Why Would UW HILLEL & Birthright Assist an Anti-Israel Organization?

Jewish Voice for Peace activists accuse Israel of War Crimes. Pike Place Market, July 17, 2014.

Jewish Voice for Peace activists accuse Israel of War Crimes. Pike Place Market, July 17, 2014.

Jewish Voice for Peace; an organization that demonizes the Jewish state, has again been offered the warm embrace and welcome of UW Hillel and their JConnect young adult wing at their upcoming Young Leaders Town Hall conference.

July 17, 2014; as armed terrorists emerged from beneath tunnels and Israeli civilians huddled underground, seeking shelter from  rockets flying overhead, anti-Israel activists of  Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) swarmed Seattle’s Pike Place Market in a bizarre display of morbid street theatre (see video below).

January 22nd, 2015; Jewish Voice for Peace activists waited in the visitor’s gallery of the NYC Council chambers for the hour and 26 minutes until the council paused to remember the 1.1 million Jews and others murdered in the Auschwitz death camp. Just as the commemoration began, the JVP members and their allies leapt from their seats, shrieking against the Jewish state from the balcony above (see video below).

Jewish Voice for Peace; an organization that demonizes the Jewish state while her citizens are under assault and desecrates the memory of the martyred millions, has once again been offered the warm embrace and welcome of University of Washington Hillel and their JConnect young adult wing at their upcoming Young Leaders Town Hall conference scheduled for Wednesday, February 25th at UW Hillel in Seattle.

A program designed to “ensure that all organizations have the knowledge and resources they need to reach young adults”.

This second event in the Young Leadership Town Hall series is being promoted as an effort to assist Jewish groups like Jewish Voice for Peace in enhancing their community outreach efforts.  The event invitation bills the evening as designed to “ensure that all organizations have the knowledge and resources they need to reach young adults”.

The Town Hall event is being hosted by Hillel- JConnect and will be facilitated by Birthright-NEXT Regional Directors Daniel Fast and Adam Pollak. Birthright Israel/NEXT describes their mission as to “strengthen solidarity with Israel” for “young Jewish people”. We reached out to Pollack and Fast for comment on how enhancing the outreach skills of anti-Israel JVP is in line with Birthright/NEXT’s robust pro-Israel mission. We have not heard back at press time.

JVP protesters outside Federal Building in Seattle. Why would Hillel & Birthright assist this group in outreach? Photo Credit: The Mike Report

JVP protesters and allies outside Federal Building in Seattle. Why would Hillel & Birthright assist this group in outreach? Photo Credit: The Mike Report

Elise Peizner, JConnect Director at Hillel UW told TMR in an email correspondence that invitations for the event formally titled “Town Hall Convening: An Interactive Discussion on Building Jewish Community” were sent to organizations included in the Seattle Jewish Federation’s Guide to Jewish Washington, an annual list of  local Jewish organizations, which includes Jewish Voice for Peace. Peizner explained the invitation to JVP thus; “There are a variety of organizations listed in The Guide to Jewish Washington whose missions do not align with ours, and whose views would not allow us to partner with them. That being said, we reached out to all again as an opportunity for them to come together and engage with each other.”

Jewish Voice for Peace is the only organization in “The Guide” that explicitly fails to meet the Seattle Jewish Federation’s partnership criterion, being avid proponents of BDS and declaring themselves agnostic on whether there should exist a Jewish majority state.  Additionally JVP advocates for the flooding of pre-1967 Israel with millions of Palestinian Arabs, hence effectively eliminating Israel as a Jewish majority state.

Ari Hoffman, City Director of NCSY expressed his surprise that an invitation to the conference was extended to other local youth organizations, as well as to several robust critics of Israel, like JVP,  New Israel Fund, J Street and Congregation Beth Shalom but not to the pro-Israel NCSY. “Groups that lambast Israel are invited, and NCSY, the group that sends more teens on Israel programs than any other local youth group, we are excluded? Explain that to me please.”

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