By Yitzhak Santis/JNS.org
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the group that invaded and “occupied” the Philadelphia Jewish Community Services Building and on Aug. 20 simulated and protested the (legal) blockade of Gaza outside of the UJA-Federation of New York, has declared in northern California, “Zionism isn’t welcome in our town.” There, JVP joined with a radical Bay Area coalition on Aug. 16 seeking to prevent the unloading of Israeli goods in Oakland. The action’s announcement, proclaiming “Stand Against Zionism Everywhere,” extols the “resistance in Gaza [that] is still alive and thriving, despite Israel’s ongoing attempts to destroy it.” This “resistance,” the announcement continues, has “been going on since 1948, since Israel came into existence. And it will not cease until Israeli apartheid falls.”
These are euphemisms. Bringing down “Israeli apartheid” is a call for Israel’s destruction. The “resistance in Gaza” is the radical jihadist group Hamas, responsible for the murder and maiming of thousands of Israelis and causing three wars. The Hamas Charter says “the Jews” caused the French and Communist Revolutions, initiated both world wars, and that the entire world is controlled by Jewish money, in addition to promoting the anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and calling for Israel’s “obliteration.”
Who, then, is this self-proclaimed Jewish “voice for peace” whose actions in effect support Hamas terrorism?
JVP’s executive director, Rebecca Vilkomerson, describes her group as “the Jewish wing of the [Palestinian solidarity] movement,” with the mission “to facilitate conversations inside the Jewish community… [to] put that wedge in, saying the Jewish community’s not agreeing on these issues.” That’s it. JVP seeks to divide American Jews—Israel’s main foundation of international support—so as to reduce or eliminate U.S. backing for Israel for the benefit of Israel’s enemies.
JVP is part of the international NGO “soft power” war, whose unrelenting attacks on Israel’s right to self-defense ultimately aid Hamas. This global political warfare strategy includes sustained delegitimization campaigns, BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions), and promoting a “right of return” for Palestinians, which means dismantling Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. It partners with a wide coterie of radical leftist, Islamist, and Arab ultra-nationalist groups to promote its program. When asked, JVP states that they are “agnostic” about a two-state solution. But that is a smokescreen. The group’s actions demonstrate a clear anti-Israel agenda.
A JVP contingent marched at a July 12 “peace” demonstration in San Francisco, where “anti-war” protesters waved Hamas banners and burned an Israeli flag while chanting in Arabic “Ya Hamas, ya habib, udrub, udrub Tel Abib!” (Oh, dear Hamas, strike a blow at Tel Aviv!) Signs read, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “From Gaza to Ramallah Forever Intifada,” and “F*** Zionism!” The rally’s advertising demanded an “end to US aid to Israel and to Zionist rule over Palestine.”
In Los Angeles, JVP teamed up with American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) to “put on a massive die-in street theater.” AMP’s website refers to Hamas as a “Palestinian resistance group.”
In Detroit, JVP protested for the release of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh. An FBI press release describes her “role in the 1969 bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate in Jerusalem, which were carried out on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization.” That bombing killed two people. Odeh is charged with immigration fraud, for allegedly not informing U.S. officials of her terrorist conviction.
Who funds JVP? That is a mystery. Its 2013 Annual Report lists its 2012 income as $1.15 million and states that some 80 percent of its income is derived from “individual donors.” But it fails to identify them or the size of their gifts. Why? Knowing JVP’s funding sources is crucial to understanding why JVP seeks to weaken the Jewish community’s natural support for Israel. But JVP hides its funding sources. Again, why?
JVP calls the current conflict with Hamas “Israel’s war on civilians”—which follows Hamas PR guidelines to describe “anyone killed or martyred” as “a civilian from Gaza or Palestine.” JVP demands an “end [to] the siege on Gaza,” a central Hamas demand. JVP insists the U.S. “suspend military aid to Israel,” which would also benefit Hamas and other jihadist terrorists. Finally, when JVP supports the call to “Stand Against Zionism Everywhere,” it is clear whose water they are carrying. JVP stands unmasked as anything but a voice for peace.
Yitzhak Santis is Chief Programs Officer at Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, where he directs the “BDS in the Pews” project.
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