Documents Prove “Creative Community for Peace” is Front for Right-Wing Israel Lobby Group “StandWithUs”

29 Sep
5:44 PM

by  Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

Support is growing for the Palestinian civil society call for a boycott to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian human rights.

Artists such as Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Tunde Adebimpe, Peter Gabriel, Lauryn Hill, Talib Kweli, and Mark Ruffalo are taking courageous public stands for freedom, justice and equality, and refusing to cross our nonviolent boycott picket line. Israel’s repressive, right-wing government and its allies are desperately attempting to repress support for Palestinian rights.

As part of those attempts, a group called “Creative Community for Peace” (CCFP) is lobbying artists to perform in Israel. CCFP claims to be an entertainment industry organization advocating for artistic freedom and building bridges.

But CCFP carefully hides from artists that it is actually a front group for StandWithUs (SWU), a long-established right-wing, anti-Palestinian, pro-Israeli settler lobby group with long-time ties to Israel’s far-right government.

Registration and tax documents show that StandWithUs and Creative Community for Peace are simply alternate names for a single IRS-registered non-profit, “Israel Emergency Alliance.” CCFP staff works from StandWithUs’ longstanding LA office, and SWU manages many CCFP functions. CCFP and SWU founders and board leaders, David and Esther Renzer, are married.

Examples of SWU and CCFP‘s history of partnership with the Israeli government include convening an organizing meeting with Israeli government officials and music industry executives, and producing a pro-settler video series with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. SWU even announced they were awarded a grant from Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office.

SWU and CCFP also regularly echo the Israeli government’s racist positions, dehumanizing all Palestinians. CCFP never speaks out against Israel’s growing repression of both Palestinian and Jewish Israeli cultural workers who are critical of the State.

CCFP is no supporter of racial and social justice. A key SWU partner is Christians United for Israel (CUFI), headed by the homophobic, racist and sexist pastor John Hagee. In a confidential, leaked 2018 report, CCFP depicted movements for social justice as a dire threat to Israel. It claimed that support for intersectionality – which attempts to identify how interlocking systems of power impact those who are most marginalized – is allowing Palestinian rights groups, to “hijack other political movements, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and feminist groups in particular.”

In their confidential report, CCFP did accurately characterize the boycott movement as “constantly growing and changing, developing new and innovative tactics to reach artists.”

Artists who support justice for all and oppose racism in all forms should be aware of CCFP’s deception and steer clear of its lobbying agenda.

At BDS official: Boycott InDnegev Festival 2019

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Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and continues into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.

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