Trending Topics:

Jewish Voice for Peace members say they seek ‘transformation’ not ‘destruction’ in Israel/Palestine

Activism
on 53 Comments

An important and necessary conversation about Zionism is taking place in a St. Louis Jewish newspaper. It is important because we haven’t ever seen a Jewish newspaper make so much room for Jewish Voice for Peace members to answer the challenge that they seek to “eliminate” Israel.

JVP has 200,000 supporters in the U.S., but it was pointedly excluded from the hoe-down that Haaretz and the New Israel Fund had in New York last weekend; Peter Beinart misstated its name there, as he often has, as Jewish Voices for Peace. And at the Brookings Institution last week in Washington, Jeffrey Goldberg, a former corporal in the Israeli army, smeared JVP by stating that while it is now the “largest Jewish organization” at his daughter’s New England college, JVP is “an Orwellian name for a group that opposes Israeli’s existence.”

The following dialogue between a pro-Israel group and a group from JVP was published in the St. Louis Jewish Light. It concerns JVP’s letter to a local rabbi, Susan Talve, an outspoken supporter of Israel.

First, here is the open letter to Jewish Voice for Peace written by 25 St. Louis area Israel supporters (links are mine, not theirs):

As Jewish progressive activists, we write to you with deep concern about your open letter to Rabbi Susan Talve. We are extremely disappointed in your letter and believe that it betrays the movement for peace and justice to which we, too, belong.

Rabbi Talve is certainly capable of eloquently responding if she chooses, but we are speaking up independently of her to register our concern about your letter.

We are not angry because you disagree with Rabbi Talve on issues, methods, or actions. We are angry because you have chosen to be silent in the face of an ugly personal attack by a group with which you are aligned, against a leader in our community whom we greatly respect.

Your letter was written in the aftermath of the controversy generated by the group Hands Up United, who posted to their Facebook page a meme with a photograph of Rabbi Talve, calling her the vicious slurs of “a terrorist” who “supports genocide.” Political disagreements with her are no excuse for demonizing her with those libelous words.

The silence of your organization when your ally publicly refers to Rabbi Talve this way is appalling. You wrote no such open letter to Hands Up United condemning their choice of words. We can only assume that your failure to condemn these lies means you are in agreement with them. This is unacceptable for an organization that seeks to be a “voice” in our community. No serious Jewish organization should sink to such depths of false personal attack.

We are also troubled by your opposition to Zionism, and your demand that Rabbi Talve unilaterally oppose it. Zionism is the support for the existence of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. We stand united in our belief that Israel has the right to exist. Expecting Jewish people and Jewish leaders to do otherwise, especially as a condition for being in a coalition, is wrong. Your absolute opposition to Zionism leaves us to wonder whether you believe Israel should be eliminated.

Make no mistake; we oppose much about the current Israeli government, its policies in the occupied territories, and its treatment of Palestinians. We support a two–state solution and believe that Israel’s current policies are an obstacle to its achievement. We also know that any fair and truthful reading of history will conclude that all sides have missed opportunities for peace. We hope that leadership in Israel and also among Palestinians and Arab states will take the necessary steps to achieve peace.

We share with you a commitment to seek peace and fight racism, and institutional oppression. We yield to no one in our opposition to oppression whether it be in Ferguson or Israel. We are advocates against genocide, apartheid, and racism. We will speak out against violence and the murder of innocents wherever it happens.

Your organization of course has the right to take whatever positions and choose whatever allies you wish. But it is our belief that if you want to strengthen a progressive movement and build a coalition– by definition a tent under which not everyone will agree on every issue—it is not constructive to call another progressive fighter for justice a “terrorist” who “supports genocide.”

Your open letter to Rabbi Talve asks her to commit to several actions. We ask some of you: Will you denounce the labeling of Rabbi Talve as a terrorist? Will you explicitly recognize Israel and its right to exist, and ask your allies in Hands Up United to do the same? Will you speak out against the continued misplaced opposition to Zionism?

We call on you to engage in the same personal struggle you ask of Rabbi Talve: honest self-examination of how your hopes and dreams collide with brutal realities.

— Steve Sorkin, Jeane Vogel, Michael Davenport, Kathy Davenport, Jennifer Bernstein, Ed Reggi, Joan Lipkin, Carol Wofsey, Phil Miller, Barbara L. Finch, Lise Bernstein, Stephen W. Skrainka, Fran Milsk, Nancy Weigley, Joel Frankel, Margy Weisman, David Sweeney, Michelle Shanker, Scott Emanuel, Mel Goldman, Scott Levine, Lori Becker, Bill Sitzer, Jane Grady and Joy Lieberman

Jewish Voice for Peace members have now responded, and the St. Louis Light has published their deeply moving letter.

It was not easy to write this response to the recent open letter to St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace. While many may see us as inflexible and dogmatic, we are actually a group of Jewish Americans and Israelis with diverse perspectives, which we see as a strength that helps us grow, learn, and struggle together authentically. We wish to offer such a space to others in the St. Louis Jewish community grappling with the painful realities of what is happening in Israel/Palestine.

It may not come as a surprise that we ourselves have found local Jewish institutions to be inflexible on this topic, and we have suffered exclusion and negative professional repercussions for how our beliefs are perceived. Surely if we are all progressives and we all — yourselves included — feel that we have been demonized, then something has gone wrong. We are not communicating.

In the past weeks, St. Louis JVP has been portrayed as seeking destruction, dissolution, and non-existence of a place that many of us hold dear; in fact, our vision is quite the opposite. Our hope for the future lies in an Israel/Palestine — and a world — where nobody is oppressed or excluded because of their racial, ethnic, or religious background. We want life, not the destruction that we have witnessed in Israel/Palestine. We want freedom for all peoples of that land to exist and thrive as full human beings — including Jews, Palestinians, migrant workers, and African refugees.

Tragically, the Israel that was created in 1948 and exists today is nothing like that vision. The creation of a Jewish state — which we were taught to hold dear — has necessitated a Jewish majority that has required the forced removal of most of the indigenous Palestinian population and the ongoing, perpetual killing, ghettoization, incarceration, and deportation of that non-Jewish population in order to maintain an artificial Jewish majority. As American Jews, we are welcomed and encouraged to take part in that majority while our Palestinian friends, including those here in St. Louis who may even still hold the keys and titles to their homes and lands, are excluded simply because of their ethnic and religious background. In fact, the horrifyingly racist words of Donald Trump over the past week calling for a ban on Muslims coming to the United States are not dissimilar from the immigration policies Israel has had in place since its creation.

We reject the notion that Israel ensures our security because our security can never come at the expense of another’s. In fact, we do not believe that Israel makes Jews safer. We are horrified by the notion that our diaspora should find refuge by creating an entire new, forced diaspora. We believe that security for Jews is intertwined with security for Palestinians and that right now is a moment for Jews to stand against Israel’s oppressive policies and in solidarity with the Palestinian people who are struggling for their most basic rights in the face of a U.S.-backed military superpower.

Our choice to act from love rather than fear has been deeply liberating and we invite you to join us in it, in seeing Palestinians as partners and in fact leaders in our collective liberation.

We know well how heartbreaking and scary this can be. A connection with Israel has become fundamental to many Jews’ identities. It can be hard to endure criticism, accept present realities, and work for uncertain change. It means risking what for many of us has lain at the core of who we are. As progressives, we take on this work with extra vigilance in order to ensure that our own comfort and privilege does not get in the way of our desire for justice.

The Movement for Black Lives has shown us that, to be truly in the movement, you must stand against the patriarchy and for the full participation of the LGBTQ+ community, and leadership of trans folks and other oppressed people. The Black Lives Matter protesters who disrupted Bernie Sanders forever changed the meaning of “progressive”: today, you cannot call yourself a progressive without having a racial justice lens. Similarly, we have now reached a point where you cannot be seen as universally anti-oppression while condoning the oppressive practices and policies perpetrated against Palestinians in the name of Jews everywhere by Israel.

We appreciated Rabbi Talve’s choice to use the word “justice” for Palestinians in her recent speech at the White House. We welcome any shift from a discourse of peace to active pursuit of justice in Israel/Palestine through the dismantling of all present discriminatory systems, which we believe is the only true path to reconciliation. We cannot ignore the hypocrisy of any leaders who speak of peace and reconciliation and at the same time actively support AIPAC, an organization devoted to promoting state violence and ongoing colonization of Palestinian lands while shielding Israel from accountability for those practices. It is not enough to say that one believes in peace while doing nothing to interrupt the injustices that have been fundamental to Israel since its inception. And the Israelis among us feel particularly strongly that to defend and stand in solidarity with today’s Israeli government is to support a regime we would never want for ourselves, and to betray not only Palestinians but also progressive Israelis, who are struggling within Israeli society for change. In fact, Ha’aretz editor Aluf Ben’s recent editorial in the Daily Beast calls on progressives in the U.S. to take up this fight.

We hear your demands for an answer about Hands Up United’s choice to use provocative memes to call out local leaders including Rabbi Talve. We had no knowledge of the memes until they were posted and they are not our words, our collective position, nor the conversation we wish to have. We lament that the term “terrorist” is used every day against innocent Arabs and Muslims, eliciting none of the same outrage. Because most of us are white Jews with unearned privilege, we do seek to understand the lived experience behind the choice to use that heinous word to describe the daily attacks on Black and brown bodies from Ferguson to Palestine, and to disrupt the dominant narrative that all Arabs and Muslims are terrorists but those justifying state terror against them and Black communities are not. We are progressive Jews with differing opinions around even this one word and we are appealing to you to talk to us about what is happening in Israel/Palestine without focusing the conversation on this episode in which we were not involved.

We need each other. We are not “seeking to be a ‘voice’” in the Jewish community, as your letter states; we are a voice in the Jewish community, and a growing one. We are reassured by your stated commitment to opposing apartheid and racism in all its forms, and we believe we have important work to do together in agitating our shared community to come out on the side of justice for all. After all, if not now, then when? If not us, then who?

We need not be afraid. Our Judaism is too expansive and too rich to be threatened by taking a stand against the ways Israel oppresses Palestinians. Our Judaism comprises so much more than a relationship with a political state, which is finite and temporary by nature. We are bound to a long history and future of near infinite complexity and potential.

We know these are dynamic times. We see the agitation at home and in Israel/Palestine. Many of us and many of you have lost friends and been criticized over our adamant support of the Ferguson movement. Yet we are excited about this opportunity for transformation at the other end in both places. The possibility of intertwined justice leaves us with deep optimism and hope. Our world is changing and, if we all do our parts, could one day soon be headed toward liberation for all.

— Anna Baltzer, Michael Berg, Hedy Epstein, Lara Jennings, and Jeff Ordower, on behalf of St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

53 Responses

  1. Mooser on December 18, 2015, 6:25 pm

    “We are not “seeking to be a ‘voice’” in the Jewish community, as your letter states; we are a voice in the Jewish community, and a growing one.”

    Good, I’m glad they put it on that basis, with that confidence. If there’s to be any excluding from Judaism over ideology let the Zionists do it.

    • on December 19, 2015, 2:53 pm

      JVPs pride in their identity and steadfastness in taking responsibility as Jews in the current climate where Zionism and Judaism and Jewishness are all being mangled together by Zionists is extremely brave and I respect them dearly for it. Just as ISIS doesn’t represent Muslims, Zionism and Israel doesn’t represent Jews. Perhaps something you can take note on Mooser.

      • Mooser on December 19, 2015, 5:39 pm

        “Zionism and Israel doesn’t represent Jews”

        Glad you feel that way.

      • Mooser on December 19, 2015, 6:11 pm

        “Perhaps something you can take note on Mooser.”

        Probably something I would know, if I was Jewish. Don’t you think?

      • RoHa on December 19, 2015, 6:38 pm

        “Perhaps something you can take note on Mooser.”

        See, Mooser, you can be a Jew without being a Zionist. Totally new idea for you, isn’t it, Mooser?

      • Mooser on December 19, 2015, 7:38 pm

        “Totally new idea for you, isn’t it, Mooser?”

        Yes, and a little frightening. Perhaps “a4tech” can tell me who “Israel and Zionism” do represent?

        And I assume the Government of Israel and the major Zionist organizations have made it clear that “Israel and Zionism doesn’t represent the Jews”. Statements to that effect should be easy to find.

      • on December 21, 2015, 11:57 am

        who “Israel and Zionism” do represent?

        Zionism for me, essentially involves the pursuit of power and security for the sake of power and security through the cynical exploitation of the core desire of every human to be part of an ingroup.

        The desire for power and security is also a core human trait that exist in every human being in many forms and capacity. Like every other trait, this falls into a spectrum of good and bad when put to practice. Good ways to maintain power and security for your ingroup is simply by maintaining a decent society using your typical religious and secular moral standards, such as having a just social order, acknowledging and respecting every member’s role in society, putting the community before the individual, not being sexists, racists etc.

        Zionism, on the other hand, is the act of taking an easy shortcut to power and security for your ingroup. It is a deliberate act of defiance to the law of nature and is an ideological response to unwelcoming surroundings by a passionate, energetic mind that is also unwise, misguided and egotistical. It is a human failing, on a nation-state scale.

      • Mooser on December 21, 2015, 5:11 pm

        “a4tech” you are ridiculous. Why is your explanation of who Zionism and Israel represents so different from Zionism’s?
        Would you like it if some other person told you how to organize your solidarity? Didn’t we just talk about this?

        Oh, and gee, all those characteristics you mentioned:

        “Zionism, for me essentially involves the pursuit of power and security for the sake of power and security through the cynical exploitation of the core desire of every human to be part of an ingroup.”

        An “ingroup”? Does it have a name? And fer Gawds sake “a4tech” every group is in with itself.

        “It is a deliberate act of defiance to the law of nature and is an ideological response to unwelcoming surroundings by a passionate, energetic mind that is also unwise, misguided and egotistical.”

        Seem to apply to a pretty specific group of people. Now, which people have I heard those terms used to describe before?

        Like Annie said, “real confused”

      • annie on December 21, 2015, 5:20 pm

        Zionism …. is the act of taking an easy shortcut to power and security for your ingroup.

        hmm, just because Zionism and Israel don’t represent Jews doesn’t mean a definition of either should omit the words “jew” or “jewish”. it sounds to me from this and other statements 4tech has made he’s trying to turn zionism into some normal human condition shared by mankind. when it clearly isn’t.

      • on December 22, 2015, 2:54 am

        Mooser- “a4tech” you are ridiculous. Why is your explanation of who Zionism and Israel represents so different from Zionism’s? – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/transformation-destruction-israelpalestine#comments

        What is so ridiculous about it, because I don’t blame Zionism on Judaism or the intrinsic nature of Jews themselves? It is also ridiculous for me to say ISIS has nothing to do with Muslims or Islam, but more about exploiting the religion to achieve monopoly on violence in the region?

        This particular humanistic criticism of Zionism is supported by JVP’s board of directors, and I’m sure Tova could also speak in defense of this view.

      • on December 22, 2015, 3:04 am

        zionism into some normal human condition shared by mankind. when it clearly isn’t. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/transformation-destruction-israelpalestine/comment-page-1#comment-816245

        Zionism is an off-shoot of white supremacy. Zionism utilize the Jewish ethnocultural identity for establishing dominance, while American white supremacism utilize the racial identity to the same, in the USA. Both exploit human weaknesses to feed the desire for power among the ruling elite.

        These are absolutely normal human conditions, shared by all mankind as recorded in history. But I understand that you are a low-key white supremacist who gets high from blaming and criminalizing Jews for all evils of the world. So just do you while you can.

      • Mooser on December 22, 2015, 11:24 am

        “I don’t blame Zionism on Judaism or the intrinsic nature of Jews themselves? “

        Of course you don’t. Wouldn’t ever do that!

        “Zionism utilize the Jewish ethnocultural identity for establishing dominance,”
        ” It is a deliberate act of defiance to the law of nature and is an ideological response to unwelcoming surroundings by a passionate, energetic mind that is also unwise, misguided and egotistical.”

        Gosh, “passionate, energetic mind” which is in “defiance to the law of nature” and is “unwise, misguided and egotistical“? Who is it I have seen described like that and why are they considered thus?

        And that’s why I call you “Mr. Sit-n-Spin”!

  2. yourstruly on December 18, 2015, 9:17 pm

    The U.S. government labels as terrorist anyone who supports terrorist organizations such as ISIS, so why shouldn’t anyone supporting the terrorist state Israel also be labeled a terrorist?

  3. Sycamores on December 19, 2015, 10:26 am

    correct me if i’m wrong but JVP don’t take a position on zionism. so why do the 25 St. Louis area Israel supporters write in their open letter

    Your absolute opposition to Zionism leaves us to wonder whether you believe Israel should be eliminated.

    and

    Will you speak out against the continued misplaced opposition to Zionism?

    maybe someone should point them to JVP site and view their policies

    We work to build Jewish communities that reflect the understanding that being Jewish and Judaism are not synonymous with Zionism or support for Israel.

    and read an article from the Jewish Week (2010)

    “We do not take a position on Zionism,” said JVP’s Vilkomerson, who is married to an Israeli and has lived in the Jewish state. “That’s not a useful conversation; we have Zionists, anti-Zionists and post-Zionists.”
    http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/international/adl_list_fuels_debate_over_whats_anti_israel#m08GqGuwpliQtwgy.99

    interestingly from the same article in the Jewish Week

    then (2010)
    “We’re growing, we’re very organized and we’re effective,” said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of the Berkeley-Calif.-based Jewish Voice for Peace, which claims a mailing list of 100,000 and more than 20 local chapters across the country ….”

    now (2015)
    “Today, JVP is a national organization closely connected to a growing grassroots base. We have 200,000 supporters on our email list, 10,000 individual donors, over 60 chapters across the United States ….”

    JVP double it size in only 5 years, wow! now that’s amazing. i can see why the St. Louis Jewish newspaper is giving them room to answer the challenge. the JVP are to big to ignore.

    • annie on December 19, 2015, 12:05 pm

      why do the 25 St. Louis area Israel supporters write in their open letter

      Your absolute opposition to Zionism leaves us to wonder whether you believe Israel should be eliminated.

      because the primary meme, a hasbara weapon used against jvp and other activists seeking justice for palestine, is that they (we) seek the destruction of israel. it is a passive aggressive defense mechanism to hide their own support for israel’s actions. these supporters of israel describe zionism as “Zionism is the support for the existence of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people.” ignoring the recognition that the ‘existence’ they speak of requires the elimination of 80% of palestinians and control of the other 20%. so who are the ‘eliminators’ here? who have been the aggressors and continue to be? and the propaganda designed to flip the aggressor into the victim is to accuse those who seek equality as being the ethnic cleansers.

      and they ask this: “Will you explicitly recognize Israel and its right to exist.” how can one recognize something that has no basis in reality? there simply is no ‘right of existence’ for any state much less an apartheid colonialist one. yes i can ‘recognize’ israel, how can one not. i recognize it for what it is, how it looks and acts, by its behaviors the same way i would recognize a thief or an assailant in my living room. all people have rights as individuals but states and people do not have a right to exist as criminals.

      zionism, as it exists and has always existed, necessitates the elimination of palestinians for a jewish majority. i recognize that, but i don’t recognize their right to exist as the criminal state. will the pro-Israel group who wrote the letter recognize israel does not have a right to eliminate palestine? because, words to the contrary, their absolute support for Zionism leaves us to wonder whether they believe palestine should be completely eliminated.

      • on December 19, 2015, 12:40 pm

        states and people do not have a right to exist as criminals. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/transformation-destruction-israelpalestine/comment-page-1#comment-815818

        The US is existing just fine, after enslaving millions and wiping off even more humans, who also had the right to exist on this god-forsaken planet. The descendants of these killers and slavers are now up in arms in the internet, crying about those evil little Zionists.

        Of course, not before paying tax to sustain the continual operation of their criminal government, participating in the capitalist markets that trade stolen land, stolen food and stolen labour and participating in elections that lead to bombing foreign nations for profit, and oppressing domestic civilians who dare speak out against the state crimes.

      • annie on December 19, 2015, 1:57 pm

        recognizing something exists (“US is existing just fine”) certainly doesn’t qualify it as having a right of existence which, again, is not on the books.

        au contraire there is no recognized “right of existence” legislation or “right to exist” for a state — not even the US. much less a right to exist as an apartheid state, quite the opposite indeed since there is legislation designating apartheid as a crime. the difference in this regard (between the US and israel) is that i’m not aware the 2002 crime of apartheid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_of_apartheid or the crime of genocide (against native americans), tho both can be recognized at any time, can be prosecuted retroactively. israel is actively — in deed and by their laws — engaged in apartheid.

        and once again your comments serve to support zionism and the criminal jewish state. your diversions are always consistent in that regard.

        The descendants of these killers and slavers are now up in arms in the internet, crying about those evil little Zionists.

        bwahhh! and that really bothers you doesn’t it. all hell’s broken loose since ferguson met palestine. ;) how dare the descendants of slave owners fight for human rights of the oppressed — either in the US or in palestine.

      • Sibiriak on December 19, 2015, 2:53 pm

        a4tech: The descendants of these killers and slavers are now up in arms in the internet, crying about those evil little Zionists.
        ———————

        Only a Zionist would:

        A) Make such typically Zionist attempts at diversion and distraction–ad hominem +whataboutery.

        B) Employ quintessential Old Testament/Torah notions of collective (tribal) guilt passed on through generations.

      • Sycamores on December 19, 2015, 3:02 pm

        Hi Annie,

        i believe you said before you are a member of JVP, if that’s correct can you educate on how their ‘no position on zionism’ works.

        i’m only asking because to me zionism is the elephant in the room when it comes to Israel/Palestine.

        BTW great answer on how to recognize Israel or any other country for that matter,

        “i recognize it for what it is, how it looks and acts, by its behaviors. “

      • annie on December 19, 2015, 3:48 pm

        sycamores, while i am a member of jvp i am certainly not any sort of spokesperson for them so my response here is somewhat hesitant. i would direct you to there website’ “frequently asked questions” https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/faq/

        the only mention here is zionism is:

        JEWISH COMMUNITIES CENTERED AROUND JUSTICE

        We are inspired by Jewish traditions to work for justice and such work is part of our own liberation. We work to build Jewish communities that reflect the understanding that being Jewish and Judaism are not synonymous with Zionism or support for Israel. Our work is part of a broader struggle and commitment to end racism, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry, and all forms of oppression.

        and googling jvp ‘no position on zionism’ brings up this article http://jvp-boston.org/wellesley-sjp/ about a sjp project at Wellesley College placing posters across campus displaying the question “What does Zionism Mean to You?”:

        We reject any attempt to label SJP, its members, or its poster campaign as anti-Semitic based upon its criticism of Israel. Jews and Israelis themselves hold a wide range of views on Zionism, which is why JVP takes no position on Zionism. There is absolutely nothing anti-Semitic about advocating for human rights for all peoples, and to suggest otherwise can only be an attempt to silence the Palestinian narrative.

        jvp doesn’t identify as anti zionist (i don’t either but for different reasons) and i assume this is because from the very beginning there have been zionists in the org. i watched an excellent video last night (below) beginning at 6:58 is Eran Efrati discussing zionism in his upbringing. he is under 30. i think this may reflect how many young jews were raised to think of zionism (and older ones too!), and not just in israel. i think zionism came about and grew with the jewish culture accompanied by propaganda representing ideals and aspirations that very much conflicted with the actions of the state – the actions zionism employed to create a jewish state which, as efrati explains, didn’t reflect his ideals. so how i look at zionism (how it looks and acts) is very different than someone raised from birth to think of zionism as these ideals (vs actions) many jews have of it.

        to me, zionsim for them (the zionists idealists, sometimes represented by cultural zionism) seems like more of a thought exercise than a reality (since in practicality zionism doesn’t exist in this form). myself, i would have little problem with zionism had it not manifested in palestine but instead in a previously unpopulated place requiring no disposition of another people. it would not be my first choice because i am not an ethnic nationalist, but in a libertarian sort of way if it wasn’t hurting anyone else it’s not really my business if members of an ethnic group want to live exclusively — let them.

        so i think perhaps, considering the goal of jvp as represented in first blockquote above, they have not taken a position on zionism because their primary intent is to work for justice in a “broader struggle and commitment to end racism, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry, and all forms of oppression”, and if someone shares those goals who believes in some idealist form of zionism (say a 2ss supporter) then they are inclusive to those people. i think it reflects the understanding that there is a wide range of positions within the jewish community and people (like Efrati vs beinart) are on different places on the path. jvp being inclusive (but not completely) doesn’t shut out people based on where they are on that path. or something like that.

        personally, i accept that as a valid position. however, i found it very contradicting when the same standard wasn’t applied to non jews who were not ideologically pure enough in their estimation (re, the weir scandal).

        i would suggest writing them and asking them. here’s that video w/Efrati, and i think it was a jvp sponsored event.

        6:58:

      • can of worms on December 19, 2015, 3:31 pm

        @Sycamores,
        I have absolutely no idea about JVP, and I certainly shouldn’t anticipate anyone’s reply, however, as you many know, I myself am very much 1SS, and my feeling is that people can be rallied around one thing — the truth. The people will get there by themselves, and better, without your needing to dictate answers to them. They already knew it.

        Maybe that is the logic?

        —-

        “BTW great answer….i recognize it for what it is, how it looks and acts, by its behaviors.” Aye. It really was.

      • Sycamores on December 19, 2015, 5:11 pm

        thanks Annie for your reply.

        i have been to the JVP site and went throught their FAQ’s. also i did searches in relation to their no position on zionism.

        “… if someone shares those goals who believes in some idealist form of zionism (say a 2ss supporter) then they are inclusive to those people. i think it reflects the understanding that there is a wide range of positions within the jewish community and people (like Efrati vs beinart) are on different places on the path. jvp being inclusive (but not completely) doesn’t shut out people based on where they are on that path. or something like that.”

        that makes sense.

        thanks for video.

      • annie on December 19, 2015, 5:43 pm

        my pleasure

      • talknic on December 19, 2015, 8:23 pm

        Thx for the video. It bought people here who have also experienced the screams of their parents and grandparents nightmares of the Holocaust, to tears

      • annie on December 19, 2015, 11:47 pm

        talknic, powerful testimony. i’ve never attended one of his presentations but i would like to.

      • bintbiba on December 20, 2015, 6:17 pm

        Beautifully said, annie!
        Thank you!
        ………
        ”zionism, as it exists and has always existed, necessitates the elimination of palestinians for a jewish majority. i recognize that, but i don’t recognize their right to exist as the criminal state. will the pro-Israel group who wrote the letter recognize israel does not have a right to eliminate palestine? because, words to the contrary, their absolute support for Zionism leaves us to wonder whether they believe palestine should be completely eliminated. – “

      • eljay on December 22, 2015, 9:23 am

        || Sibiriak: … Only a Zionist would:
        A) Make such typically Zionist attempts at diversion and distraction–ad hominem +whataboutery.
        B) Employ quintessential Old Testament/Torah notions of collective (tribal) guilt passed on through generations. ||

        He does work very hard at being a “Muslim” heavily obsessed with the issue of “white genocidal disease”, but occasionally the mask slips…

      • mcohen. on December 22, 2015, 5:06 pm

        Annie you worry me.

        You are so focused on Israel and the Jews living there in your mondo world that you fail to understand that Israel,s enemies do not support your vision of a just solution …..in fact this same scenario played out in south Africa as anc supporters came to fully understand what the anc meant by “just solution”….once they came to power

        You are a tool being used by arab nationalism

        No more and no less

      • Mooser on December 22, 2015, 11:03 pm

        “You are a tool being used by arab nationalism”

        Gee, “mcohen”, I feel bad for you. Your options are really limited if you can’t use “self-hating Jew”. Must be frustrating.

      • MaxNarr on December 23, 2015, 6:18 am

        Wow, you can’t even express the right for Israel to exist. You disgust me and are a 100% ANTISEMITE. ptew!

      • RoHa on December 23, 2015, 8:01 am

        No state has a right to exist.

      • eljay on December 23, 2015, 8:04 am

        || MaxNarr: Wow, you can’t even express the right for Israel to exist. … ||

        No state has a “right” to exist, but states – including Israel – do exist.

        I believe all states – including Israel – should exist within their proclaimed, recognized and accepted borders as secular and democratic states of and for all of their respective citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

        I believe that no state – including Israel – should exist as any sort of oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and/or supremacist state.

        || … You disgust me and are a 100% ANTISEMITE. … ||

        Why do you Zio-supremacists insist on anti-Semitically conflating Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel? Why do you hate Jews so much?!

        Israel isn’t a “Semitic” state so, at best, someone who dislikes Israel could be considered anti-Israeli, not anti-Semitic.

        || … ptew! ||

        Speaking of disgusting…

      • Bumblebye on December 23, 2015, 8:42 am

        “ptew”
        from maxNarr

        ugh! Anti spittle visors necessary?

        Jolly Nittel Nacht Maxi.

  4. CigarGod on December 19, 2015, 10:52 am

    JVP sure comes out on top in this exchange. Unfortunately for the Zionists, there is no higher ground to claim.

    • Mooser on December 19, 2015, 12:40 pm

      “Unfortunately for the Zionists, there is no higher ground to claim.”

      Weeeel, Zionism and ‘established’ Judaism could, if they wished, and thought it worth the trouble, issue statements of policy or doctrine (we got those? We must, right?) from the proper (wait, do we still do revelation and prophecy?) Jewish religious authorities (we got those? If not, appoint ’em) making Zionism a prerequisite for Judaism, and excluding non-Zionists from the religious fellowship and community of Judaism. Make it explicit! Cut non-Zionists off without a penny of their Jewish spiritual inheritance! Make, as it were, Mt. Sinai the ‘higher ground’!

      They can try that.

  5. mcohen. on December 21, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Jvp,and co. ,the whole anti Israel lobby,including mondoweiss owe there existence to a reformation process that demands a new Jew.

    What is a new Jew

    Like the bitter herbs or apple and honey on a seder plate at Passover.food representing events and rituals,will make place for a new item….the concept of “holy land” will be represented by the prickly pear…thorny issue but sweet inside

    The new Jew wants a prickly pear on his seder plate

    Israel,a relegious concept must be reduced to a food item,so we may lament a new catastrophe at Passover,an extension to the saga

    40 years in the desert,settlement then exile to……..somewhere

    The new Jew can live with this,but what about the old Jew in Israel,the other 6 million…..the ones that have to sacrifice so the new Jew can eat the flesh of the prickly pear,the one,s that have to not wear the thorns but actually eat them

    See the analogy here

    I could do new Jew,I really could,as long as the old Jew does not have to eat the thorns so that I can enjoy the sweet flesh of the prickly pear on Passover

    Reformation for Judaism will start in Israel,as it must,so too for Islam and Christianity

    Do not demand of the old Jew what you cannot demand of yourself,

    Lets add a prickly pear to the seder plate on Passover,to mark our new journey as new Jews but lets not abandon the old Jew without first finding him a seat at our seder table.

    • Mooser on December 21, 2015, 2:32 pm

      “but lets not abandon the old Jew without first finding him a seat at our seder table.”

      Yeah, sure. Tell him to leave his guns, and bombs at the door. He’ll need to be searched, too.

      “See the analogy here”

      Yeah, sure.

    • RoHa on December 21, 2015, 7:38 pm

      “See the analogy here”

      No. Can’t make head or tail of it.

      Can someone put it into plain English, please?

      • eljay on December 21, 2015, 9:44 pm

        || mcohen.: … See the analogy here … ||
        || RoHa: No. Can’t make head or tail of it. … ||

        That’s because you are an …

        ;-)

      • RoHa on December 21, 2015, 10:05 pm

        You are right, eljay. If I weren’t, it would all be perfectly clear to me.

  6. shalom on December 22, 2015, 6:14 am

    Ya know Philip, there are many arguments over who should speak, and JVP has done its share of shouting down the voices that it disagrees with. On the spectrum of actors for peace and actors for justice and actors for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine there are endless delineations along the way. I hope to remain open to many voices and try to learn positive lessons from many on the left and the right. I choose for myself the terms of my contribution to peace and justice in Israel/Palestine and the entire world. While I may also not fare so well in relation to the criteria of JVP, I believe that we all have a journey to take to open our hearts and minds to others. I do not believe that the International BDS Campaign represents a path to either peace or justice for Palestinians. I’m not sure in the Mondo-world that I am entitled to either my opinion or to proceed on my own spiritual journey. But proceed I shall…

    • Mooser on December 22, 2015, 11:10 am

      ” I believe that we all have a journey to take to open our hearts and minds to others.”

      Ah! How wunderbar! An open mind and heart!

      “I do not believe that the International BDS Campaign represents a path to either peace or justice for Palestinians.”

      Well, that one sure slammed shut in a hurry. Didn’t even bother to put a couple of sentences in between. I guess all that open-heart perjury gave him permission shut his.

      “I’m not sure in the Mondo-world that I am entitled to either my opinion or to proceed on my own spiritual journey.”

      Yeah, that’s why your comment is there, because you aren’t entitled to your opinion. And as far as permission for your “spiritual journey”? See ya! Don’t have a bum voyage!

      “But proceed I shall…” Yup, I was afraid of that. Right over the edge.

      Oh well, aristocratic prerogative, there’s not much you can do about it.

    • diasp0ra on December 22, 2015, 11:24 am

      @Shalom

      “I’m not sure in the Mondo-world that I am entitled to either my opinion or to proceed on my own spiritual journey.”

      You have a right to hold/state your opinion. That’s why your comment is out here. MW isn’t into censoring. MW doesn’t need to stifle debate to get its point across.

      However on the other hand, putting your opinion out there -which we established is your right- does not mean that you have a right to be protected from having other people call you out on it if it is seen as oppressive.

      Just as you have your freedom to state that opinion, others have the freedom to tell you what they think about it.

      • annie on December 22, 2015, 2:39 pm

        welcome shalom — and thanks diasp0ra. i’d just like to point out tho, while we value a wide range of views there are some we don’t value or post (see comment policy). hence, it’s not altogether true, as diasp0ra suggested, that everyone has a “right” to hold/state their opinions. but as long as you’re on topic, not spamming/trolling, please share your views and come back to visit. thanks!

    • eljay on December 22, 2015, 11:44 am

      || shalom: … I do not believe that the International BDS Campaign represents a path to either peace or justice for Palestinians. … ||

      It is a better path to peace and justice than the existing path comprising:
      – Jewish supremacism in/and a supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine;
      – past and on-going Israeli (war) crimes, intransigence and belligerence; and
      – Israel’s refusal to honour its obligations under international law (including RoR of refugees).

      || … I’m not sure in the Mondo-world that I am entitled to either my opinion … ||

      You don’t need anyone’s permission to have your own opinion, and no-one needs your permission to have his/her own opinion.

      || … or to proceed on my own spiritual journey. … ||

      1. No-one’s preventing you from having a “spiritual journey”.
      2. How, exactly, could anyone at MW even prevent you from having a “spiritual journey”?

      || … But proceed I shall… ||

      Of course. Because no-one’s stopping you.

  7. mcohen. on December 23, 2015, 5:37 am

    http://www.e-ir.info/2013/09/20/zionism-and-arab-nationalism/

    annie

    in response to your abject denial of anti zionists not fully undetstanding the concept of just solutions i have provided an excellent above to further your understanding

    definitely worth a read

  8. mcohen. on December 23, 2015, 2:50 pm

    that is remarkable indeed …..2 excellent articles from a LSE student.

    i liked this from my linked article

    “Thus Arab nationalism became a “revolt against the West”[30] where it would embrace Western ideas to free itself from Western dominance.”

    and i liked this from your linked article

    , Abu Marzoup claims that Hamas really understands that the liberation of Palestine is organically lined to a level of political development and cultural resurgence of the Umma as a whole, not just Palestine

    so tell me annie,where exactly does mondoweiss,jvp,BDS and company fit into the scheme of things
    is jvp bds and the left part of that western idea being embraced,and more importantly will there be a place for all of you at the umma table when the shackles of western dominance are thrown off.

    and where does it leave the 6 million jews living in israel,will they too have a seat at the umma table.

    once the shackles of western dominance are thrown off

    umma —as defined

    the whole community of Muslims bound together by ties of religion.

    • Mooser on December 23, 2015, 5:32 pm

      “the whole community of Muslims bound together by ties of religion.”

      Wow, and Zionism has absolutely no method, not even that of religion, to coerce a single Jewish person (except for the draft-age kids in Israel) to do any of the hard, unpleasant, compromising, and in many cases criminal, and costly, things which absolutely must be done if Zionism is to fulfill it’s promise.
      And they don’t even need to stop being Jewish, they can simply refuse to engage in Zionism.
      You better come up with something, fast “mcohen”! (And what with all those tools of Arab nationalism around, too!)
      Right off the top of my head, how about we refuse to…no, that may not work.
      You got any ideas? With “the whole community of Muslims bound together by ties of religion”, can we survive when we have no way to discipline our people?

      And what the hell is with that, BTW? They got “the whole community of Muslims bound together by ties of religion“, and we’ve got Orthodox, Chasidic, Conservative, Reconstructionist etc, etc, all competing and disputing. How did that happen? Doesn’t matter. What are we going to do about it?

Leave a Reply