From AIPAC to JVP: The political evolution of Seth Morrison

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Seth Morrison used to travel to Israel to work on a kibbutz and go to AIPAC’s policy conferences. Today, the 63-year-old attends Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) meetings.

Morrison’s long political evolution is an increasingly common story among liberal Jews. The deepening of the Israeli occupation is pushing people like Morrison to the left–and to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

In recent years, Morrison has made bold stands against the occupation and what he views as the inadequacy of the Jewish response to it. In 2011, he publicly quit the board of the Jewish National Fund’s Washington, D.C. chapter because the organization was transferring Palestinian homes into the hands of settlers in East Jerusalem. He left J Street in late 2013 to join JVP.

He told me that leaving J Street was hard for him, but that meeting with Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP’s executive director, convinced him to take the leap. Still, the break with J Street was not without costs.

In an e-mail, Morrison wrote that some friends “cut me off totally, including a few very long term friends who frankly I expected better from…Frankly some of the biggest surprises were from liberal Zionists who just can’t accept that I would support BDS.  One or more of them pushed hard to have me resign from the DC Leadership Council of the New Israel Fund.”

He says he has no regrets, though. He spoke at the Israel lobby conference in Washington last Friday.

I caught up with Morrison at the JVP national membership meeting in March to get his full story. The result of my conversation with him is this audio piece:

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Kudos Alex.

Many thanks for the audio and video links, too.

Indoctrination is the cornerstone of Zionism. It’s nice to see and hear the deprogramming.

(I like Morrison’s tricolor tie! ;-) His revelations about the 53 people is welcome.

Glad to hear another immigrant into JVP from AIPAC-land, And glad to notice (from the JVP website at ) that JVP has itself moved usefully on issues. JVP used to limit its BDS qactivity to occupation-specific targets. Not any longer, apparently: Why is JVP moving beyond Occupation-focused Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction campaigns? JVP has long participated in the global movement to hold Israel accountable through nonviolent economic pressure, and we’ve done so by focusing… Read more »

This is encouraging!

Although The Fascists have tilted the political spectrum so far to the Right that the Left is now in the CENTER…

… This is the real existential threat which is destroying Israel FROM WITHIN.

The guy thinks that a more liberal approach defends the interest he still identifies with. It still defends the legitimacy of ethnic cleansing. It’s just a difference about tactics.

in case anyone could not see the soundcloud player like me, here is the link: