Elan Carr calls J Street annexation tweet antisemitic, sparking argument

The US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism called the J Street's tweet on annexation antisemetic, and the Simon Weisenthal Center along with a JTA reporter jumped in.

U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism, Elan Carr (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism, Elan Carr
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Elan Carr, sparked a heated online argument among renowned global Jewish community contributors when he called out a tweet posted by J Street, a liberal Jewish Middle East lobbying group. 
The tweet used an image of US President Donald Trump, his son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and fprmer US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and was captioned "Stop Annexation." Under its call to action, the organization wrote "tell the US Senate: US tax payers should not foot the bill for West Bank annexation."
The tweet references Trump's Middle East peace plan, which allows Israel to to annex up to 30% of the West Bank. 
 
Following J Street's July 7 tweet, Carr denounced the image the next day, stating in his own post.
“How dare @jstreetdotorg use this picture in this context. Their imagery uses #Antisemitism and crude anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to advance their agenda. They should withdraw this and apologize to @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and to #Jewish Americans who serve our great country,” Carr tweeted.
 
In response, J Street accused Carr of lobbying "a bad faith attack."
"This is a photo of some of the primary contributors to Trump’s disastrous annexation plan,” the Jewish group wrote. “Please do your job & combat actual anti-Semitic bigotry instead of launching transparently partisan attacks against critics of your boss’ Mideast policies," the organization added.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), a Jewish global human rights organization known for confronting antisemitism, jumped into defend Carr, tweeting, “SWC agrees with US Special Envoy on Anti-Semitism Carr proposed annexation in West Bank should generate robust debate. However this photo implies Jewish control over US policy, a trope deployed by anti-Semites. Urge @jstreetdotorg to remove image.”
While the SWC sided with Carr, Jewish Telegraphic Agency reporter and Washington bureau chief Ron Kampeas sided with J Street, stating that in his opinion the photo is not antisemitic. 
“If a group supporting annexation used this illustration of Trump recognizing annexation (here, of Golan [Heights]) to praise him, I don’t think @USEAntiSemitism would call it anti-Semitic,” Kampeas argued. “So the ‘anti-Semitism’ here per Carr appears to be J St *opposing* annexation.”
A similar response was posted below the J Street tweet by Ilan Goldberg, senior fellow and director of the Middle East Security program at the Center for New American Security. He said that, “criticism of Trump & Netanyahu is not antisemitism.”
On July 4, just days before the tweet was posted online, a group of 13 Senate Democrats filed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit Israel from using US security assistance funds for the annexation of parts of the West Bank. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) spearheaded the amendment, joined by senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), among others.
On July 9, J Street announced that they were in favor of the Van Hollen Amendment in a joint statement issued by eight members of the Progressive Israel Network in opposition the Israel's annexation plan. 
According to J Street and the other seven organizations, the partial annexation plan "would violate international law and severely imperil Israel’s future as a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people.
This is why the organizations support "Senator Chris Van Hollen’s proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which stipulates that US security assistance to Israel cannot be used to implement unilateral annexation in the West Bank."
They then called for anyone who "values human rights and Israeli democracy, supports a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and wants to see an end to decades of occupation should agree that it would be unacceptable for US tax dollars to help foot the bill for an act as extreme and destructive as unilateral annexation," and further thanked "Senator Van Hollen and his colleagues for their strong leadership and clarity on this issue."

Omri Nahmias contributed to this report.