(PresidentialWire.com)- A well-known environmentalist group is changing course after receiving backlash for caving to a pressure campaign launched by left-wing groups.
The Sierra Club had not long ago decided to cancel planning trips it had to Israel. But after receiving the intense backlash for that decision, the environmentalist group quickly changed course
Officials with the group said they had never officially canceled the trips to Israel. Then, they reiterated that trips to Israel would return on the group’s schedule for the remainder of the year.
In a statement, the Sierra Club’s executive director, Dan Chu, said:
“The Sierra Club hastily made a decision, without consulting a robust set of stakeholders, to postpone two planned outings to Israel. We intend to update our schedule soon to offer new outings to Israel later this year.”
The club had originally set up recreational conservation trips over to Israel. However, they announced abruptly last week that they would be cancelling those trips, apparently giving in to an anti-Israel campaign.
Groups that are tied to left-wing extremists such as the Sunrise Movement, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Jewish Voice for Peace all accused the Sierra Club of “providing legitimacy to the Israeli state, which is engaged in apartheid against the Palestinian people.”
They even said they would “go public” if the environmentalist club didn’t cancel their planned trips to Israel immediately.
In his statement, Chu claimed the Sierra Club had only “postponed” those planned trips to Israel. However, in mass emails the group sent out, they made it very clear that they would be cancelling the trips so they complied with the demands of the left-wing groups.
The Jewish News of Northern California further reported that Chu appointed a special group whose job it was to address the ultimatum from the activist groups. Then, after they presented their findings, Chu agreed with what they recommended, which was to cancel the trips to Israel.
But, once the backlash came out after the trips’ cancellation, Chu tried to step back and distance his organization from any sentiments of anti-Semitism. The groups that called for the trips to be cancelled have all been accused of using anti-Semitism in their activism campaigns in the past.
For example, last October, the Sunrise Movement decided to back out of a planned rally because two Jewish pro-Israel groups were going to participate. The hypocritical thing about that was the Sunrise Movement apparently had no objection to other pro-Israel groups participating in the same rally — because they weren’t specifically termed as Jewish groups.
In trying to separate the Sierra Club from those accusations, Chu said in his statement:
“We have and always will continue to loudly condemn anti-Semitism and any and all acts of hate. We are committed to working more intentionally, thoroughly and thoughtfully so we can prevent this from happening again.”
While the Sierra Club would certainly be labeled as a liberal-leaning group, they apparently aren’t as far-left as the Sunrise Movement and the other groups calling for them to cancel their trips to Israel.