SWC Calls Sierra Club's Decision to Restore Nature Trips to Israel "The right thing to do"

March 15, 2022

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed appreciation to the Sierra Club for quickly reversing its “ill-informed, ill-timed” decision to cancel scheduled nature trips to Israel after receiving pressure from pro-BDS and anti-Zionist groups. The Wiesenthal Center called on its members to contact their local Sierra Club and protest this decision.

Sierra Club VP Ross Macfarlane phoned Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean and director of global social action to apologize for sudden cancellations of Sierra Club trips to Israel and to reassure that they will continue in the future.

“We appreciate that the Sierra Club acted quickly to reverse the announced cancellations of trips to Israel which placed the famed American conservation organization directly into the crosshairs of BDS, anti-Israel, and anti-peace zealots,” said Cooper.

“The Jewish community needs to awaken to the fact that extremist anti-Israel and anti-Semitic organizations will continue to try to insert their anti-peace poison pill into the mainstream of American corporate culture as they have already done on American campuses.”

The decision by Sierra Club to reverse its decision to cancel trips to Israel comes following a strongly worded March 14 letter from Rabbi Cooper to Sierra Club Acting Executive Director Dan Chu which accused the 60-year-old national environmental group of morphing into “an anti-Semitic polluter by caving to extremist anti-peace groups who seek to demonize, delegitimize, and eliminate the democratic Jewish State.”

Cooper noted the hypocrisy of the Sierra Club continuing its upcoming trips to China “whose regime is guilty of genocide against the Uighur minority, destroys Christian Churches and crushed the people of Hong Kong.”

“Sierra Club’s reversal is a positive step showing they heard the truth and chose to restore trips to Israel to explore the country’s biodiversity, bird migrations, desert landscape, and ancient ruins,” Center officials added.

For further information contact the Center’s Communications department at pressinquiries@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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