Jewish Voice for Peace’s Hidden Agenda
When starting a political movement, choosing the right name is perhaps the most important step. We tend to make snap decisions about whether or not to support an organization based on what its name implies. The danger, of course, is that an organization can misrepresent itself with false connotations.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has done just that, because the group does not represent the views of most Jews — and it does not stand for peace.
While their name may sound innocent and upstanding, JVP seeks to delegitimize and demonize the State of Israel through the use of double standards and false allegations. JVP is also an avid supporter of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement, which attempts to harm, isolate and weaken Israel — the only Jewish state in the world, and the only democracy in the Middle East.
A more accurate name for the group would be Jewish Voice for Palestine — because it seems that JVP truly opposes the existence of a Jewish homeland. This year, the group even went so far as to invite Rasmea Odeh as the guest of honor at their National Membership Meeting. Odeh is a convicted terrorist who murdered two Israeli college students in 1969 by planting a bomb in a supermarket in Jerusalem. An organization that supports terrorists cannot claim that they also support peace.
Still, JVP has been successfully hiding its sinister actions behind its peaceful-sounding name. Ohio State University’s Jewish LGBTQ group, B’nai Keshet, actually co-sponsored an event with them — a Purim drag show to raise money for LGBTQ refugees. While this event promoted a good cause, partnering with JVP under any circumstances signals that JVP’s mission of undermining Israel is acceptable and tolerated on the Ohio State campus.
On the positive side, a BDS effort recently failed at Ohio State — showing that the student body did not fall for JVP’s lies and false rumors about Israel.
Ohio State’s Hillel also cut ties with B’nai Keshet after the Purim event. This was the correct decision. While I support the majority of B’nai Keshet’s work in helping Jewish LGTBQ students, and creating a more welcoming culture on campus, I cannot believe that they would overlook such enormous flaws in an organization such as JVP.
Building support for members of the LGBTQ community cannot come from shifting hatred towards Israel. Indeed, justice for one group can never come at the expense of another, and an organization that attempts to do just that should not be allowed to have the word “peace” included as a part of its name. It is time to call JVP out on its actions, and to withdraw support from this hateful organization.
Rebecca Zagorsky is a Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America Fellow at Ohio State University. This article was originally published in CAMERA’s blog In Focus.