Who is the IfNotNow puppeteer?

This article seeks to answer the how and why some Jewish leaders rally their constituents to oppose the State of Israel and align themselves with anti-Semites.

IfNotNow protesting against AIPAC in 2017.

IfNotNow is no stranger to anti-Semites. In fact, they often collaborate and embrace them with open arms. At their Hannukah party this year Rashida Tlaib (D-MI 13th District) extended her warm wishes via video message for their support of her anti-occupation initiatives.

In the same way that Antifa claims by their name that they are anti-fascist while holding a core value that political violence is justified against those with whom they disagree, anti-Israel groups appropriate Jewish tropes into their names, mission statements, and strategies in order to distract from their lack of Jewishness.

  • Observe the root of the name IfNotNow. It comes from an ancient Jewish scholar named Hillel who famously said, “If I am not for myself who will be for me? If not now, when?”
  • Observe: The secret behind J Street’s success is their religious clergy who attend the annual conference at no cost, and are shepherded into speaking about the ‘occupation’ to their congregants and local politicians.
  • Observe: The worst of the offenders, Jewish Voice for Peace, has a tradition to say Kaddish, a prayer for the elevation of departed Jewish souls, for Hamas terrorists killed in Gaza. Rather than celebrating the death of evil as the Jews had done when they were liberated from the Egyptians, these groups lament their demise.

The religious undertones allow the heresy and self-hatred to settle into the Jewish spiritual consciousness without raising alarm. In order to show you how these groups manipulate, check out this email Elias Newman of IfNotNow recently sent to donors.

What does an IfNotNow Hannukah look like? Well, there’s latkes, dreidels, and progressive Congresswomen like Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley.

For the next 8 days, we’re celebrating the joyous and liberated Jewish community while shedding light on the need to #DefundOccupation. And our partners in Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, are joining us.

This movement we’ve built and its accomplishments are miracles worth celebrating… right now is one of the darkest times for the American Jewish community. Just these past few weeks, news of antisemitism in America has barraged our lives.

Now more than ever, we need light in our lives.

When the Maccabees needed light, they had oil — we have a movement: we bring light to the obscured injustices of the occupation; we light the flames of hope for change in our community and our world; our logo is literally a burning bush meant to light the way towards our community’s liberation.

  • Notice: From the first sentence Newman mentions Judaism to invoke support for the anti-Israel members of the Democrat Party.
  • Notice: The harangue of Jewish elements sprinkled throughout the email with little coherence or relevance to what is being asked from the recipients –– support these politicians, give us money, resist the Trump agenda.
  • Notice: The familiar –– Jewish holidays, symbolism from Exodus, latkets, etc. are invoked along with the unfamiliar –– Rashida Tlaib. Without broaching who Tlaib is and the controversy surrounding her, she clearly has nothing to do with Judaism of the Millenia. Forging these elements together, however haphazardly it seems upon dissection, this is how IfNotNow is able to solicit donations from the Jewish spiritual conscience.

Indeed, anti-Israel groups cleave to the perception of being Jewish not because they value it but because it’s a strategy that works. Invoking the Torah, Hannukah, and in some cases, the costume of a rabbi, allows the monster pill to go down easy. If same would be brought to light, the groups would not only lose the public’s support, but also their pockets.

We don’t need to ascribe malicious intentions to the mainstream media for their hyper-focus on anti-Jewish-Jewish groups. It is simply fascinating to the American public how little these Jews seem to care for their own interests. While Jews of the anti-Israel persuasion believe they are receiving admiration, and the attention appears to validate that illusion, these Jews are actually being used as mouth-mules and entertainment.

As I have previously mentioned, there is a particular sickness that plagues the Jewish community. When logic and reason are so hotly avoided by these groups, another motive becomes apparent. I call it the “please, don’t kill me” motive. How do powerless victims of abuse handle rage from their aggressor? They cower, concede, they adapt themselves to the circumstances. Now, imagine that occurring over thousands of years. Essentially, they became beggars for gentile approval and acceptance. They believe the gentile controls their fate, not God. That is the plague that afflicts Jewish leftists from the extreme to the moderate. It’s a cloud of hopelessness and faithlessness.

In the case of those who are referred to as a self-hating Jew or kapos, we see that in nature like attracts like. The ideological parallel of hatred and self-hatred complement one another. Deep in their Jungian shadow, far-left assimilationist leaders refuse to see themselves as stuck in a master-slave dynamic.

If I still have your attention, please observe the following idea raised by Franz Fannon in Black Skin, White Masks. (If you’re not into philosphy, skip the bullet points to “Essentially…”)

  • Franz Fannon famously used the Hegelian idea of the master-slave dynamic to raise a question on what it means to be a black man following hundreds of years of racism, hatred, and slavery.
  • According to Fannon, everything the black man became was guided by the white man. In this sense, he lost his identity and can never know whether he does things because it is his will and idea, or if it is so because of how he was shaped by the white man. In this sense Fannon believed the black identity was infiltrated by its former master, i.e. the slave-owners / oppressors.
  • Fannon made a parallel of the black experience (being trapped in a master-slave dynamic) with the experience of the Jew and the anti-Semite.
  • Fannon quoted Satre as saying, “[The Jews] have allowed themselves to be poisoned by the stereotype that others have of them, and they live in fear that their acts will correspond to this stereotype… We may say that their conduct is perpetually overdetermined from the inside.”

Essentially, from a philosophical perspective, behind the scenes at IfNotNow and similar groups is the internalization of thousands of years of hatred. I’ll say that again. Anti-Semites of the old are the puppeteers behind parts of our Israel discourse. This is what I mean when I say these groups are not Jewish.

This mentality does not only apply to groups such as IfNotNow. There are other more moderate figures who go unnoticed. They’re tactful, they hide in plain sight. They write columns in the Washington Post, they are hosted by Dems and at left-wing conferences, and they run an organization that manages thousands of conservative and reform rabbis nationwide. Yes, I am talking about Rabbi Jill Jacobs.

Jacobs, for example, gives torah classes that blames Jews for spikes in anti-Semitism. She holds this illogical idea that Jews, provided they align themselves with the working class, can avoid persecution. At the 2018 J Street conference she said that Jews in Egypt aligned themselves with Pharaoh (i.e. power) instead of the Egyptian people. When pharaoh then decided to enslave the Jews, Egyptians did nothing about it because Jews made the misstep of not allying themselves with them.

But of course! If only there had been a faithless rabbi guru to teach marxism to the ancient Israelites years ago. Her rhetoric, which for our purposes we we will call Jacobsism (not Judaism) is paralleled with Y.L. Gordon’s poem “Awake My People.”

The poem, written during the Haskalah (the Jewish enlightenment), was one of the greatest fails of Jewish history. Gordon, who undoubtedly rolls in his grave over his pre-Holocaust words, encouraged Jews to abandon their distinctiveness, their traditions, and their shtetls in order to become an enlightened gentile.

This land of Eden is now open to you
Its sons now call you “brothers.”
How long will you dwell among them as a guest
Why do you reject their hand?
They have already removed the burden from your back
And lifted the yoke from around your neck
They have erased from their hearts hatred and folly
They stretch out their hands to you in peace.
So raise your head high, stand up straight
Look at them with loving eyes,
Open your hearts to wisdom and reason
Become an enlightened nation, speaking their tongue.

(lines 21-32)
Y.L. Gordon, Awake My People. 1863.

He ended by saying to his fellow European Jews, “Recognize your time and place.” Less than a half century later, the Kishnev Progrom of 1903 shell-shocked Jews from believing they could ever be seen as anything but Jews. Less than a half century after that, we learned from the Holocaust that evil is a bottomless pit.

It takes a particular type of person to betray his or her nation. This article focused on who these people are, how they work, and why. I will end by raising a question that is beyond the scope of this piece. Where is their gelt coming from? I’ll circle back to that later on. In the meantime, what do you think is the reason Jews fall back on their support of Israel and align themselves with anti-Semitism?


  1. The larger question, I think, is why so many people have abandoned rational thought in favor of narratives, conspiracy theories, emotional appeals and classic in-group bias. The anti-israel sentiment seen in the far left is frankly dwarfed by the extreme nuttery manifesting on the American right. Unlike leftist “anti-Zionism” of today, American conservatives have been creating facts out of thin air for decades, consider all the nonsense about how many people the Clintons have supposedly killed, the denial of human caused climate change, and McCarthyism. More recently we have seen a resurgence of racism expressed as crazy CTs like Michelle Obama is actually a man or PBO staging NWO troops at Wal-Marts around the country to take away peoples guns.

    A big part of the problem with leftist Antisemitism is that a lack historical knowledge has led some well meaning people to adopt positions based on poor to no understanding of the Arab/Israeli conflict and recent history in general. The Palestinians and their supporters have done an excellent job rewriting history and framing Israel as a construct of western colonialism/imperialism. Obviously there is a large contingent of leftists who are just Antisemites because the hate Jews and Israel for whatever reason, but I think some are just confused follower types. Israel supporters need to redouble our efforts to better explain Zionism and rights of Jews to live in our ancestral homelands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Morris, thank you for sharing your perspective. I think irrationality is a human nature problem. It takes work to achieve rational thought. When a person, who can be found on either side of the political spectrum, allows his thoughts to return to their natural state of entropy, that is when he begins to lose his reason. At that point he is vulnerable to conspiracy theories, emotional appeals, and groupthink.


  2. These Jewish activists do not hate themselves – they hate the idea that they are part of Jewish Tribe, which seems not popular. So they believe that by rubbishing their own tribe, the antisemitic club will accept them as “part of their own” – the Jewish history proves the opposite, these poor hypocrites are disrespected by the antisemitic club and by their own tribe. The Soviet Communists executed their Jewish (Yevsektsia) “comrades” a few years after they stopped using them. Same about UK Labour and other chapters in Jewish history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow I didn’t know that occurred in the Soviet Union. That’s very interesting.

      I will just add this quote from Dr. Michael Laitman who seems to agree with you on that. He said the following:

      “Anyone from the nations of the world can become a Jew. A 100% jew. Whereas a Jew can never become a Frenchman, or a German, or anyone else. He will always remain a Jew. And therefore the hate towards the situation that he cannot be in control of, where he can’t choose freely who he is –– all other nations can but he can’t –– and this destroys him. It makes him hate Israel, the essence of the people of Israel. It’s something that he cannot explain to himself but he is willing to work at it in the most aggressive way. And what we see is all these organizations are filled with Jews. The biggest anti-Semites are Jews because they can’t get rid of their Judaism. They can’t break free of it. They can’t be a Frenchman, a German or anyone. They can’t. They remain Jewish. And therefore, they hate to the death their Jewish spiritual root. They hate it in an eternal and spiritual way.”

      Source: https://youtu.be/0Uo2kgQG-_Y


  3. “align with the working class” isn’t synonymous with “Marxism”.

    Integrating with the communities that surround us is just humane, diplomatic, and humble. Caring about all peoples, not just Jews, isn’t synonymous with self-hatred.

    Your comments sure sound elitist.


  4. It seems you’re stating the any criticism of Israel by Jews is “turning your back against your people”.

    It’s an extremist position. No country is above criticism.


  5. Your comments about Tlaib are of the “it’s obvious” type.

    Instead of articulating proof that Tlaib is anti-Semitic (which she may well be), you simply invoke her name, because “it’s obvious” she’s anti-Semitic.

    You assume your reader naturally understands this. So, your piece isn’t going to persuade anyone who doesn’t already agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Hannah, I am very impressed with your writings and observations. I am posting this blog on the Israel Advocacy page on FaceBook (fully credited). I recently posted an essay on the great Maimonides who in the 12th Century eerily wrote about this same strange predilection of Jews to deny Islamic hatred which he predicts will hasten the destruction of the Jews. If you have not read this, I think you will find it interesting. Here is the link to Maimonides and the “Meshugga” Prophet https://www.andrewbostom.org/2007/12/maimonides-and-the-meshugga-prophet/?fbclid=IwAR3wYQQIEd8tzYdX22r95YMbaJYQJ3oha9JJx8hAy2IbX-Q5OPyfufZa-M0

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this piece. Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism is a staple in my library!

      There are so many things I love about the Rambam’s writings that you included: Psalm 120 is one of my favorites. I highly recommend reading it in full. The lessons of the peace process teach us (negotiations were followed by terrorism) that David was correct. Words can be seen as weakness.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think the late Abba Eban, in My Country, very aptly encapsulated the challenge and paradox of Jewish existence: “The tension between national particularity and broad universal vision runs through the whole of Jewish history. Israel’s task is not to ensure the total eclipse of one by the other, but to bring them together in creative alliance”.
    Rabbi Avraham Hacohen Kook taught that Yehudah and Yossef, respectively, paradigmatically represented these countervailing polarities. But we must not forget that Yossef, the “socialist” and polyglot universalist viceroy of Egypt, never failed to identify himself as a “Hebrew”and that he made his brothers pledge to bring back his bones to Eretz Israel. His Israelite identity was never in doubt. The symbiosis, to be authentically Jewish, can only come to full fruition in Israel. Jewish Americans can go on debating as long as they wish but they will contribute very little, if anything, to the ultimate fate of genuine collective Jewish existence, the which can only have veritable meaning -today and into the future – in Israel.
    The antisemitism that is rearing its ugly head again – in America and elsewhere – has a silver lining: it will bring more and more Jews to realize that they cannot escape their identity, no matter what they think or say about “Palestine”. Ultimately, they will, and must, become Israeli once again. That, I believe, is our collective destiny.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This article makes the common mistake of presuming that Ayanna Pressley is anti-Israel, like Omar and Tlaib. She is NOT. Ayanna Pressley is pro-Israel, but is commonly falsely linked to the anti-Israel positions of the other members of the so-called Squad.


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