JTNews Welcomes Top Anti-Israel Group into Communal Tent
JTNEWS PROMOTES GROUP THAT SUPPORTS ACADEMIC BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL
Year after year the Anti Defamation League (ADL) designates Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) as one of the top ten anti-Israel groups in the United States, and year after year Seattle’s Jewish newspaper the JTNews includes JVP as one of the recognized Jewish organizations in their annual Guide to Jewish Washington.
JTNews describes Jewish Voice for Peace in laudatory terms saying that the group works
“to achieve a lasting peace that recognizes the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination. Join them in their efforts to promote a U.S. foreign policy based on peace, democracy, human rights, and respect for international law.”
In marked contrast the Anti Defamation League describes Jewish Voice for Peace as
“The leading Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States, working to steer public support away from Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is heavily championed by JVP. JVP activists have also supported a variety of divestment resolutions considered by university student governments and mainline churches.”
The ADL backround report on JVP asserts that…
“JVP intentionally exploits Jewish culture and rituals in its advocacy to reassure its own supporters that opposition to Israel not only does not contradict, but is actually consistent with, Jewish values. JVP also uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide the movement with a veneer of legitimacy.”
JVP’s mission of shielding virulently anti-Israel groups from accusations of anti-Semitism was on full display this past Monday when JVP representative Eliana Horne testified before the Seattle City Council in support of councilmember Sawant’s anti-Israel letter. Just moments after Prof. Nada Elia made an obscene comparison between the Nazi SS and the Israel Defense Forces, JVP’s Horne defended Elia’s remarks declaring that “When people of conscience – condemn Israel for carrying out atrocities against Palestinians, they are too often accused of anti-Semitism.” See video of Horne’s testimony below.
Since Israel’s defensive operation known as Protective Shield commenced last month Seattle JVP has been in full gear. The group has repeatedly maligned Israel in a series of angry street theatre style protests at Pike Place Market, the Boeing Seattle plant and other local venues. See video below..
JVP members have been regular participants at anti Israel rallies at Westlake in downtown Seattle where Swastikas and depictions of Jews eating gentile babies were prominently on display. The atmosphere at these demonstrations are so permeated with Jew hatred that they were condemned just last week by the ADL and the the Seattle Jewish Federation.
The decision by JTNews editor and publisher Joel Magalnick to include that short paragraph about JVP in “The Guide to Jewish Washington” represents more than just a tacit endorsement of their anti-Israel agenda but carries with it real life consequences.
When Hillel UW’s young adult outreach program JConnect organized a community young leadership conference earlier this year, the list of invited groups was drawn directly from the JTNews Guide. Because of their inclusion in The Guide, Jewish Voice for Peace was invited to send a delegation to the leadership event. Participants at the conference facilitated by Federation President Keith Dvorchik, told The Mike Report that the JVP activists made repeated attempts to derail the conversation towards their singular anti-Israel agenda.
The JTNews’ promotion of Jewish Voice for Peace is not an abstract for Dr. Elad & Dr. Galit Eliahoo. Hailing from Haifa, the couple have temporarily relocated to Seattle with their two young daughters in order to complete post-doctorate work in their fields of study at the University of Washington.
“JVP supports the Academic boycott of Jewish Israelis” Galit told us. “This is designed to ostracize Israeli Jews and stifle interactions between Israeli academicians and our colleagues abroad. Giving JVP legitimacy directly harms me, it harms my family and it harms thousands of other Israelis in academia. That Seattle’s Jewish community newspaper treats this organization as just another group is unconscionable”.
The Mike Report supports a wide and inclusive Jewish communal tent but there are certain red lines that once crossed place even a group with the words “Jewish” in their name outside that tent. Providing cover for anti-Israel (and often anti-Semitic) groups, engaging in the demonization of Israel, supporting Israel’s demographic and economic destruction and engaging in acts contrary to the well being of the Jewish people certainly meets that criterion.
As misguided as they may be, the Jewish Federation owned JTNews certainly has a right to embrace and promote Jewish Voice for Peace just as they promoted Kshama Sawant’s anti-Israel letter last week. Equally, we as thoughtful members of the Seattle Jewish community have a moral obligation to be vigilant that our charitable dollars not be directed towards those who would do us or the Jewish state harm.
The JTNews Board of Directors under the leadership of interim chair Nancy Greer has displayed a serial disinterest or inability to reign in the anti-Israel excesses of Joel Magalnick and his staff. Hence we turn to the owners of the JTNews, specifically the Jewish Federation leadership and board of directors to provide the moral guidance that is so desperately needed at “The Voice of Jewish Washington”.