 20, 2019. https://twitter.com/IfNotNowOrg/status/1163860363022131201. ^
  17. IfNotNow . “From:Ifnotnoworg #Standwithilhan – Twitter Search.” Twitter. Twitter, February 12, 2019. https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Aifnotnoworg%20%23standwithilhan&src=typed_query#standwithilhan&src=typd. ^
  18. Yoffie, Eric. 2016. “Ifnotnow Is So Noisy About The Occupation. Why Is It So Quiet About Israel’s Right To Exist?”. Haaretz. https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-ifnotnow-noisy-on-the-occupation-quiet-on-israel-s-right-to-exist-1.6016574. ^
  19. Cohen, Debra Nussbaum, Itamar Katzir3, Ruth Schuster1, Ofer Aderetyesterday, Haaretz Weeklyyesterday, Chemi Shalev11, Amos Harelyesterday, Amos Harelyesterday, and Meirav. “Anti-Occupation Jewish Millennial Group ‘If Not Now’ Picks up Steam in U.S.” haaretz.com, April 24, 2018. https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-protest-not-dialogue-to-end-the-occupation-1.5377976. ^
  20. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^
  21. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^
  22. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^
  23. “Ifnotnow”. 2019. NGO Monitor. Accessed June 10. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/if-not-now/. ^

Associated Organizations

  1. Movement NetLab (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 2015

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    IfNotNow Movement

    PO BOX 26425
    WASHINGTON, DC 20001-0425