Archive for March, 2013

Is Soros pumping up JVP?

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

I’ve written ad nauseum that the most energetic and effective anti-Zionists are Jews, not Arabs or Muslims. A perfect example is the group called “A Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP), based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but with chapters all over the country, mostly on college campuses.

JVP has been growing by leaps and bounds, with their 2011 form 990 (a tax form which all non-profits are required to make publicly available) showing an income from contributions and grants of $871,250. This is very big money for an organization whose membership appears to be mostly students and young people, and there is reason to believe that they have recently started to receive much more. Unfortunately non-profits that don’t give money to political candidates are not required to disclose the identity of their donors.

This week, during the annual AIPAC meeting in Washington DC, JVP has purchased 100 advertising signs in DC Metro stations, working with the very professional “Avaaz” group (more about them later), to “challenge [AIPAC’s] influence on US foreign policy in the Middle East.” Here’s an example:

JVP-Aavaz ad in DC Metro

Ads like these cost between $400-$950 per ad for 4 weeks, depending on “timing and market.” So let’s say (very conservatively) that they are paying $250 per ad for two weeks. Their 100 ads cost them at least $25,000, probably twice that.

JVP likes media attention, and one of its favorite tactics is to disrupt pro-Israel speakers and events. Both the advertising and the disruption appear to be intended at least as much to attract attention — and recruits — to their organization as they are to change public opinion about their issues (promoting boycott-divestment-sanctions, portraying Israel as an apartheid state and human-rights violator, etc.).

Here is something else that I noticed on JVP’s form 990, which supports the idea that it is focused on growth. It has only one paid officer, Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, who is listed as receiving total compensation of less than $75,000. But they also list $355,090 in “other salaries and wages.” Who are the additional employees? What do they do? It’s not the janitorial staff of JVP’s small Oakland office.

My guess is that they are organizers stationed on college campuses and other places where young Jews can be found. Although the organization wants to give the impression that it is an all-volunteer, ‘grassroots’ group, it seems that it is actually a disciplined professional operation that is rapidly growing. Their grants and contributions have increased by an average of more than $100,000 a year (with the exception of 2008, a bad year for all nonprofits).

Someone is pumping JVP up, and I think we can get a clue about who from the partnership with Avaaz. Avaaz is not (yet) big in the US, so you may not have heard of it. But let me quote from NGO Monitor’s analysis:

Avaaz was co-founded in 2007 by “Res Publica, a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org.” The former received grants totaling $290,000 from the Soros Open Society Institute in 2008. The latter received a $1.46 million grant from George Soros in 2004. Res Publica describes Avaaz.org as its “primary current project.”

According to a 2007 ABC News report on Avaaz.org’s call for the firing of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, Avaaz.org is a “global advocacy group funded by philanthropist and financier George Soros, MoveOn.org and the labor group SEIU.”

According to the 2009 Form 990 (page 87) filed by the Open Society Foundations, OSF gave $600,000 to Avaaz.org via New York-based Res Publica; $300,000 for “general support to Avaaz.org” and $300,000 for “Avaaz.org’s work on climate change.”

A check into OSF 990s for 2010 or 2011 show no grants for Avaaz nor Res Publica. According to its 2011 990, Avaaz.org’s total revenue for that year was $7,519,028. Avaaz.org claims it is “wholly member-funded.” Avaaz does not publish a detailed list of donors on its website or 990 forms, and therefore this claim cannot be verified independently.

Avaaz.org is active in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Its 2011 campaign “Palestine: the time is now,” was aimed at pressuring the UK, France, and Germany to support a Palestinian bid for recognition. The petition and accompanying video titled “Middle East Peace – The Real Story” promotes the Palestinian narrative. In 2007 Avaaz.org launched a petition calling to “End the Siege of Gaza: Ceasefire Now” demanding an end to the “blockade and growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza” and “ensure the free flow of supplies by land, sea or air.”

Soros also funds J Street, the phony “pro-Israel” lobby, although J Street’s director, Jeremy Ben Ami lied in an attempt to keep it secret.

Avaaz, with its huge budget, is as slick as it gets (here is a discussion of how it managed a fake grassroots Internet campaign for Palestinian recognition). My guess is that Soros is getting behind JVP as well, and with the same objective: to create a ‘popular’ Jewish anti-Zionist movement.

Soros, in other words, is pitching a whole line of anti-Israel merchandise to Jews. Are you a progressive who wants to distance himself from Israel along with your left-wing friends, while still remaining a member of your (liberal) synagogue? Buy some J Street! But suppose you want to see Israel replaced by an Arab state and don’t care who knows it — if you are suffering from stage-4 Oslo Syndrome — then JVP is for you.

There is a reason why so much of the heavy artillery of anti-Zionism is turned on the American Jewish community. True or false, it is seen as the key to American support for Israel.

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Will Obama make Israel “an offer it can’t refuse?”

Monday, March 4th, 2013

There is a report making the rounds that unnamed “Israeli sources” claim that Barack Obama will shortly “demand a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank,” presumably in return for the US dealing with Iran. A 2014 deadline to establish a Palestinian state is mentioned.

Things like this surface all the time, and mostly they are simply nonsense. It is irresponsible for a journalist, or even a blogger, to publish what is essentially a rumor based on a single report which does not even include a source.

And yet…

There are certainly people in the White House who would think this is a good idea. Everyone knows, they would say, that only details prevent a two-state solution, and the main obstacle to moving forward is right-wing influence on the Israeli PM. Here’s an opportunity, they are saying, let’s take it.

The simple reason that there can be no two-state solution is that it entails the acceptance by the Palestinians of the continued existence of the Jewish state west of the Green Line, and that contradicts the essence of the Palestinian national project. Indeed, one could — I would — go so far as to say that Arabs who would accept a peaceful state alongside Israel as a permanent goal could not properly be called ‘Palestinians’, since the very definition of a ‘Palestinian people’ negates Zionism (but perhaps I digress).

Dennis Ross, who knows as much about ‘peace processing’ as anyone, recently put forward a 14-point plan to bring about a two-state solution. It illustrates two things: one, that Ross possesses a paradoxical combination of intelligence, experience and the inability to see his nose in front of his face; and two, that the concessions it would require from the Palestinians are, as I said above, unthinkable.

Regardless, while a ‘solution’ — that is, an agreement that ends the conflict — is impossible, a coerced Israeli withdrawal in the context of an agreement that pretends to end the conflict is. And that is the danger.

Whether those who would like to force a withdrawal cynically understand that it would be disastrous for Israel’s security and don’t care (or welcome such a disaster), or whether they actually believe it would be a step toward peace is not important. What is important is that they might be able to sell the idea to a public — particularly liberal Jews — that to a great extent continues to believe in the two-state idea. And if they don’t object strongly enough, how could it be stopped?

The confirmation of Chuck Hagel, and particularly the collapse of Sen. Charles Schumer should be instructive. When push comes to shove, today’s liberals — even “strong supporters of Israel” like Schumer are Obama supporters first.

There is another aspect of the situation. That is that the combination of a blow against Iran with a blow against Israel would be a win-win for Sunni Muslim interests in the Middle East: the Saudis, the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey would all like to see Iran defanged and Israel weakened vis-a-vis the Palestinians. Interestingly, Islamist Turkey, the Brotherhood and the Saudis seem to be the people that President Obama finds the most congenial in the region.

Everything seems to be lining up to their advantage. Israel withdraws, the US bombs Iran, Hizballah responds by attacking Israel. Sunni forces, in particular those supported by Turkey, take advantage of the chaos (and the preoccupation of Hizballah) to finish off Assad and take control of Syria. Although the US will support the Palestinian Authority for a time, Hamas — don’t forget, it is the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood — will soon get control of Judea and Samaria one way or another.

There are other unpleasant possibilities — US-led UN or NATO troops in Judea/Samaria to ‘protect’ the peace agreement, which will end up protecting Palestinian terrorists against Israel, even the possibility of the IDF and Americans shooting at each other. Sound impossible? Chuck Hagel thought it was a good idea, as did Samantha Power, Obama’s “Senior Director of Multilateral Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council.

So, yes, the rumor about a planned offer that Israel can’t refuse is only a rumor. But it could be a true rumor. We’ll find out very shortly.

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Erdoğan inverts reality

Friday, March 1st, 2013

News item:

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday waded into the controversy over comments by Turkey’s prime minister equating Zionism to a crime against humanity, rebuking the leader of the NATO ally by saying such remarks complicate efforts to find peace in the Middle East.

Kerry said the Obama administration found the statements by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “objectionable” and he stressed the “urgent need to promote a spirit of tolerance, and that includes all of the public statements made by all leaders” at a news conference in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

“We not only disagree with it; we found it objectionable,” Kerry said.

Far be it from me to be unappreciative when our administration does something positive. Erdoğan’s statement was indeed ‘objectionable’, although I find the formulation that it “complicates efforts to find peace” somewhat stupid. As if that’s the issue!

The problem is that the statement is far more than just objectionable. Because if Zionism is a crime against humanity, then the existence of the Jewish state is also a crime, a crime committed by the Jewish people, and the only acceptable redress for the ‘victims’ of this crime is to take the state away from the Jews and give it to them.

Erdoğan is inverting reality. The truth is that the Jewish people suffered centuries of oppression and mistreatment in their diaspora, and finally succeeded in returning home. In a rare moment of collective moral clarity, the nations of the world recognized the rightness of this solution to the ‘Jewish problem’ and implemented it in the declaration of the Palestine Mandate. Although this moral moment was short — the British quickly fell back into darkness and tried to prevent  the creation of a Jewish state — it came into being despite their efforts.

Since then, the enemies of the Jewish state and the Jewish people have been trying, by increasingly sophisticated means including war, terrorism, and lately a combination of these with a carefully planned and executed diplomatic and psychological assault aimed at Israel’s supporters and Israelis themselves, to reverse history and re-disperse the Jewish people.

Reality inversion is a tactic that has proven especially effective. So a ficticious ‘people’, the ‘Palestinians’, is created out of heterogeneous Arabs, a false history is created for them, and Jewish history and provenance in the land of Israel is denied. These Palestinians are falsely cast as victims of oppression, expulsion and genocide, when this is both the historical experience of the Jewish people and what their enemies are trying to perpetrate against them yet again.

Israel is accused of targeting children and noncombatants, committing terrorism, establishing an apartheid regime, being racist. But of course it is (for example) the PLO, Hamas and Hizballah who target civilians and children, and who are proud to announce that when ‘Palestine’ is declared, no Jews will live in it.

Self-defense by Jews is particularly offensive to their enemies — because, you see, how dare we claim to have a right of self-defense when we are not on the same level of humanity as our attackers — so Erdoğan was especially infuriated by the short Gaza war of 2008-9, and even more by the self-defense by Israeli commandos against the thugs that tried to kill them on the deck of the Mavi Marmara.

It is important for possibly naive Westerners (including Israeli officials) to grasp that it really doesn’t matter if Israel had a right to intercept the ships, who provoked the violence on the Mavi Marmara, what weapons they had, who fired the first shots or whether the Israelis had any options short of live fire. It is always unthinkable for Jews to kill Muslims, in this case Turks!

The existence of a Jewish state in the ‘Muslim Middle East’ is a similar affront to Arab and Muslim manhood. So in a way it is natural for them to invert reality and see our defensive actions as aggression. But it is also a deliberate tactic, a form of ‘big lie’ technique.

The struggle to destroy the Jewish state that has been carried out since 1948, and which has now reached a truly remarkable degree of sophistication, is in fact the ongoing crime against humanity. The greatest reality inversion of all is to present this extended war against the Jewish people, this multifaceted enterprise that is intended to result in the end of the only Jewish state and probably yet another genocide, as a positive struggle on behalf of the ‘Palestinians’!

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