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April 4, 2017 7:15 am

Panelists Prove That Jewish Voice for Peace Is Neither

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A “Jewish Voice for Peace” A Jewish Voice for Peace demonstration. Photo: Twitterdemonstration. Photo: Twitter.

On Saturday morning, panelists at a Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) conference in Chicago agreed that there’s a simple way to end global oppression and racism, and create a world overflowing with “equality, dignity and human rights.”

The solution? Simply eliminate Zionism from the planet.

“Arguing for a softer, less harsh, nicer version of capitalism, colonialism and racism won’t do it,” said Black Lives Matter leader Rachel Gilmer. “Many liberal Zionists believe that the problem with Israeli apartheid is simply a few bad policies, or Netanyahu, or the wall, but the problem is with the ideological foundation of the state itself: Zionism. Zionism, at its core, is white supremacy.”

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While JVP claims that its mission is to “end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians,” speakers at the conference failed to mention any plan that keeps Israel intact. That’s not a surprise. JVP prides itself on playing a key role in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which pressures corporations, churches and colleges to divest from Israel.

“A world without Zionism is a world without oppression” and would create “equality, dignity and human rights,” said panelist Lubnah Shomali, of the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights.

Shomali’s claim, of course, ignores human rights violations by Palestinian leaders inside the West Bank and Gaza. For example, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority use intimidation to silence journalists who dare to engage in peaceful criticism, as Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in 2016. In addition, journalists face arrest and detention for exposing corruption, and the Palestinian Authority and Hamas flout international law by using the death penalty, torture and extrajudicial killings.

While speakers during Saturday’s “Let’s Talk About Zionism” panel tossed around Israeli “apartheid” accusations, they ignored the rights enjoyed by Israeli Arabs, including representation in the Knesset and prominent roles in Israel’s judiciary system.

Jewish Voice for Peace, therefore, let an entire panel push the message that Zionism — the belief in a national homeland and refuge for Jews — was evil.

At the conference, Ethiopian Jewish activist Efrat Yerday, an Israeli citizen, also claimed that Israel engaged in racism by forcing Ethiopian Jews to convert to rabbinical Judaism.

Ethiopian Judaism contains numerous elements that predate modern rabbinical Judaism, and the religion has similarities with Ethiopian Christianity. This has caused Israel’s rabbinate to mandate that the Ethiopians convert.

“Zionism does not only dispossess Palestinians, but it also dispossesses, in a very sophisticated way, non-white Jews. Being Jewish is highly identified with being white because of Zionism,” Yerday said. “This early fantasy that was shaped by the visionaries was to be a small Europe in the heart of the barbarian Middle East.”

Ironically, Yerday noted that Ethiopian Jews were able to peacefully demonstrate and protest against what they perceive as injustices against them in Israel. Such a display would not be allowed in neighboring Arab countries, or in areas ruled by the Palestinians.

Yerday also failed to reconcile the “Israel is racist” line with the fact that thousands of black Ethiopians have become citizens of Israel.

In 1984, Israel rescued 16,000 Ethiopian Jews in a secret airlift. That was followed by “Operation Solomon” in 1991, in which 14,000 Ethiopians were flown out of the country in just 36 hours. And Israel named an Ethiopian immigrant, Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, as Miss Israel in 2013.

Israel’s enemies have tried connecting Zionism with racism for decades, in an effort to delegitimize Israel.

During her remarks, Shomali lamented the fact that a 1975 United Nations resolution condemning Zionism as a form of racism was repealed in 1991. But her case for labeling Zionism as a form of racism relies on a cherry picked, one-sided history dating back to Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence.

“There had to be a link made between secular colonialism, secular Zionism and religious Judaism,” Shomali said. “Members of the Zionist movement went to religious Jews around the world and told them that … ‘God is telling you to come to Palestine. You are the chosen people. This is the promised land.’ [They said that Israel was] a land without people … knowing full well that Palestine was not a land without people.”

Then Zionists used the forcible transfer of populations to cleanse Palestine of Arab natives, she said.

JVP’s rabid hatred of Israel came into even clearer focus Sunday, when it gave the stage to Rasmieh Odeha member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group. Odeh was convicted of leading two 1969 bombing attacks in Jerusalem. One of those bombings targeted a grocery store, and killed two college students.

JVP’s conference and its choice of speakers are just another reminder that Jewish Voice for Peace opposes any iteration of the Jewish state, and that its prescriptions will lead to anything but peace.

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  • Stacy Gittleman

    The scary thing is many Jews in their 20s and 30s are identifying with JVP as their expression of Jewish identity, as I revealed in a recent article I wrote. A troubling trend:
    https://thejewishnews.com/2017/03/29/avodahs-work-toward-social-change-attracts-many-detroiters/

  • markmarkct

    I have always said that leftists are the scourge of the earth and this further proves it

  • hannah

    What was described here leaves me in despair, the stupidity and hate they exhibit is no less than barbaric

  • Chanan Mazal

    Go after the money trail.
    The largest reported donation was from the Rockafeller Foundation.

  • Chanan Mazal

    Go after their money trail.
    Largest recent transparent donation was from the Rockefeller Foundation.$140,000. Judith Rudin. (A nice Jewish girl, former pres of U of Penn, was the it’s CEO)

  • Robi Michael Schiffman

    Why do people even pay these SJW snowflakes any mind?
    There will always be haters – and they will always hate – if they choose to be self loathing Jews that’s their choice – I would, however, love to know how many of these insects at the conference were using Israeli tech on their phones?

    If these idiots and the entire bds movement wanted anything more than their own “15 minutes” they would live up to their propoganda.

  • oceanstater

    While the post clearly backed the headline’s implication that the “Jewish Voice for Peace” is clearly not for peace, I don;t see how it showed the the JVP is not Jewish/ Indeed, we Jews are indeed plagued by self-hating members of our tribe who mistakenly think they will somehow be spared by the jihadis and neo-nazis they pander too. Similarly there were Jews who backed Hitler early on in expectation he would crush Communists and Socialists and they would be spared, but they wound up in the same camps anyway.
    Despite my quibble at the headline, I appreciate your countering the misnamed “Jewish Voice for Peace.”

  • Michael Davison

    “A world without Zionism is a world without oppression”.

    I’d love to have some of what these kids are smoking.

    I suppose they think that without Zionism, Morocco will free the Western Sahara, the Libyans, Iraqis and Yemenites will cease their internal sectarian violence, the Syrian civil war will evaporate overnight, Boko Haram will go back to herding goats, China will withdraw from Tibet, Turkey will withdraw from the northern half of Cyprus, South American governments will support their native populations instead of discriminating against them, Aussie aborigines will suddenly become completely equal to white Aussies, etc., etc.

    All they’re doing is proving that Albert Einstein was right when he said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

    • Les Brown

      Maybe we could also expect, as well as Aborigines being equal with white Aussies, that America’s negroes and hispanics will also become equal with white Americans and be paid a subsistence wage of $7.25 per hour thus emphasising the enormous disparity between the rich and poor in the land of unequal opportunity.
      At least everyone in Australia, Aborigines included, are paid at least a basic wage of $17.70 per hour, and if they are casual, ad-hoc, workers, there’s a 25% loading on top of that.
      Had you been educated in Australia, you would also know that there is much emphasis placed on Indigenous education, something which is obviously totally lacking where you come from.

    • jackkessler

      It is not a conceptual problem. It is an emotional one. The emotions that have gotten out of control in these people are malice and hatred.

  • LouAdams

    why are so many young jewish women so ignorant about Israel and the middle east

    • jackkessler

      Because no one teaches them. And if anyone does, they refuse to accept it.

  • Reb_Yaakov

    The Ethiopian angle is hard to fathom when you consider that the transport of Ethiopians to Israel represented the first time in history that Blacks were removed from Africa for any reason other than slavery.

    On the other hand, it is clear that the exodus of Arabs from Israel during the War for Independence was not entirely voluntary, to say the least. Further, many if not most of those who were legitimate landowners have not been compensated. This is an issue that should have been addressed even in the absence of any peace agreement, and it has opened Israel up to criticism such as that leveled here. The claims made by the anti-Israel contingent are mostly ridiculous, but Israel must, too, come to terms with the truth and reach a just solution.

    • Shmuel Borenstain

      Dear Reb Yaakov
      You should know the truth better. During the war of Independence Arab countries did not see Palestinians as having nationality different from their own. They invaded “Palestine” to help their Arab Muslim brothers eliminate Jews (as planed and executed by Hitler’s friend, the Al-Aqsa Mufti and his organized gangs, for example) and capture land (as Jordan did). Right after the war all Arab states expelled their hundreds of generations old Jews, numbering many more than all of the Palestinians who left Israel. So, who should be compensated?
      Incidentally, today, few care about Syrian refuges, Jews are not involved.

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