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Jewish Voice for Peace mocked widely for claim Israeli holidays meant to overshadow ‘Nakba Day’

"JVP and their ilk see Israel as an irredeemable evil in a binary world composed of victims and oppressors," wrote David May, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

A man stands still as a two-minute siren sounded across Israel, marking Memorial Day, which commemorates the fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terror, on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv on May 13, 2024. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
A man stands still as a two-minute siren sounded across Israel, marking Memorial Day, which commemorates the fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terror, on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv on May 13, 2024. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

Jewish Voice for Peace is being criticized and ridiculed widely on social media after the anti-Israel, far-left group claimed that Israel scheduled the holidays Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut to eclipse “Nakba Day.”

“Yesterday, the Israeli government ended its yearly cycle of state holidays that sequentially commemorates the Holocaust, Israeli militarism and the creation of the State of Israel,” JVP wrote on Tuesday. “The sequencing of these holidays was intentionally designed to conclude and obscure May 15, the day Palestinians mark the ongoing Nakba.” (The “Nakba” refers to the “catastrophe” of the Jewish state’s founding.)

“Much of this year’s commemorations have been especially depraved, as they celebrate the now genocidal violence required to maintain the Israeli government’s apartheid regime,” added JVP, which further accused Israel of “violent ethnic cleansing,” colonialism, “white supremacy” and “intentional manipulation of history.”

Critics were quick to note that Jewish Voice for Peace appeared to be manipulating—or misunderstanding—the relevant history.

Then Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat created Nakba Day on May 15, 1998—although there were local commemorations before that.

David May, research manager and a senior research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, noted that the Jewish holidays predate that Arafat creation and that the claim otherwise “is par for the course for JVP’s grasp on history and reality.”

“That sequence actually starts with Passover, the Jewish exodus from Egypt to … you wouldn’t know if you went to a JVP seder, but it’s Israel,” May wrote.

“Next, Holocaust Remembrance Day, established in 1959, is tied to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the resistance to the liquidation of the Nazis’ largest genocide staging ground and a sign of bravery crucial to the Israeli psyche,” he added. “Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Memorial and Independence days, are tied to the creation of the State of Israel, which itself was tied to the end of the British Mandate, May 14, 1948.”

Arafat introduced Nakba Day “specifically as a rejection of Jewish independence in their ancestral land. Its timing marks a continued rejection of the Jewish right to independence and self-rule that the Palestinians desire for themselves,” May wrote. “The Palestinians placed their holiday around the Israeli ones, not the other way around.”

“A basic knowledge of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the thought process of Israelis would have prevented a tweet assuming that everything Israel does is a callous attempt to erase Palestinians rather than an internal decision based on collective memory,” he added. “But JVP and their ilk see Israel as an irredeemable evil in a binary world composed of victims and oppressors.” Everything they do stems from this basic perception.”

Others noted that Jewish holidays are scheduled on the Hebrew calendar, rather than the Gregorian one, upon which Nakba Day falls on May 15.

“Tell me you’re not actually Jewish at all without telling me you’re not actually Jewish at all,” wrote David Hazony, a writer and director and Steinhardt senior fellow of the Z3 Institute for Jewish Priorities.

“The Nakba Day was invented in 1998 to obscure Yom Ha’atzmaut. (Why is it May 15 and not in the Muslim calendar like Ramadan?) I remember when they started,” he wrote. “Before that they had Land Day, which is at the end of March. Yom Ha’atzmaut is 5 Iyar on the Hebrew calendar. But JVP has never heard of the Hebrew calendar apparently.”

“Also Chanukah was invented to obscure Christmas, and Passover was invented to obscure Easter,” he mocked.

“Tell me that you know nothing about how the Jewish lunar calendar works without telling me that you know nothing about the Jewish lunar calendar (or even anything related to Judaism, for that matter),” wrote Joel Petlin, superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District in New York.

“Please just take the J out of JVP already and stop the masquerade,” Petlin added.

“‘Jewish’ Voice for Peace not understanding how the Hebrew calendar works shouldn’t be surprising after all this time, and yet,” wrote Josh Kaplan, head of digital at The Jewish Chronicle in London.

Nadav Pollak, a Reichman University lecturer and former Anti-Defamation League research fellow, wrote that “there is nothing Jewish about this disgraceful organization.”

“They mock our sacrifice, belittle our suffering and invent conspiracy theories to achieve their objectives,” he added, of JVP. “If you’re a part of this organization never call yourself Jewish.”

Jewish Voice for Peace “is a radical anti-Israel activist group that advocates for a complete economic, cultural and academic boycott of the state of Israel,” according to the ADL.

“JVP rejects the view that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a tragic dispute over land which has been perpetuated by a cycle of violence, fear and distrust on both sides, in favor of the belief that Israeli policies and actions are motivated by deeply rooted Jewish racial chauvinism and religious supremacism,” the nonprofit added.

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