U.S. Anti-Semitism Envoy Calls J Street Annexation Image Anti-Semitic, J Street Accuses Envoy of ‘Bad Faith’

"Their imagery uses Antisemitism and crude anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to advance their agenda."
July 9, 2020
Elan Carr; Photo courtesy of Israel-American Council National Summit

Elan Carr, the United States Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, accused the progressive Jewish group J Street of posting an anti-Semitic image on Twitter regarding the issue of Israeli annexation of the West Bank.

The image, which was posted on July 7, is a photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, former U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, looking down at President Donald Trump. Kusher is Trump’s son-in-law. The photo contains the words “STOP ANNEXATION” in all capital letters.

“Tell the Senate: US taxpayers should not foot the bill for West Bank annexation,” the text of the photo states.


Carr denounced the image in a July 8 tweet, stating: “How dare @jstreetdotorg
use this picture in this context. Their imagery uses #Antisemitism and crude anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to advance their agenda. They should withdraw this and apologize to @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and to #Jewish Americans who serve our great country.”


J Street, a liberal Jewish Middle East Lobby, responded later in the day with a tweet accusing Carr of lobbing “a bad faith attack.”

“This is a photo of some of the primary contributors to Trump’s disastrous annexation plan,” the Jewish group wrote. “Please do your job & combat actual anti-Semitic bigotry instead of launching transparently partisan attacks against critics of your boss’ Mideast policies.”


The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) sided with Carr, tweeting: “SWC agrees with US Special Envoy on Anti-Semitism Carr proposed annexation in West Bank should generate robust debate. However this photo implies Jewish control over US policy, a trope deployed by anti-Semites. Urge @jstreetdotorg to remove image.”


Jewish Telegraphic Agency reporter Ron Kampeas, on the other hand, tweeted that he didn’t think the photo is anti-Semitic.

“If a group supporting annexation used this illustration of Trump recognizing annexation (here, of Golan [Heights]) to praise him, I don’t think @USEAntiSemitism would call it anti-Semitic,” Kampeas argued. “So the ‘anti-Semitism’ here per Carr appears to be J St *opposing* annexation.”


Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has proposed an amendment ensuring that U.S. funds wouldn’t go toward annexation. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) support the amendment; AIPAC has opposed it arguing, that it weakens “Israel’s defenses.”

In a comment below the J Street tweet, Ilan Goldberg, senior fellow and director of the Middle East Security program at the Center for New American Security, said that the photo is from a White House event and added that “Criticism of Trump & Netanyahu is not anti-Semitism.”

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