The Nashville Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Committee (CRC) has invited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) co-founder Joseph Levin (pictured) to speak at a community event on May 23rd. The CRC’s Director would not provide a written description of Levin’s talk advertised as Then and Now: Hate in the Mainstream, but based on Levin’s previous presentations, it is reasonable to expect that he will continue to target President Trump conservative groups and other Tennessee-based organizations.
Levin didn’t wait long after the 2016 election to start marketing a new narrative for SPLC alleged hate-based fundraising. Having attacked the religious underpinnings of Christian conservative organizations like The Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and The Alliance Defending Freedom, to name a few, and distorted protected political speech of other conservative groups so as to grow the hate lists, Levin realized that combining the election of Trump and the rage of Clinton losers could be the next cash cow for the SPLC.
Speaking at a church near New York City, Levin blamed the election of Trump and the President himself for the re-emergence of white nationalist groups and demonstrations like the one in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. True to form, Levin perpetuated the false narrative that Trump failed to condemn the group, saying, “Trump validated radicals.”
This past February, Levin made the same pitch to students at Stockton University in New Jersey since “college campuses are prime recruiting grounds [for hate groups] because college students are open to different perspectives:”
He said social media can help identify hate groups, but it also helps them recruit and grow. In response to a question he said a hate group is not defined by race, and that opinions alone do not define hate groups unless they use lies to justify their views or actions.
As to hate groups on college campuses, the SPLC has been called out for its double standard – refusing to include the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) organizations spread across U.S. college campuses. According to a study of over 100 campuses released by the AMCHA Initiative, colleges with the largest population of Jewish students experienced a 45% increase of anti-semitic incidents on their campuses in the first half of 2016. The study noted that, “the presence of one or more active anti-Zionist student groups such as SJP was strongly associated with the occurrence of overall antisemitic activity generally, and with incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm in particular.”
Same for Black Lives Matter (BLM) which SPLC says is not a hate group unlike the New Black Panther Party which is because of its” anti-Semitic and anti-white tirades”:
Generally speaking, hate groups are, by our definition, those that vilify entire groups of people based on immutable characteristics such as race or ethnicity.
And what of BLM’s full-throated endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign which attacks Zionism and seeks to demonize, delegitimize and eliminate the State of Israel? Even the liberal Huffington Post admits the connection between BDS, hate and anti-semitism – “[l]et’s start with the evidence, which shows that anti-Semitism spikes when BDS strikes.”
BLM co-founder Cullors signed onto a 2015 statement proclaiming solidarity with Palestinians and calling on black institutions to support the BDS campaign and the BLM organization has aligned itself with the anti-Zionist Dream Defenders and long-standing vocal Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan.
Morton Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America, the oldest pro-Israel organization in the U.S., expressed concern about a mainstream Jewish organization like the Nashville Jewish Federation and its Community Relations Committee hosting the SPLC. “Sponsoring the SPLC does a disservice to the Jewish community by bringing in a group which ignored or minimizes the greatest anti-Semitic threats to Jews, namely, radical Islam and the far left wing groups” Klein told The Star.
As to SPLC’s claim that President Trump is responsible for the alleged rise in hate speech and hate groups that is expected to anchor Levin’s talk in Nashville, Klein has his own message for the Jewish community:
The ZOA witnessed that the dramatic increase of hate speech against Jews occurred during President Obama’s tenure and as a result of former Obama’s anti-Israel, pro-Islamist, pro-Iran-regime policies.
SPLC’s Levin will speak at the Gordon Jewish Community Center on May 23rd at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the community.