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New York, NY, October 22 – Human rights advocates today added to revelations reported in The Jewish Daily Forward this week about the new Hollywood entertainment industry group Creative Community for Peace (CCFP). CCFP campaigns against a cultural boycott of Israel, and claims to oppose the politicization of art. But The Forward revealed this week that CCFP, not itself a nonprofit, operates under the aegis of the long-established US nonprofit StandWithUs (SWU) which is “widely perceived as being on the far right of the pro-Israel spectrum.” The Forward also shows that CCFP shares some of SWU's right-wing positions, though CCFP espouses goals of “peace” and “freedom of expression.” SWU, legally registered under the name Israel Emergency Alliance (IEA), regularly boasts of its endorsement by and support to the Israeli government.
CCFP’s cofounder, music executive David Renzer, tried to distance the group from SWU, telling The Forward that CCFP has “always operated independently” of SWU, and asserting, “there is no day-to-day relationship” with SWU. But according to Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, David Renzer is married to the cofounder and president of SWU Esther Renzer; another CCFP co-founder, Ran Geffen-Lifshitz, is on the board of StandWithUs Israel; CCFP’s Director Lana Melman appears to be based in the long-established SWU office in LA as she can be reached by phone via the SWU switchboard there; and CCFP and SWU held a strategizing session together with Israeli government officials to shape CCFP’s activities. Still, SWU and CCFP have gone to lengths to camouflage their interrelationship, even quietly registering StandWithUs and Creative Community for Peace with the LA County Clerk in 2010 as “fictitious business names” for the registered nonprofit Israel Emergency Alliance (Scanned file available on request).