Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In Which Jewish Voice for Peace Continues to Hide Its Agenda

"Jewish" Voice for Peace continues to peddle its alternate version of reality about Israel and the Middle East to a mostly unsuspecting public. Their latest foray into disinformation was distributed at their booth at the Solano Stroll, a large public street fair in Berkeley this past Sunday.  (Several observers reported that those staffing the JVP booth became quite argumentative when anyone would point out errors in their propaganda. As one person told us, they got quite upset when he handed their disinformation sheet back to them with the comment "Do you think I'm that stupid?")

It's worth examining the details of what they were handing out, both to demonstrate their relentless dedication to twisting the facts and their ultimate goal of delegimitizing Israel's very existence as the state of the Jewish people.

The first point on their little pop quiz notes that 25% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish, although Israel calls itself the Jewish state. I'm not sure if their point is that Israel should be more like Saudi Arabia, in which only Muslims can be citizens, or that a Jewish nation is somehow illegitimate if not ethnically pure.  One test of a nation is how it treats its minorities. While Israeli society suffers from the same problems of economic and social discrimination that plague all countries, its record compares well to other democracies-- especially given that its peer group hasn't been subject to genocidal attacks from neighbors for decades. For anyone who thinks that Israel can't measure up to Western democratic nations, check out this comparison of Israel and Australia-- which country do you think has a better record of political,  economic and social integration of its minorities? (hint: it's not the one singing "Waltzing Matilda", mate.)

But wait-- doesn't JVP claim that their mission is to seek "an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem"?  Indeed they do. So how are the demographics of Israel and its self-description as the Jewish state relevant to that?  None at all-- unless your mission is delegitimizing Israel's existence.

Let's move on to #2: Which Middle Eastern country has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation agreement?  They correctly note that Israel has not.  The question that could be asked here is "Which Middle Eastern country is routinely threatened with annihilation by its neighbors and subjected to rocket attacks and terrorism aimed at its civilian population?" And remind me-- what does that have to do with ending the occupation?

As if all this wasn't enough to establish JVP's attacks on Israel as being just a bit more than related to "the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem", they proceed on to the heart of the matter-- trying to falsely equate Israel's Law of Return with the "Right of Return" for generations of descendants of Palestinian refugees. Of course, Israel's Law of Return is rooted in the right of any state to declare who may immigrate and become a citizen. The "right of return" claimed by Palestinians as applying to descendants of refugees has no standing in international law; even for refugees themselves, the right to return onyl takes effect at the cessation of the conflict. As it was Arafat in 2000 and Abbas in 2008 who turned down offers to end the conflict, Israel does not have to recognize the right of return for the few thousand refugees from 1947-8 who are still living.  And such a right never existed for their descendants, as much as JVP wishes it were so.  The advocacy for the "right of return" has nothing to do with ending the occupation, and everything to do with trying to eliminate the Jewish character of Israel by flooding it with five million descendants of a war started by the Arabs to prevent Israel from being created.

Let's get real. Let's drop pretense. Jewish Voice for Peace opposes the existence of a state of the Jewish people anywhere in the Jewish homeland. As such, they promote the same end goal as Hamas.  Yet they continue to adhere to the charade that they are a peace group.

Oddly enough, for a group that also continues to insist that it should be allowed to peddle its hate of Israel within our Jewish community institutions, and that claims that the Jewish community "muzzles" open debate about Israel, they are quite afraid of exposing their own hypocritical positions to critical examination.  They've been offered a debate within the pages of J Weekly but have thus far refused to accept the offer.   I guess that when your positions are built on lies, it's hard to defend them against facts.