JTNEWS; THE VOICE OF ANTI-ISRAEL WASHINGTON?
The JTNews, a newspaper owned by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, bills itself as “The Voice of Jewish Washington.” Do Jewish Washingtonians want their “voice” used to promote organizations bent on the destruction of Israel?
Page three of the February 8th edition of the JTNews features an article titled “Solidarity with Palestinian Non-Violent Resistance” by Eitan Isaacson and Wendy Elisheva Somerson representing the Seattle chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Despite the innocuous name, Jewish Voice for Peace has been identified by the Anti Defamation League (ADL) as “the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States” and is on the ADL list of the top ten anti-Israel groups in America. According to the ADL the “Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) counts among its objectives an end to U.S. aid for Israel and the success of boycott and divestment campaigns against Israel.” JVP board members have compared what Palestinian Arabs call the Nakba to the Holocaust.
JVP cynically exploits its Jewishness to give it entry into the organized Jewish community via sympathetic publications like Seattle’s JTNews. The ADL notes that “JVP uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide a greater degree of credibility to the anti-Israel movement. JVP recognizes its role as such, specifically noting that the group’s Jewish nature gives it a “particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies”.
The JVP article featured by the JTNews focused on a recent event co hosted by JVP and Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER). Like JVP, SUPER is an organization fixated on the demonization of the Jewish State. The group refers to Israel as an apartheid state comparing Israel to the Jim Crow South SUPER advocates for the flooding of Israel with up to ten million Palestinian Arabs exemplified by their logo which features an image of what is now Israel superimposed over a Palestinian flag.
The article featured in Washington’s only Jewish newspaper provided JVP with an ideal platform to spread their vicious calumnies against the Jewish state. The authors used the pages of the Jewish Federation owned paper to describe the Israel Defense Forces as brutal, violent and aggressive and the Palestinian Arabs as peaceful victims of Israeli persecution. The article frames the sixty plus year Arab effort to destroy Israel as akin to the “Civil Rights movement in the U.S. and the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa”.
Jewish Voice for Peace was unchallenged by the JTNews editorial staff as they slandered the IDF and falsely described riots in the Arab village of Belin as “non-violent”. But as the New York Times and other publications have reported “Rioters hurl rocks, Molotov cocktails and burning tires at defense forces and the security fence”. Since the beginning of 2008 through July of 2009 “about 170 members of the Israel Defense Forces have been injured in these villages, including three soldiers who were so badly hurt they could no longer serve in the army.”
The “non violent” Jewish Voice for Peace has helped fund the ISM, an organization that supports the killing of Israelis.
It should be noted that the Belin riots, so admired by the Jewish Voice for Peace are supported and organized by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), an ally of JVP that “recognize[s] the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle.” JVP’s association with the “armed struggle” supporting ISM goes beyond mere words. JVP has provided monetary funding directly to ISM. In other words the “non violent” Jewish Voice for Peace has helped fund ISM, an organization that supports the killing of Israelis.
JVP is a self declared member of a movement described by the ADL as anti-Semitic.
Radical groups like JVP work towards the political and economic isolation and ultimately the demographic destruction of Israel, most notably through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). JVP not only endorses but readily acknowledges their embrace of BDS declaring that “JVP affirms our role in the larger BDS movement.” Utilizing their special Jewish status as a shield for other radical groups they have stated as policy that “we will defend activists around the world who employ the full range of BDS tactics when they are demonized or wrongly accused of anti-Semitism.” The ADL this week issued a strong statement regarding the use of BDS tactics saying “we are talking here about hate, not mere criticism. The BDS movement at its very core is anti-Semitic.”
This is not the first time the JTNews has served as a propaganda tool for the enemies of the Jewish State. The March 2, 2012 edition featured a flattering color photo of advocates for the boycott of Israel splashed across the front page. The associated article featured a friendly two page devotional to the BDS affiliated organizers of a successful boycott against Israeli products at the Olympia Co-op.
There is no shortage of voices in print and electronic media that present the Arab position of the conflict. Rather than serving as a much-needed advocate for a Jewish state under siege, the JTNews presents itself as an impartial observer to the ongoing war against the Jewish state.
This article is not to question the right of the JTNews to print and advocate for any cause or position that they see fit.
While it is disappointing that the JTNews editorial staff do not draw a red line at the promotion of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic groups, this article is not to question their right to print and advocate for any cause or position that they see fit. Rather, it is to make the pro-Israel segment of the Greater Seattle Jewish community aware of the (at best) neutrality of this newspaper as it relates to the safety and well-being of the Jewish state and her citizens. I am hoping that this information will provide some food for thought to those who allow their names to be used, their articles to be published, their activities to be publicized, and their organizations to be highlighted in their pages.
The JTNews bills itself as the “Voice of Jewish Washington” perhaps it is time for those of us who support Israel to say “not in our name”.
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