Seattle “Jewish” group attacks Israel at Pike Place Market
Tourists and shopkeepers stood jaws agape as a group of about twenty protesters from Jewish Voice for Peace, many ensconced in bizarre gray boxes appropriated the cobblestone street in front of Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market this past Wednesday evening.
Jewish Voice for Peace Co-Director of Organizing, Stefanie Fox led the activists in a bit of Street theater, shouting through a megaphone that “Israel’s attack on Gaza is a one sided war of destruction fueled by Israel’s machine of war and occupation!”. The protesters urged a boycott of companies they say support Israel, including Boeing, Hewlett Packard and Motorola.
As Ms. Fox recited names of Gazans killed in the Hamas instigated conflict, protesters with targets taped to their chests collapsed on the pavement. Hand drawn neon signs proclaimed “Killing children in Gaza will not bring peace.”
Well known and extensively criticized by Jewish civil rights organizations like NGO Monitor and the Anti-Defamation League; JVP’s primary mission is to serve as Jewish cover for the activities of radical anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic organizations. For the past several years ADL has placed JVP on their list of the top ten anti-Israel organizations in the country.
JVP has had a strong Seattle presence for the past decade, repeatedly agitating against Israel and the organized Jewish community. In 2013 JVP played a pivotal role in persuading the Seattle City Council Human Rights Commission to cancel a reception for a visiting Israeli civil rights delegation. That same year the group was co-sponsor of a film screening in Seattle in which several pro-Israel attendees were accosted. JVP provided extensive support towards the effort to pass a BDS resolution against Israel at the University of Washington earlier this year.
Active on the national scene as well, Reform Movement leader, Rabbi Eric Yoffie declared that JVP was pivotal in providing the needed “Jewish cover” to allow the Presbyterian Church USA to pass a divestment resolution against Israel this past May.
Despite JVP’s animus towards the Jewish state, Seattle’s organized Jewish community has failed to distance themselves from the organization. Just this past June 23rd, the group was invited to send a delegation to a meeting of young Jewish leaders at UW Hillel. The event was facilitated by Jewish Federation president Keith Dvorchik.
JVP has been given free print space in Seattle’s Jewish Federation owned newspaper, JTNews to further their anti-Israel agenda. Additionally the group is consistently included among the mainstream Jewish groups and organizations in the JTNews’ annual Guide to Jewish Washington. In a highly sanitized description of their activities and agenda, JTNews describes JVP in their guide as working “to achieve a lasting peace that recognizes both Israelis and Palestinians”.
As salmon was flying to the serenade of JVP activists screaming “Stop the Israel war machine, war profiteering is obscene!”, one couldn’t help but wonder if the true obscenity might not lie elsewhere.