Pro-Israel organizations have championed a number of progressive causes as a form of hasbara, or propaganda, seeking to immunize the Israeli occupation from criticism. These include environmentalism– greenwashing– and LGBTQ rights — pinkwashing. The latest effort is a case of veg-washing.
The pro-Israel campus organization Hillel is sponsoring a tour of ten college campuses by a leading Israeli vegan chef. The announcement came two nights ago from Jewish Veg, formerly Jewish Vegetarians of North America (a 40-year-old group that encourages Jews to embrace plant-based diets as an expression of Jewish values):
Jewish Veg announced that it is partnering with Hillel International to send Israeli vegan leader Ori Shavit to 10 college campuses across the country to speak to Jewish students this month and next.
It seems a little desperate. Does Hillel International really think that hosting an animal-rights activist is going to distract students from its Stalinist crackdown on the Open Hillel movement, which just wants Jewish students to be able to hear from non-Zionists and anti-Zionists? And let’s say that Israel is hospitable to vegans; does that somehow make the occupation and denial of rights to millions of Palestinians for decades acceptable?