Cross- posted at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
The attention seeking group Jewish Voice for Peace must be glowing with pride. They've been noticed.
First NGO Monitor released a scathing indictment.
The strategy, as stated by JVP’s executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson, is to create “a wedge” within the American Jewish community to generate the impression of polarization over Israel. The tactic is to dilute support for Israel in the Jewish community, toward the goal of reducing or eliminating the United States government’s economic, military, and political support for Israel.
That was followed by a report from the venerable Anti-Defamation League stating:
The group’s positions on BDS, its willingness to partner with anti Israel organizations that deny Israel’s right to exist and legitimize terror, and its refusal to support a two state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, demonstrate JVP’s hardline stance.
In fact, JVP consistently co-sponsors rallies to oppose Israeli military policy that are marked by signs and slogans comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, demonizing Jews and voicing support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. JVP has never condemned or sought to distance itself from these messages. Indeed, JVP’s Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson recently gave an interview to American Free Press a conspiracy-oriented anti- Semitic newspaper.
|Jewish Voice for Peace embracing conspiracy theories at SF rally. Photo by Zombie|
The unbridled hypocrisy of Jewish Voice for Peace may very well be their most defining characteristic. Both the NGO Monitor and the ADL report highlight JVP's willingness to partner with some of the most extremist groups in the country. For all their "we are against the occupation" rhetoric, they have no trouble partnering with some of the most committed Israel-haters out there- groups that would not accept the existence of Israel within any
Just recently, in our own Bay area, JVP partnered with the Arab Resource Organizing Center for their Day of Rage against investment Giant Tiaa-Cref
|Arab Resource Organizing Center partnering with JVP |
In this announcement from the Arab Resource Organizing Center, a "Day of Divestment from Israel" is promoted, with "solidarity" groups JVP, Sabeel and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Carol Sanders of JVP is listed the contact person.
How extreme is AROC? At the recent fundraiser for their Youth Group AYO, geared toward young Arabs ages 14-22, they featured bumper stickers "Support the Intifada" - the uprising that left thousands of civilians dead on both sides of the conflict. Hardly the words of a peace group.
In spite of their grandiose self-serving proclamations regarding racism and anti-Semitism, the Los Angeles chapter of JVP promoted a May 17 event featuring the man who described the burning of synagogues as "a rational act", notorious anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon.
Hosting BDS summer camps, sponsoring rallies where "Zionist Scum your time has come
" is chanted, aiding and abetting those that would destroy Israel as the state of the Jewish people- all in a days work for Jewish Voice for Peace.
It's really difficult to comprehend the moral depths to which the anti-Israel movement in this country has sunk lately. It wasn't enough that supposedly "pro-peace" groups remained silent while Hamas ramped up its missile attacks on Israel, knowing that it would provoke an Israeli response to defend its citizens, and then condemned Israel for taking action. That's pretty much to be expected. It wasn't even a surprise that "pro-Palestinian" groups remained silent while Bashar Assad has slaughtered Palestinians (as well as Syrians) in numbers that far exceed those killed in Gaza and in a genuinely indiscriminate fashion. Because we all know that dead Palestinians only matter to these organizations if Israel can be blamed (accurately or not) for their deaths.
But now, while the families in Newtown CT and all over America grieve over the murders of schoolchildren, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
has sunk to a new level of intellectual cowardice. Even though Israel supplies a total of 0.31% of the American supply of firearms (h/t to Avi Mayer
for researching the statistics), the US Campaign attempted to link
Israel's miniscule contribution to that supply to the Newtown shootings (for the record, Adam Lanza used US, Austrian and German weapons).
And what does Israel's handgun industry have to do with ending the occupation, the ostensible goal of the US Campaign? Nothing, unless you want to exploit a horrific event to smear people who had nothing to do with it.
But that's not the worst of it. The real ugliness was the attempt to link the deaths of children in Connecticut-- children who were not being cynically exploited as human shields by radical Islamists, children whose playgrounds were not deliberately used as rocket launch sites, children whose homes and neighborhoods were not turned into a staging ground for jihad-- to the tragic deaths of children in Gaza who were placed into harm by those who have a responsibility to protect them. Nowhere is the US Campaign's e-mail is there a mention, much less any condemnation, of the over 10,000 rockets launched by Hamas, 100% of them aimed at Israeli children. Nowhere is there any admission that Hamas had been busily arming itself with Iranian long range rockets with the intention of inflicting as many civilian casualties as possible.
Hamas leadership knew that Mahmoud Sadallah, the dead child in the posed picture with Hamas' Ismail Hanieyh and Egyptian prime minister Hesham Qandil was killed by Hamas itself
, because one of its rockets fell short and landed in a Gazan neighborhood. We expect this cynical manipulation from an organization whose charter is based on the principle of "itbach el-Yahud" (Arabic for "Kill the Jew"). With this cynically manipulating e-mail, the US Campaign and its advocacy director, Josh Ruebner, have put themselves into the same moral sewer.
Ali Abunimah, who runs the cheerily named Electronic Intifada website (makes you wonder if your computer will explode in your child's face if you go to the site, doesn't it?), has involved himself in a discussion taking place on Peter Beinart's Open Zion
page at the Daily Beast. I've been following, and commenting on, the site for several months and don't recall seeing Abunimah make an appearance in the comment section; I'm assuming that he's not going to be posting any columns there as he's outside even the wide latitude that Beinart gives to writers there. Abunimah's work (and fundraising) has been nicely critiqued at Warped-Mirror.com
The Open Zion column in question was Hannah Weisfeld's BDS And Anti-Semitism Revisited
, in which Weisfeld (a British Jew active in Yachad, the UK's equivalent of J Street) attempts to defend the BDS movement from charges that it is inherently anti-Semitic while condemning certain instances in which blatant anti-Semitism has been manifested in the movement. Let's leave aside for the moment that her premise is, as the Brits would say, rubbish. The BDS movement starts from the principle that the Jewish people have no right of national self-determination and insists on the fictional "right of return" which has no basis in international law but would conveniently eliminate Jewish statehood.
Abunimah chose to involve himself in the comment section because Weisfeld's previous post on the topic was based on information from Ali's online nemesis, Avi Mayer at the Jewish Agency for Israel. (Anyone who is on Twitter who wants to keep abreast of issues should follow @AviMayer. He is the one who broke the story
on the anti-Semitism spread on social media by Greta Berlin, the now discredited former head of the now even further discredited Free Gaza Movement.
) When challenged by this writer in a comment post with the basic question ""Do the Jewish people have a right of self-determination in [at least a portion of] their historic homeland?" he responded by linking an article he had written in 2010
. Normally I don't link to hate speech, but this is worth reading for an insight into the extremist anti-Zionist argument couched in human rights terms; people like Abunimah realize that the language of liberalism reads much better than the jargon of jihad, even if the end goals are the same.
My response to his article is posted on the site, but I wanted to share it here as well. If Ali wants to respond, I'll post it.
"Your article is a very clear renunciation of the right of the Jewish people to our own national self-determination. And of course it is also riddled with errors of history and fact.
Let's start with your deliberately pejorative phrase "settler-colonial Zionist forces". They of course were not colonialists in any way; they were not carrying the flag of the countries from which they were fleeing, but rather seeking to escape them by returning to their people's homeland. Quite different than the Arab immigrants into the Mandate who came for improved economic opportunity. And they were not "forces"-- they were individuals, mostly peasants and working class but some middle class. Trying to recast the Jewish people's return to their homeland as similar to the European practice of turning Africa and Asia into outposts of empire, ruled for the benefit of the home office, is a common rhetorical trick that you and other anti-Zionists employ. It doesn't go far with any audience that is familiar with history, which means that it's wasted on most readers of this site.
You also refer to the "fundamental rights of millions of Palestinian refugees". Those "rights" of course, do not actually exist. Individual refugees, under international law (which is made by treaties, not unilateral decisions of the UN GA, much less those of UNRWA) have rights upon the settlement of a conflict. Perhaps the only point on which we will agree is that this conflict is not anywhere close to settled. Descendants of such refugees do not have similar rights anywhere in international law.
Nor was Palestine, at any point prior to the British Mandate, an "indivisible homeland". Since the existence of the Judean kingdoms and then the Roman province of Judea, there is no map of the region that shows Palestine as an individual entity. Nor is there any mention of a people--aside from the Jews-- that consider themselves indigenous to the region until modern times. Need I remind you of the use of the term Naqba to describe the separation of the Arabs of the British Mandate from what they saw as their countrymen in Syria (under French Mandate)?
Yet while you insist that the modern self-recognition of the Palestinians must be somehow applied retroactively to all of history, you exclude the Jewish people-- the only ones who are uniquely indigenous to that area and whose presence for 3 millenia is literally engraved into that land-- from the same consideration.
By the way, I'm sure you recall that when Arafat gave that 1974 speech from which you quote, the PLO Charter called for the expulsion of all Jews whose families arrived after 1917. I know that's an inconvenient fact which you would prefer to leave unmentioned.
The comparison to Northern Ireland is fallacious. There is no "northern Irish" people seeking their own national self-determination. But the reference to Ireland is relevant. If someone who is Irish living outside the Irish Republic wished to return to that part of his people's homeland which is independent, he can immigrate to Ireland-- and the country has laws that provide automatic rights of citizenship for those whose parents or grandparents were Irish subject to certain requirements. Similarly, Israel provides citizenship rights to members of the Jewish people, and a future Palestinian state should of course provide such rights to Palestinians wherever they may be residing.
Your call is very clear-- remove the Zionist (eg Jewish) character of the state of Israel. This will of course result in the same phenomenon seen throughout virtually all of the Arab world-- institutionalized apartheid against Jews who will be subject to the dhimmitude under which they lived prior to their expulsion, and the tyranny of the Islamic majority against the infidels as we have seen in Iraq, in Gaza and now developing in Egypt. Show me a Middle Eastern Arab state that treats all of its Arab citizens with equal rights before you start trumpeting promises that your 24th Arab majority state would do the same for its Jews."