In the course of its long career, the Alliance has not always been immune from controversy. In the eyes of antisemites, it became the embodiment of the Jewish international "octopus" strangling civilization. The nefarious myth of the *Elders of Zion crystallized around a falsified image of the Alliance. It was criticized for being too French and not sufficiently universal. Much criticism was directed after World War I against Sylvain Lévi who took a sharp anti-Zionist stand on behalf of the Alliance at the Versailles peace conference. In 1945, however, the Alliance took up a pro-Zionist stand.