As we commemorated Martin Luther King Day, it seems to be an appropriate time to discuss social justice movements that are gaining significant momentum in the US. Jewish Voices for Peace seems to be expanding its national operations throughout campuses, communities, and even places of worship. It presents itself as an organization seeking a just resolution for Palestinians, an end to Israeli occupation, and ending violence against all civilians in the Middle East. It’s clear and objective mission statement leaves little room for much needed suspicion and continues to appeal to social justice warriors of all ages and backgrounds.
The JVP organization has managed to remain a growing popular movement by gaining support from prominent leaders of the liberal community through its conviction to encourage dialogue. However, they have not only rejected leading academics and peace activists (such as Professor Alan Dershowitz) but they continue to show support for Hamas, Jihad movements, and BDS. They have symbolically rejected the Jewish LGBT community by supporting the expulsion of the “Wider Bridge” movement from the Chicago Dyke March. JVP has continually demonstrated support for Palestinian terrorism by celebrating individuals such as: Marwan Barghoutti (leader of the 1st and 2nd intifada) and Rasmeah Odeh (convicted Palestinian terrorist responsible for the murder of two Israeli students). In addition to supporting modern-day libels against Jews, the organization seeks to destroy the legitimacy of Zionism by erasing the anti-Semitic component of holding Israel to a higher and different legal standard within the international community.
Despite the organization’s mission statement advocating for peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike, its structure seems to argue for the contrary. Funded by organizations such as: Violet Jabara Charitable Trust (leading advocates for an electronic intifada against Israel) and the Rockefeller Brother Fund (also known for funding campaign to end Israeli occupation of Palestine), JVP has developed a policy of demonizing Israel and has strategically contributed to the evasion of a possible reconciliation between both people. The leadership of the organization, seems to support the same conclusion.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP’s Executive Director, has continually shown support for BDS and their operations throughout the globe. Gaining legitimacy through her decision to live three short years in Israel, she has worked her way up in the organization by advocating for a cessation of US military support for Israel and embracing Rasmeah Odeh as a prominent peace activist. She has repeatedly addressed Islamophobia and incidental deaths of Palestinian civilians while refusing to condemn Palestinian terrorism and their devastating attacks on Israeli civilians.
As a prominent member of JVP’s advisory board, Noam Chomsky has contributed to the relative success of the organization. Through his impressive career as a linguist, Professor Chomsky has used his public figure status to reject Jewish right to self-determination, legitimize Hamas, and advocate for a demographic war against the State of Israel. One of his most memorable quotes reads as follows:
“People who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degradation and ultimate destruction”.
As a stringent supporter of BDS, Chomsky has often supported the disruption of pro-Israel speakers in US campuses and continues to strategically aim for the isolation of Israel in the international community by disregarding gross violations of international law and human rights of nations such as: Syrian, Iran, and North Korea.
Lastly, but perhaps most relevant to modern social justice warriors in the US, is the self-proclaimed human rights activist and feminist Linda Sarsour. Her idea of Jewish self-determination can be summed up in one of her most famous tweets:
“There is nothing creepier than Zionism”
Despite her support for Palestinian terrorism and her continued support for Sharia law, she continues to demonstrate obfuscation when asked about the millions of women living under government repression in the Middle East and the many more millions subjugated to oppressive theocratic governments. JVP continues to host Ms. Sarsour to lead anti-Semitism and Islamophobia panels, which she uses to condemn the only democracy in the Middle East and bash the Republican party.
Jewish Voices for Peace, despite their growing momentum, cannot continue to serve as a covert operation to support Palestinian terrorism and consequentially contribute to the lack of peace between both parties in the conflict. More importantly, Israel should not be condemned for denying access to JVP’s advocates who are, inadvertently or intentionally, calling for the murder of Israeli civilians. Throughout this week, Americans have a responsibility to call for true social justice and not masquerades. Standing of the right side of history, now more than ever, requires: research, reasoning, and compassion. No quote for Zionism seems more fitting today than this:
“When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism” — Martin Luther King