I’ve mentioned the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) organization before, and I’m particularly interested in where they get their money. Their 2010 IRS form 990 shows an income from public contributions and grants of $705,605, they have 6 paid employees and a payroll of $367,186. That is a significant amount of money, and it is deployed very effectively.
For example, as Yitzak Santis and Gerald M. Steinberg tell us, they were instrumental in “Jew-washing” the attempt to pass a divestment resolution at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA):
These were the “Jew-washers” – very visible actors in many such political attacks on Israel, particularly in Christian frameworks. They are influential beyond their actual numbers, providing a convenient means for cleansing such actions from the stains of double standards, demonization and sometimes anti-Semitism against the Jewish state of Israel, and even Judaism itself.
JVP is spearheading divestment campaigns in several arenas, such as the educational financial services organization TIAA-CREF, and of course on many campuses.
In each case the approach is the same: “look, we are Jews and we think Israel is oppressing Palestinians, and we support boycott-divestment-sanctions (BDS) as a nonviolent way to get Israel to give them their rights and obey international law.”
It is not made clear to liberal Presbyterians and others that the goal of BDS is simply the destruction of Israel. But it’s not a secret. JVP refers us to the official BDS Movement website where we find that “punitive measures” will continue until
Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
As the Levy Commission recently found, Israel is not in violation of international law, and it is not occupying or colonizing “Arab lands.” JVP’s ideas of the ‘fundamental rights’ of Arab citizens of Israel goes far beyond what we normally think of as civil rights — for example, these ‘rights’ are said to be violated by Israel’s being a Jewish state — and UN resolution 194 does not require Israel to admit the grandchildren of refugees. Practically, does anyone doubt that an influx of up to 5 million claimants of refugee status to Israel will end the Jewish state?
I think that very few American Jews would go this far. Even the phony ‘pro-Israel’ J Street understands that the BDS movement is beyond the pale. And yet, JVP represents itself as a “Jewish voice!”
Jewish? How about anti-Jewish? Santis and Steinberg continue,
In many cases, Jew-washing is also used to whitewash the blatant theological anti-Semitism that accompanies the church-based BDS attacks on Israel. One example is Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian group that is very influential in those mainline churches active in the BDS wars. Its theology includes supercessionism – a reading of the New Testament that considers the Church to have superseded the Jewish people in God’s promises – and deicide – the charge that “the Jews” killed Jesus – that served as the basis for centuries of anti-Jewish persecution.
Giving Sabeel a thorough Jew-wash is JVP’s Rabbinical Council, which in its “Statement of Support for the Sabeel Institute” acknowledges “the more radical incarnations (sic) of some of [Sabeel’s] theological images.”
Yet, Sabeel’s frequent denigration of Judaism as “tribal” and “primitive” and comparisons of Palestinians to Jesus on the cross put there by the Israeli government’s “crucifixion machine,” does not seem to affect JVP’s rabbis, who assert that it is “a mistake to dismiss Palestinian Christian theology wholesale.”
Investigations of J Street’s funding showed connections to Saudi Arabian, Turkish and Iranian interests. JVP has been very secretive about its sources of income, but can you imagine what we’ll find when they slip up?