International Action Center & ANSWER: An ADL Backgrounder
Posted: January 5, 2009
Updated: July 8, 2011
Under the guise of an anti-imperialist and anti-war agenda, the Far-Left International Action Center (IAC) and its affiliate, the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, have been at the forefront of injecting anti-Israel fervor and support for terrorism into the anti-war movement.
Founded in 1992 by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, IAC regularly organizes protests against capitalism and what it perceives to be American imperialism, including policies related to the economy, immigration issues and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ANSWER, its anti-war spinoff which was founded in 2001, has a narrower agenda and focuses on "campaigning against U.S. intervention" in foreign countries.
IAC and ANSWER's ideology is strongly rooted in the Workers World Party, a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party founded in the 1950s on the principle that only socialism will end "exploitation, racism and war." Both IAC and ANSWER organize many anti-war rallies around the country and they have become a galvanizing force behind the anti-war movement, leading the way in expressing opposition to the United States' wars abroad.
Along the way, they have consistently sought to link the Palestinian cause with other "anti-colonialist" and "anti-occupation" initiatives. ANSWER signs at anti-war rallies often read, "Occupation is a Crime: Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine." By equating the United States' wars abroad to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ANSWER has sought to put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the anti-war movement's agenda, and has, to some extent, succeeded in making the conflict a core issue for the anti-war left.
In addition to its anti-war activity, IAC and ANSWER have sponsored and organized numerous anti-Israel events, rallies and demonstrations in the United States. ANSWER in particular has positioned itself as the leading organizer of the large rallies against Israel that usually take place during periods of heightened tension, including the Gaza War in the winter of 2008-2009 and the summer 2006 war in Lebanon. These protests, often co-sponsored by other anti-Israel organizations, regularly featured anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, expressions of support for terror and offensive Holocaust imagery likening Jews and Israelis to Nazis.
ANSWER and IAC have both repeatedly expressed support for terrorist groups determined to dismantle the state of Israel, including Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as "resistance" groups fighting U.S. forces abroad. Hamas and Hezbollah flags and signs expressing solidarity with these groups are often on display at ANSWER and IAC-organized anti-Israel rallies. IAC representatives have also attended conferences in the Middle East with Hamas and Hezbollah representatives to discuss strategies for shoring up support for these groups.