Jewish Groups Back ISB's 'Day in Court'

March 13, 2007

Author: Kristin Erekson

Source: The Jewish Advocate

Three Jewish groups are aligning themselves with the Islamic Society of Boston, leaving leaders of the local organized Jewish community hesitant to speak about the implications of this rift.

Jewish Voice for Peace, Tekiah and the Boston Tikkun Community signed a joint amicus curiae - a “friend of the court” brief - on Feb. 26 that supports the ISB’s right to bring a defamation and civil rights lawsuit against The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership and other parties, which claim that the Muslim society allegedly has ties to terrorism.

The ISB is building a mosque and cultural center in Roxbury, but funding for the project has been stalled due to the lack of funds allegedly relating to the controversy surrounding the case.

Alice Rothchild, co-chair for Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that does not explicitly support a Jewish state at the exclusion of Palestinians, said it decided to back the ISB’s “right to have its day in court” after reviewing the case with Howard Cooper, the society’s attorney. Rothchild noted it was important for Jews to stand with the ISB, even though doing so has caused an apparent divide within the Jewish community.

“The David Project is on the far right and a whole bunch of people are not with them,” Rothchild added. “We felt particularly as Jews, who have a history of discrimination and anti-Semitism, we should be very sensitive to this situation.”