I am forwarding the email that my friend Dr. Max Grossman sent to Peter Stein and the festival board. It contains some very disturbing information about recent Bay Area activity of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), which is supported by all three of the organizations involved in the SFJFF "Rachel" event -- the Rachel Corrie Foundation, the Jewish Voice for Peace, and the American Friends Service Committee. Perhaps most disturbing of all is the YouTube video of anti-Israel activists descending on a Bay Area Trader Joe's, vandalizing the Israeli products there and harassing TJ's customers so that they, too, will join in the boycott of Israel. Make no mistake: these anti-Israel vandals and thugs are the same ones with whom the SFJFF is partnering to put on the "Rachel" event, and who will be filling the seats in the Castro Theater tomorrow, the Jewish Sabbath, and cheering for a movie and a speaker that encourage the destruction of the Jewish State.
While Peter Stein and the Festival board bear the primary guilt for this abomination, the leaders of the San Francisco Federation, which is a key supporter of the festival, bear some culpability. If they wanted to, they could do what was right and ensure that this anti-Semitic event was excised from our Jewish film festival. Until now, they have refused to do so. Therefore they, too, are guilty of abdicating their responsibility as Jewish leaders, and failing the community they are charged with serving.
The film festival debacle indicates that there is clearly a crisis of leadership in our Jewish community. But if we do not hold our leaders accountable, then we are as culpable as they are.
Please contact the SF Federation President Jim Koshland (firstname.lastname@example.org). Let him know how angry you are that the Federation has not intervened to stop this event, and explain to him that Federation's inaction will undoubtedly result in a similar inaction on the part of outraged community members, when it comes time to donate to Federation.
Please be sure to copy your emails to the following:
email@example.com, James@jfed.org, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please, too, forward this email widely.