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After years of study and discussion, Jewish Voice for Peace rejects Zionism

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“We unequivocally oppose Zionism because it is counter” to “our vision of justice, equality and freedom for all people.” –From “Our Approach to Zionism,” by Jewish Voice for Peace.

For 22 years since its founding, Jewish Voice for Peace declined to take a position on Zionism, not wanting to cut itself off from virtually all of the American Jewish Community. Beginning in 2014, after Israel’s horrific Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, JVP began a nation-wide discussion that recently culminated in a statement rejecting the ideology that has produced a nation-state that not only privileges Jews over all other residents, but systematically discriminates against and oppresses Palestinians inside the Green Line and in the Occupied Territories.

“Palestinian dispossession and occupation are by design. Zionism has meant profound trauma for generations, systematically separating Palestinians from their homes, land, and each other.  Zionism, in practice, has resulted in massacres of Palestinian people, ancient villages and olive groves destroyed, families who live just a mile away from each other separated by checkpoints and walls, and children holding onto the keys of the homes from which their grandparents were forcibly exiled.”

JVP also emphasizes Zionism’s harmful effects on Jews:

“Many of us have learned from Zionism to treat our neighbors with suspicion, to forget the ways Jews built home and community wherever we found ourselves to be. Jewish people have had long and integrated histories in the Arab world and North Africa, living among and sharing community, language and custom with Muslims and Christians for thousands of years.

“By creating a racist hierarchy with European Jews at the top, Zionism erased those histories and destroyed those communities and relationships. In Israel, Jewish people of color – from the Arab world, North Africa, and East Africa – have long been subjected to systemic discrimination and violence by the Israeli government. That hierarchy … prevents us from seeing each other – fellow Jews and other fellow human beings – in our full humanity.”

Finally, JVP notes that Zionist interpretations of history have influenced Jews to think of ourselves as alone, perpetually under attack, fearful and untrusting of others, and instead to put our faith in “a bigger gun, a taller wall, and a more humiliating checkpoint.” It concludes:

“[W]e choose a different path. We learn from the anti-Zionist Jews who came before us, and know that as long as Zionism has existed, so has Jewish dissent to it. Especially as we face the violent anti-Semitism fueled by white nationalism in the United States today, we choose solidarity. We choose collective liberation. We choose a future where everyone, including Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, can live their lives freely in vibrant, safe, equitable communities, with basic human needs fulfilled. Join us.”

As a JVP member since the 2014 Gaza operation, I am very proud of this Statement. It mitigates, at least to some extent, our Jewish shame in dispossessing Palestinians of their homes, land and villages; in our crimes of continued occupation and control in the West Bank and Gaza; in our confinement of millions of the other indigenous people of Palestine in refugee camps, and in the other myriad humiliations we have imposed on Palestinians for more than half a century. It helps restore in my Jewish heart and soul a modicum of pride, knowing that a small but growing cohort of Jewish people of all ages, colors, genders and sexual orientation have chosen to honor the moral, ethical and religious values that make us “Jewish” at our core, and for which we were “chosen”, and stood for, before we discovered the corrupting seductions of power and the “bigger gun.”

This rejection of Jewish ethno-nationalism comes at an opportune time, when nationalisms of all stripes are making it more difficult for us to come together as a global community to address existential threats like climate change and control of weapons of mass destruction. A resurgence of American nationalism – MAGA and America First – has caused the United States (1) to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and the landmark global coalition working to curb emissions that are indisputably heating the planet, (2) to pull out of the Iran Deal that promised to keep nuclear weapons out of Iranian hands, and (3) to threaten to pull out of NATO, an alliance which has helped avert war in Europe for the last 73 years.

Even those treaties and alliances, however, are woefully insufficient tools to bring the global community together to solve our global challenges. We lack a global political system equal to that task. Creating one will require us to rapidly increase the pace at which we recognize that we are, at our core, one people, united not just in DNA, but in our hopes, dreams, aspirations for us and for our progeny, “to live our lives freely in vibrant, safe, equitable communities, with basic human needs fulfilled.”

Zionism, and every other ethno-nationalism that keeps human beings in separate silos, can only help dash those aspirations. JVP’s rejection of Zionism is implicit recognition that the time for us to come together, to unify ourselves politically as one human race, is now, before it is too late.

About Robert Herbst

Robert Herbst is a civil rights lawyer. He was chapter coordinator for Westchester Jewish Voice for Peace from 2014-2017,

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72 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    January 28, 2019, 2:36 pm

    Kudos to JVP for rejecting Jewish supremacism (Zionism) and embracing justice, equality and respect for human rights.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      January 29, 2019, 10:36 am

      @eljay

      Speaking of ‘human rights’ and Zionist ‘supremacism.'”

      https://israelpalestinenews.org/palestine-jewish-settlers-torch-100-worlds-oldest-olive-trees/?fbclid=IwAR0r8VcENmLfEYFfKpDiEjYbQPfM0ib2ylf-ZCnAL_pGJQt_0Y6G8-n1A-s

      “Palestine: Jewish Settlers Torch 100 of World’s Oldest Olive Trees”

      If Americans New Blog, Jan. 26/19

      “Palestinians report that Israeli settlers have burned down agricultural land including valuable olive trees, while Israeli forces prevented the Palestinian owners from putting out the fires; Israeli press reports that the cause of the fire is ‘unknown” and that Israelis and Palestinians ‘worked together’ to extinguish it.”

      By Tabatha Kinder, International Business Times

      “Israeli settlers in the northern occupied West Bank have razed to the ground huge swathes of Palestinian-owned agricultural land in the town of Huwara, according to reports.

      “The fields were set on fire by ‘masked settlers,’ Al-Resalah newspaper reports, who snuck on to the land and poured petrol on it before setting it alight. Around 100 olive trees were destroyed in the blaze, which spread as locals were prevented from attending the fire by Israeli forces.

      “Olive trees in Israel hold vast religious and cultural significance to both Jews and Palestinians. As well as being the livelihood of many Palestinian farmers, the trees are thought to be the ‘oldest on Earth’ and are mentioned in the Old Testament numerous times.

      “Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane near the Old City of Jerusalem are believed to be up to 900 years old and belong to the same lineage as the olive trees among which Jesus Christ prayed the night before his crucifixion.

      “The mayor of Huwara said that Israeli occupation forces prevented Palestinian citizens from reaching the lands in order to extinguish the fire.

      “However the Jewish press in Israel is reporting that the cause of the fires is unknown and Israeli and Palestinian fire crews ‘worked together’ to put out the blaze. The Jerusalem Post reports that police are investigating the incident.

      “Clashes in harvest season”
      “In previous weeks, the owners of the fields have also reportedly being banned from working the land without being escorted by occupation forces, which means they have been unable to harvest the olive trees.

      “Huwara has witnessed continuous clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians due to its proximity to the Yitzhar settlement, where around 20,000 Jewish people live in 39 Jewish-only settlements.

      “’Palestinian residents, for their part, complain of repeated attacks by settlers, who usually enjoy the protection of Israeli military personnel,’ Anadolu news agency reports.

      “Attacks on agricultural land are widespread at this time of year – the start of the olive harvest season – and several Palestinian towns have seen their crops stolen, olive trees cut and lands confiscated, says Middle East Monitor.”

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 29, 2019, 11:18 am

        || Misterioso: @eljay

        Speaking of ‘human rights’ and Zionist ‘supremacism.’”
        . . .
        “Palestinians report that Israeli settlers have burned down agricultural land including valuable olive trees, while Israeli forces prevented the Palestinian owners from putting out the fires … ||

        Jewish supremacists wantonly destroy under the protection of Jewish Occupation, Colonization and Oppression Forces.

        It’s hard to know whether this is “moral beacon”, “light unto the nations” or “progressive paradise” behaviour.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 29, 2019, 10:01 pm

        ’Palestinian residents, for their part, complain of repeated attacks by settlers, who usually enjoy the protection of Israeli military personnel,’

        And this is proof that the Palestinians will not end the conflict. Isn’t it?

  2. just
    just
    January 28, 2019, 3:57 pm

    Good news, Robert Herbst. Thank you for sharing it here.

    I just read this lovely tidbit @ Haaretz:

    “Canadian Government Accuses Leading Jewish Charity of Supporting IDF and West Bank Settlements

    Canadian government revokes charity status of ‘Beth Oloth’ due to donations to pre-army institutions in Israel, which it says ‘were not charitable under Canadian law’ …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/canadian-gov-t-accuses-leading-jewish-charity-of-supporting-idf-settlements-1.6883242?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    More, please…

    (Right now USA is imposing sanctions on oil- rich Venezuela. What could go wrong… Bolton and Mnuchin and Kudlow @ the podium. gag)

  3. JoeSmack
    JoeSmack
    January 28, 2019, 4:32 pm

    This is nice, but I’m not sure it’s honest. For one thing, “Zionism” is not properly understood. Of course Zionism is a racist, settler-colonial movement. But it’s more than that. Zionism is also the notion that Jewish people, anywhere in the world, constitute an independent ethnic “nation” of people, transforming the spiritual interconnectedness of Jewish communities in the Diaspora into a form of ethnic nationalism. The consequence of ethnic nationalism, that interpreted Jews as a “nation without a land” was the dispossession and settlement of Palestine. But the underlying ideological belief that determined who was to settle the land was based on Jewish nationalism.

    It is difficult to figure out why a group of Jews in America who reject Zionism nonetheless have organized a group whose membership, staff, board, and accountability lies only with the Jewish community. Many individual Jews support Palestine out of their ideological commitment to other things (such as Chomsky being committed to opposing war, or Norman Finkelstein being generally in favor of national liberation movements). Likewise, some Jewish groups like Naturei Karta reject Israel, but do so out of shared religious beliefs that are unique to them. Still, other people who happen to be Jewish might oppose Israel for the same reason they might oppose any ethnic nation-state.

    This group, in contrast, is not religious and not motivated by some alternate political ideology. The thing that binds the members of the group together is that, even though they live in the U.S., they are Jewish and therefore feel some sort of tie to Israel. They’ve even said so in previous statements, for example Vilkomerson saying that they wanted to make Israel “better” after she and other Jews visited and saw that it wasn’t what their parents’ generation made it out to be.

    In effect, the entire JVP organizing model is based around saying Jews have a sort of underlying, a priori ethnic tie to this foreign state, and they should use that tie to magnify their criticism the same way that a group of citizens might do to express their grievances. Except here they are acting as citizens of Israel, not the country that they are actually in.

    And the rest of the statement itself reaffirms this. JVP felt that they could only issue this statement, that many of its members already agreed with in the abstract, once some of its own members were cajoled into it. That it was the right position, and that it was shared by virtually all Palestinians, was irrelevant; instead, what mattered was that there was holdout from the Jewish community, so they felt like they had to slow-walk something that should be a no-brainer for people who support Palestine. Effectively, they were forced by their own organizing model to make concessions because that model is internally Zionist: it is premised on Jews in America having a citizen-state-like relationship with Israel and privileging the significance of one’s ethnic Jewishness, even while overtly criticizing the Zionist state. If they had adopted a multiethnic model, or (god forbid) a model that involved any sort of direct accountability to the Palestinians, they would not have had to do this. They could instead invest very limited resources into people and communities that already shared their views and didn’t already identify, on some level, with Israel, as some of their membership apparently did/does.

    • brwencino
      brwencino
      January 29, 2019, 10:56 am

      You just saved me a lot of time in composing a response that is exactly what I would have said. Thank you. JVP (or as I call it “Jewish Voice for Jews”) is a group that, regardless of its supposed position on “Zionism”, promotes Jewish Identity politics and policies.

  4. annie
    annie
    January 28, 2019, 4:53 pm

    This rejection of Jewish ethno-nationalism comes at an opportune time, when nationalisms of all stripes are making it more difficult for us to come together as a global community to address existential threats like climate change and control of weapons of mass destruction.

    Thank you so much for writing this article Robert Herbst . I read jvp’s statement a couple weeks ago, which i applaud, but didn’t feel qualified to introduce it.

    big step for JVP. Congratulations.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      January 29, 2019, 6:05 pm

      I agree. This will help embolden more people to break their silence. It builds on the Alexander and Goldman NYT columns, and the new openness by the new NYT publisher, A.G. Sulzberger.

  5. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    January 28, 2019, 5:31 pm

    Conventional wisdom says “better late than never”. Perhaps.

    Now that they have decided to reject “ethno-nationalism” , they may realize that they should start with themselves and change their sectarian, ethno-nationalist shingle.

    I hope that it won’t take them another 22 years to oppose destroying anti-Zionists under the ridiculous pretext of fighting “antisemitism”.

    One word of warning, though: the manifesto above is a declaration of support to the worldwide organization of US imperialism and war of aggression called NATO. Any association with JVP will be doubly suspect from now on.

    A word to Mondoweiss: censoring a discussion of the stuff you print, based on obvious fact, and pretending that there is no criticism will gain you a terrible reputation.

    • Keith
      Keith
      January 29, 2019, 12:41 am

      ECHINOCOCCUS- “One word of warning, though: the manifesto above is a declaration of support to the worldwide organization of US imperialism and war of aggression called NATO.”

      Indeed, embrace of militarism and empire is a characteristic of both Zionists and anti-Zionists (American neo-Zionists).

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 29, 2019, 12:09 pm

        “characteristic of both Zionists and anti-Zionists (American neo-Zionists)”

        So “anti-Zionists” are, in reality “American neo-Zionists”?? Do tell.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 29, 2019, 1:33 pm

        Mooser,

        He did tell, in detail. I already provided the link where you may want to read. Here it is again: http://saskck.blogspot.com/2019/01/neo-zionism.html

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 29, 2019, 3:30 pm

        “He did tell, in detail”

        It is, I must admit, one heck of a plan, as far as I can grasp it.

        1) Jews organize under anti- Zionist rubric.
        2) We tell everybody how good and just we are for fighting Zionism.
        3) Profit!

        I just don’t see it going like that. But I may be surprised.

      • annie
        annie
        January 29, 2019, 3:34 pm

        i missed the part of keith’s blog post that even addresses anti zionists who are not jewish, and now i find they are neo zionist. the problem with slapping “new” onto a previously defined term is it requires ascribing the original definition to virtually everyone using the definition. that applies to the antis as well are the pros. so by flipping the antis into pros flattens the term, especially when it’s used in a derogatory fashion as it is in keith’s post (see “so-called”).

        it’s also very demeaning to palestinian-americans, especially the youth, responsible for 100’s of sjp student groups on campuses through out the county who have consistently led the boycott movement on campuses.

        the claim bds is a “re-energizing of the Zionist power structure” is effectively a shot across the bow of a Palestinian initiated and led movement. it’s as if they are not seen at all, they do not come into vision. they remained virtually unrecognizable in this blogpost with zilch agency of their own.

        Rather than focus on illegality and human rights in the occupied territories, in particular in Gaza, BDS wades into the occupation itself and the Palestinian right of return, calling for an international boycott of Israel. These are major issues which have been discussed for decades with no resolution in sight, not the type of straightforward human rights issues easily understood. Not only is this unlikely to be effective,

        this just seems like White-‘splaining to Palestinians how they should resist as a means of taking down jewish anti zionists — the primary objective.

        Palestinian are not giving up their right of return, at least as far as i know. and the idea “BDS wades into the occupation” as if any palestinian liberation movement, or any palestinian for that matter, can avoid the occupation, is mind-boggling.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 29, 2019, 5:12 pm

        ANNIE- “i missed the part of keith’s blog post that even addresses anti zionists who are not jewish…”

        Keith’s NO EMPIRE Blog is not Mondoweiss, therefore, I am not going to engage in any sort of lengthy discussion on Mondoweiss of stuff I write on my Blogspot. Your question should be made on my Blogspot, not here. Two points I will address, however. The Gaza march of return was a watershed for me. Informed by Norman Finkelstein (see link below), I became aware of a lack of support in the solidarity movement for what I consider the major point of emphasis. This is where the priority should be. If you can’t get US/Israel to at least stop killing people and starving them, it is pointless to talk about some right of return. Then there is the demonstrable lack of effectiveness of BDS in putting adequate pressure on US/Israel to change. It is generating publicity but who benefits from that? (see the first link) And then there is this ongoing emphasis on pillorying individuals for alleged anti-Semitism, Alice Walker the last in a series. Is this where the emphasis should be? Taking all of this into account, I came to some conclusions which I wrote about in my post “American Neo-Zionism.” Good Lord Annie, even Nathan has observed the obvious. https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/discussion-rejects-zionism/comment-page-1/#comment-940384

        “The boycott movement hasn’t managed to hurt Israel from the outside: the country’s never been stronger economically, diplomatically and militarily. But it’s beginning to hurt Israel from the inside” (Anders Persson) http://normanfinkelstein.com/2018/12/20/bds-a-more-or-less-accurate-assessment/

        Link to 2nd Finkelstein interview on Gaza (Lack of Int’l solidarity: 13:00 of 14:55)- https://therealnews.com/stories/finkelstein-wheres-the-solidarity-for-gaza-2-3

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 29, 2019, 6:41 pm

        Of course “Neo-Zionism has a definition already:

        “Neo-Zionism is a right-wing, nationalistic and religious ideology that appeared in Israel following the Six-Day War in 1967 and the capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Neo-Zionists consider these lands part of Israel and advocate their settlement by Israeli Jews.”

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 29, 2019, 7:08 pm

        MOOSER- “Of course “Neo-Zionism has a definition already:”

        I changed my essay to specify “American Neo-Zionism” to differentiate it from the various strands of Israeli Zionism which have relabeled themselves as neo-Zionism for promotional purposes. You seem to take some sort of comfort in this particular Wikipedia definition of neo-Zionism which you continue to link without substantive comment. Do you think I should rename my essay “Parazionism” as Echinococcus suggested? American Neo-Zionism is the attempt to adapt Zionist kinship solidarity to the reality of multicultural America while distancing American Neo-Zionist Jews from the actions of the state of Israel.

      • annie
        annie
        January 29, 2019, 7:13 pm

        Keith’s NO EMPIRE Blog is not Mondoweiss, therefore, I am not going to engage in any sort of lengthy discussion on Mondoweiss of stuff I write on my Blogspot. Your question should be made on my Blogspot, not here.

        i didn’t ask any questions, to you or anyone. i responded to echi’s response to mooser, he claimed you had addressed moosers question “in detail” (i showed how you didn’t, not as it pertains to many anti zionists). if you have a problem with your blogspot being discussed here, go after echi, he initiated it. i won’t respond further to your allegations as not to draw you into engagement “in any sort of lengthy discussion on Mondoweiss of stuff I write”, other than to repeat it’s not my business to tell palestinians how to resist and whatever they are doing is driving support for israel down in the polls and garnering lots of attention. maybe when it gets to the point that americans realize their constitutional rights are being threatened (for israel no less) they’ll even pay more attention.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 29, 2019, 7:24 pm

        “Keith’s NO EMPIRE Blog is not Mondoweiss, therefore, I am not going to engage in any sort of lengthy discussion on Mondoweiss of stuff I write on my Blogspot”

        Okay, that’s only fair. We’ll go on the assumption that because you wrote a post on your blog, “American neo-Zionism’s” existence is authoritatively documented

        But I would like to know why you exclude European and UK Jews from engaging in “American Neo-Zionism.” Can only Americans do it? Why not call it plain old “neo-Zionism?

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 29, 2019, 9:07 pm

        MOOSER- “Why not call it plain old “neo-Zionism?”

        I did before you Googled neo-Zionism and discovered that the term was used multiple times in Israel. Based upon that, I changed it to American Neo-Zionism to differentiate it from Israeli defined neo-Zionism. I am unfamiliar with either the UK or Europe, hence, cannot comment based solely upon my own observations. Why are you going back and forth about the term “Neo-Zionism,” while ignoring the substance of my Mondoweiss comments on the subject? The last sentence of my comment at 7:08 pm makes quite clear how I am defining American Neo-Zionism.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 29, 2019, 11:42 pm

        Oh boy, all that ink spilled for that which we call a rose, by any other name. We know who we mean; they are more specifically American-and-British; they are well-characterized. If I remember well, Mooser had already baptized the type “Not-a-Zionists”, which is fine by me but again, what’s in a name in times when corporate sharks call themselves socialist, war propagandists are “progressive” and US liberals “the left”? Shouldn’t we call these ones here “NATO-Bros”, while we’re at it?
        §
        Annie, fully agree that they have helped obtain some positive results, but that’s more than offset by the delay and the damage caused by their dominance of the support movement and their relentless para-Zionist propaganda. Just look at the text above. With friends like these effectively directing the boycott movement in USUK and Pétain in Ramallah, Palestinian resistance may rest easy.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 30, 2019, 12:29 pm

        “I did before you Googled neo-Zionism and discovered…”

        …just how much thought went into your “American neo-Zionism” formulation.

  6. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    January 28, 2019, 5:51 pm

    Commendable but only really meaningful when they actually bite the one state solution bullet.
    Unless I missed something in their platform “mission” statement or subsequent statements ?
    On the face of it still wishfull well intentioned sympathies but absolutely still tip toeing round the reality which Israel has created in Palestine.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      January 29, 2019, 12:40 am

      Ossinev,

      Well-intentioned… NATO defender. It’s still written up there, black on white. We’re supposed to try to conciliate that war provocation with support to the US-Zio-occupied Palestinian people.

      For good measure, not a single word about their witch-hunt and character assassination of effective anti-zionists.

  7. Nathan
    Nathan
    January 28, 2019, 8:40 pm

    When one reads the anti-Israel literature throughout the years, there are a number of messages that are repeated all the time. For example, we are told that “Israel doesn’t speak for all the Jews”. We learn that “the Jews are not a single people”. Moreover, “Israel is a foreign country” and therefore there is an accusation that those Jews who support Israel are “disloyal to the land of their citizenship”.

    Suddenly, here in Mondoweiss, we hear the earth-shattering news that the “Jewish Voice for Peace rejects Zionism”. However, in reading the article, I couldn’t help but notice the use of the word “our”. It’s “our Jewish shame…”, and it’s “our crimes of continued occupation…”, and it’s “our confinement of millions…”, and it’s about “humiliations we have imposed on Palestinians…”

    Actually, all this literally took my breath away. It turns out that Israel does in fact speak for all Jews even in the anti-Zionist thinking. If “we” have done something, then it’s obvious that “we” must probably include all of us Jews. So, we are a single people, and we have a country that acts in our name and it’s our responsibility. How ironic it is to find out that an anti-Zionist is in reality accepting the very basics of the perceived Zionist ideology: The Jews are a people, and Israel is the very center of their Jewish world. (Actually, in reality, it’s the Jewish tradition that defines all Jews as a single people and focuses on the Land of Israel as their point of reference, but the anti-Zionists like to pretend that this is an invention of the Zionist Movement).

    There are those who are worried that the American Jews are “drifting away” from Israel. It turns out that there is really nothing to worry about. Israel is really the only show in town in the Jewish world. It was always obvious that this is the case, but it was nice to hear from an activist of the JVP that he, too, has placed Israel at the very center of the Jewish collective identity.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      January 29, 2019, 1:58 am

      Among the mountain of propaganda, “Nathan” observes a couple irrefutable facts:

      1. “… it’s the Jewish tradition that defines all Jews as a single people and focuses on the Land of Israel as their point of reference, but the anti-Zionists like to pretend that this is an invention of the Zionist Movement”

      2. ” an anti-Zionist [here, JVP, newly so rebaptized] is in reality accepting the very basics of the perceived Zionist ideology: The Jews are a people, and Israel is the very center of their Jewish world”

      That Nathan doesn’t look like he’s too competent at propaganda: he’s giving the good-cop-bad-cop game away.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 29, 2019, 8:50 am

      || Nathan: … Suddenly, here in Mondoweiss, we hear the earth-shattering news that the “Jewish Voice for Peace rejects Zionism”. However, in reading the article, I couldn’t help but notice the use of the word “our”. It’s “our Jewish shame…” … , and it’s “our crimes of continued occupation…”, and it’s “our confinement of millions…”, and it’s about “humiliations we have imposed on Palestinians…”

      Actually, all this literally took my breath away. It turns out that Israel does in fact speak for all Jews even in the anti-Zionist thinking. If “we” have done something, then it’s obvious that “we” must probably include all of us Jews. So, we are a single people, and we have a country that acts in our name and it’s our responsibility. … ||

      A state exists which is colonialist and supremacist and anti-Semitically commits (war) crimes in the name of all Jews. JVP is shamed by this and you somehow view this shame as a badge of honour for your supremacist ideology and “Jewish State” construct.

      The Zionist mind is a strange and disturbing place.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      January 29, 2019, 10:16 am

      @Nathan

      The fact that “Israel” was declared by Ben-Gurion, et al, and subsequently referred to as the “Jewish State” confirms the accuracy of JVP’s assertion that “It’s ‘our Jewish shame…’, and it’s ‘our crimes of continued occupation…’, and it’s ‘our confinement of millions…’, and it’s about ‘humiliations we have imposed on Palestinians…’ Ever increasing numbers of Jews around the world correctly view “Israel” as an abomination, not the “Jewish State.”

    • Keith
      Keith
      January 29, 2019, 11:31 am
    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 29, 2019, 12:16 pm

      Shorter “Nathan”: ‘Damn, I miss the days when Gentiles used to segregate Jews. We had unity back then!’

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 29, 2019, 1:20 pm

      Nathan: “It turns out that Israel does in fact speak for all Jews even in the anti-Zionist thinking.”

      That’s a very good example of a logical fallacy, Nathan. First of all. Israel wishes to speak for all Jew, but otobviously doesn’t. Secondly, it is not Israel but Robert Herbst who claims that not only Israel Jews, but Jews as such are responsible for the atrocities against Palestinians.

      Nathan: “The Jews are a people, …”

      Still not a constitutive people/citizenship/nationality. Nobody can become Jewish by acquiring citizenship. Jews are not like the US Americans, French, British or German or any other people of a country for that matter.

      Nathan: “… it was nice to hear from an activist of the JVP that he, too, has placed Israel at the very center of the Jewish collective identity.”

      Another fallacy. Again it is the other way around. He placed the Jewish collective identity at the very center of Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      January 29, 2019, 1:43 pm

      Nathan: “In reality, it’s the Jewish tradition that defines all Jews as a single people and focuses on the Land of Israel as their point of reference, but the anti-Zionists like to pretend that this is an invention of the Zionist Movement.”

      The traditional conception and the Zionist conception both view all Jews as a collectivity, but they are far from identical. In the traditional conception Jews are a collectivity (k’lal) but of a special kind that is not a ‘nation’ (only non-Jews constitute nations, goyim). In the Zionist conception Jews are a nation in exactly the same sense as other nations. There is likewise a huge difference between a mere ‘point of reference’ and a nation-state.

      The contrast between Zionism and the form of Jewish consciousness that preceded it was sharper in those countries where the traditional conception had already been supplanted by the modern Enlightenment or Reform-Judaic conception that defined the collectivity of all Jews as no more than a community of co-religionists. Relative to this conception the Zionists really were inventing something new, more under the influence of other European nationalisms than under that of traditional Judaism.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 29, 2019, 3:44 pm

        Shenfield,

        ” In the traditional conception Jews are a collectivity (k’lal) but of a special kind that is not a ‘nation’ (only non-Jews constitute nations, goyim).”

        Thanks for the comment.
        In the light of this (obvious) fact, the JVP statement, above, about opposing and rejecting nationalism (often termed “ethno-nationalism”) while their own existence is only due to “ethnic” nationalism, acquires some sort of logic after all: nationalism for me but not for thee, because only thou canst be called Nation. Neat.

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        January 29, 2019, 3:50 pm

        (only non-Jews constitute nations, goyim)

        See Exodus 19:6

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 29, 2019, 6:27 pm

        Any time anybody wants to test the Jewish nation theory, all they have to do is send out demands for taxes, or draft notices to Jews outside of Israel.

        I mean, hey, I’m not complaining! It seems like the “Jewish nation” can make no demands on the people in it, but can demand stuff of everybody else. What a deal!

      • eljay
        eljay
        January 29, 2019, 7:42 pm

        || Mooser: Any time anybody wants to test the Jewish nation theory, all they have to do is send out demands for taxes, or draft notices to Jews outside of Israel.

        I mean, hey, I’m not complaining! It seems like the “Jewish nation” can make no demands on the people in it, but can demand stuff of everybody else. What a deal! ||

        The real problem with the “Jewish nation” (at least in its current, Zionist form) is that it has no qualms about anti-Semitically blaming all Jews for its actions. Don’t be surprised if it:
        – sends Jeff“Not holding the Jews responsible for Jewish policy on the excuse that ‘well some Jews didn’t agree’ is denying them agency”B to your door to enforce that policy; and/or
        – anti-Semites to your door to save its own hypocritical, (war-)criminal ass.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        January 29, 2019, 10:00 pm

        echinococcus — JVP can be called Jewish semi-nationalists in the same way as the Jewish Socialist Bund was semi-nationalist, i.e., viewing Jews as a sort of ‘nation’ but without demanding ‘national self-determination’ in the form of a nation-state, only cultural autonomy within existing states (in accordance with the theory of Bauer and other ‘Austro-Marxists’ in pre-WW1 Austro-Hungary).

        Yitzgood — By ‘traditional’ I was referring to the Judaism that emerged in the diaspora in the Dark Ages, not biblical Judaism.

        Mooser — I knew a young Jew in England who received a call-up notice from the IDF. His parents were vacationing in Israel at the time of his birth so he was registered as an Israeli citizen. He did not obey the summons.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 30, 2019, 12:20 am

        Shenfield,

        Would you call the Bund “semi-nationalist” when it was obviously practicing socialist internationalism within the Ashkenazi language sphere? JVP here proudly promotes NATO War-is-Peacemaking, see above.

        “without demanding ‘national self-determination’ in the form of a nation-state, only cultural autonomy within existing states”, you say, and on the surface it looks like it, until you realize that their laudable support for the Palestinian right of return is coupled to a defense of equal rights for the invaders.

        My remark here wasn’t directed at that, anyway, but to their nationalism through the mythical racism of considering a pan-Jewish “identity” even in the absence of religious observance and of any common culture. Nothing “semi” there.

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        January 30, 2019, 12:25 am

        By ‘traditional’ I was referring to the Judaism that emerged in the diaspora in the Dark Ages, not biblical Judaism.

        Another “biblical” example would be “vayehi sham legoy atzum varav”–“he [Jacob] became a great nation, mighty and powerful” (Deuteronomy 26:5). That one also appears in the Pesach Haggadah. Wouldn’t that loom large in “traditional” consciousness? Or give me a reason to think otherwise. And see Deuteronomy 4:34, also in the Haggadah.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 30, 2019, 7:16 am

        Yitzgood,

        Without knowing anything about sacred books and the like, one can see that the point that matters here is that at this or that point in time, a word that is translated, for lack of anything more precise, as “nation” has come to mean “born outside the tribe / not of Jewish ancestry” in the general language, Jewish and non.
        §
        All this as intro to my question: is it possible that the JVP people, while inveighing against “ethno-nationalism”, including the Zionist one, miss seeing that they are the ethnic-Jewish nationalists par excellence due to the ambivalence of the meaning of “goy”, ie because they believe they are immune from being ever characterized as nationalists?

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        January 30, 2019, 9:14 am

        Without knowing anything about sacred books and the like, one can see that the point that matters here is that at this or that point in time, a word that is translated, for lack of anything more precise, as “nation” has come to mean “born outside the tribe / not of Jewish ancestry” in the general language, Jewish and non.

        I understood the point, but I don’t think it’s correct. Look at the first verse of the second Psalm. You see a usage of “goyim” that roughly means non-Jews because it refers to the nations of the world. Goy as just nation and as non-Jew are related meanings, or shadings, and you already see it in the Torah (or Bible if you like.) I don’t think the Torah uses the singular “goy” to mean an individual non-Jew, but the meaning of nation never went away. You have to imagine a whole literacy based on Jewish texts. Quote “nation will not lift up the sword against nation anymore” in Hebrew to a Jewishly literate person and he might be reminded of the familiar song “Lo yisa goy el goy cherev….”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 30, 2019, 12:39 pm

        What a system! Tell me, “Yitzgood”, how should the USA integrate my Jewish nationality and my US nationality?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        January 30, 2019, 12:52 pm

        Mooser, that’s easy. Your US nationality is your citizenship. Your Jewish “nationality” is a just “nationality” WITHIN citizenship and has never been anything else. Same term, two different meanings.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 30, 2019, 1:33 pm

        “He did not obey the summons.”

        And the UK didn’t round him up and pack him off to IDF basic training? I wonder why not?

      • Yitzgood
        Yitzgood
        January 30, 2019, 1:56 pm

        Mooser, why don’t you call me Yitzchak or Yitz? Ok, how should the US “integrate” your “Jewish nationality” and “US nationality”? I don’t think it cares that much–it’s really up to you. BTW, did ever you sing “Lo yisa goy” in camp?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 30, 2019, 4:08 pm

        ” I don’t think it cares that much–it’s really up to you”

        So I can send money to support illegal settlements, and cheat on my US taxes so I’ll have money to send to Israel?

        Can I attack the enemies of Israel in the US, and be exempt from prosecution under US laws? Give Israel US secrets and claim extra-territorial immunity?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 30, 2019, 4:24 pm

        ” BTW, did ever you sing “Lo yisa goy” in camp?”

        I was too busy rehearsing the steps to the climactic “Mambo” number.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 30, 2019, 7:06 pm

        “Mooser, why don’t you call me Yitzchak”

        That’s very nice of you, that’s what my Dad used to call me. Long long time ago.

  8. Citizen
    Citizen
    January 29, 2019, 1:10 am

    “Zionism, and every other ethno-nationalism that keeps human beings in separate silos, can only help dash those aspirations. JVP’s rejection of Zionism is implicit recognition that the time for us to come together, to unify ourselves politically as one human race, is now, before it is too late.”

    humanism | ˈ(h)yo͞oməˌnizəm |
    noun
    an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.

  9. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    January 29, 2019, 3:26 am

    JVP is as Jewish as the Lancaster County USA pork festival is kosher. A few token hateful Jews does not a jewish org make. I can imagine the whining if a a pro zionist org with a few token Arabs called itself PVP.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 29, 2019, 8:56 am

      || DaBakr: JVP is as Jewish as the Lancaster County USA pork festival is kosher. A few token hateful Jews does not a jewish org make. … ||

      It’s cute to watch a Zionist restrict Jewish self-determination.  :-)

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      January 29, 2019, 10:23 am

      @DaBakr

      Face reality!! “‘The times, they are a’changing.'” “Israel” is rotting within and increasing correctly viewed around the world, including the U.S., as racist, fascistic and an historical anachronism.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        January 29, 2019, 5:07 pm

        @ms

        I guess you ignore the international news about Israel growing its international relations with:

        Chad
        Oman
        Sudan
        China
        India
        Egypt
        KSA
        Kazakhstan
        Russia
        Canada
        Brazil
        Columbia

        (I’m not claiming there is great love but love isn’t required for great alliances. (Usa-Ksa, eg)

        I could continue but I’m sure you’ll say its a fools game. I guess we will find out soon.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 29, 2019, 10:33 am

      Are there any Jews you don’t hate, DaBakr?

      And who claims that JVP has only “a few token” Jews?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        January 29, 2019, 5:12 pm

        JVP is not considered Jewish any more then PW is considered an important Jewish voice. Sorry dude. That’s the truth. Like Hormel is real chile. It isn’t.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        January 30, 2019, 10:58 am

        DaBakr: “That’s the truth.”

        Whose “truth”? Care to provide any objective evidence so we can rule out that it is just another of your delusions?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 30, 2019, 12:42 pm

        “JVP is not considered Jewish”

        I guess the Gentiles will just have to choose which organizations are Jewish, since we can’t agree, and have no way to enforce an agreement, even if we could (ROTFLMSJAO) make one.

        BTW, “Dabakr”, I don’t think the Orthodox consider Reformers to be Jewish, either. So you’re in good company.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 30, 2019, 11:24 pm

        “I guess the Gentiles will just have to choose which organizations are Jewish, since we can’t agree…”

        Makes sense to get a neutral party to arbitrate.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        January 31, 2019, 6:47 am

        Mooser: “BTW, “Dabakr”, I don’t think the Orthodox consider Reformers to be Jewish, either. So you’re in good company.”

        It reminds me more of certain Germans who claimed that others wouldn’t be real Germans if they wouldn’t support the racist and fascist goals of these certain Germans.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 29, 2019, 12:24 pm

      “A few token hateful Jews does not a jewish org make”

      That is a bud libel.

  10. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    January 29, 2019, 6:29 am

    Another important question that must be asked: why have these people waited 22 years to start dissociating themselves from a murderous colonial ideology that had already been condemned and rejected since 1947 at the latest? We are fully justified in looking for a satisfactory explanation for such a mind-blowing delay –of 70+ years, not just 22.
    §
    The explanation proposed in the text here, “not wanting to cut itself off from virtually all of the American Jewish Community” is absurd on the face of it; it’s given the lie by the very name and the sectarian structure of this organization. More probable is their increasing exposure as a tool of the “liberal” Zionists and the “liberal” Zionist Democratic Party to take a controlling share in the Boycott movement, soften its blows by making it subservient to the “liberal” Zionist boycott participation and directing it against the post-67 occupation only. Part of the recent exposure of this outfit is thanks to its going one step too far, by trying to destroy the reputation and even the livelihood of solid allies of the Palestinian resistance, and sabotage their anti-Zionist activity, under the risible pretext of hunting antisemitism.
    §
    A much better and richly detailed analysis is available at Keith’s No Empire Blog ( http://saskck.blogspot.com/2019/01/neo-zionism.html ) While his calling this phenomenon “Neo-Zionism” is certainly justified, I believe it may be even more revealing to call it “Para-Zionism”: a collateral branch of Zionism. Something like what paramedicine and parapharmacy are to medicine and pharmacy, delivering services of a similar nature.

  11. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    January 29, 2019, 11:48 am

    Zionism has become extremism and extremes never bode well.

  12. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    January 29, 2019, 2:32 pm

    @Nathan
    “Israel is really the only show in town in the Jewish world. It was always obvious that this is the case, but it was nice to hear from an activist of the JVP that he, too, has placed Israel at the very center of the Jewish collective identity”

    Perfect description of first loyalty and by inference an approval and encouragement of fifth column activities by American Jews on behalf of a foreign state – in this case a pseudo state

    Be careful about this tendency to wander off script and trying to introduce something as alien as logic into the Zio narrative. You might get your knuckles rapped by Hasbara Central.

  13. lembert
    lembert
    January 30, 2019, 9:20 am

    this is great news. when the world becomes anti-Zionist and takes up arms against Israel, and a second wave of pogroms across the world takes place and millions of Jews are once again slaughtered, Mondoweiss will say they are sorry. if those who write for it are still alive.

    “antiZionism” was a reasonable (in fact, correct) position prior to 1948. after that, it has become another way of saying “kill the Jews.” I know, I’m exaggerating, because there is absolutely no evidence of any desire to kill Jews in the world anymore.

    Mondoweiss is a hate site, and JVP is a hate group, and the comments above only demonstrate that.

    The world is fucked. We can’t put the Pakistanis back in Mumbai or the Hindis back in Islamabad. and trying to put the Palestinians back in the tiny sliver of trans-Jordan now called Israel is no more feasible. and where do you think the Jews in Israel–or whatever you want to call them, as I don’t find much to identify with in them–where do you think they’ll go? Or do you think a second Nakba in reverse will be cool because the first one was so bad?

    The world is fucked. rather than feeding into the hate that is endemic to both sides in this case–and yes, this is one case, kind of like India/Pakistan, where both sides are full to the brim with hate–we need to figure out a way to de-escalate. Claiming that “anti-Zionism” names a position that could possibly result in anything less than mass bloodshed, not just in “Israel” but around the world–is ludicrous.

    As Jew who does not live in Israel or identify with its political positions, it is 100% clear to me that if and when “anti-Zionists” get their way, the world-wide pogrom that will take place will not give a single hoot about the fine-grained distinction Mondoweiss makes between the Jews who support and live in Israel and those who don’t. We’ll all get the yellow stars. and the KKK and the alt-right and the Golden Dawn & on and & on will come for all of us. which it is pretty clear that at least half the commentators and contributors on this site would welcome.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 30, 2019, 1:08 pm

      “Mondoweiss is a hate site, and JVP is a hate group, and the comments above only demonstrate that.”

      You don’t think Mondo and JVP are the vanguard of “American neo-Zionism”?

    • hai_bar
      hai_bar
      January 30, 2019, 1:18 pm

      “this is great news. when the world becomes anti-Zionist and takes up arms against Israel, and a second wave of pogroms across the world takes place and millions of Jews are once again slaughtered, Mondoweiss will say they are sorry. if those who write for it are still alive. ”

      So it’s either the European colony succeeds and completely ethnically cleanses the geography (Palestine), something similar to North America and other ex-colonies or it’s pogroms and world-wide holocausts. How convenient.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 30, 2019, 1:52 pm

      || lambert: this is great news. when the world becomes anti-Zionist and takes up arms against Israel, and a second wave of pogroms across the world takes place and millions of Jews are once again slaughtered … ||

      …Zionists will pat themselves on the back for having anti-Semitically but very successfully conflated Zionism and Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism and Israel.

      || … Mondoweiss will say they are sorry. … ||

      But Zionists won’t.

      || … Mondoweiss is a hate site … ||

      If advocating justice, equality and respect for human rights and international laws is “hate” then, yes, MW is a “hate” site.

      || … The world is fucked. … ||

      And Zionism is doing its part to make sure it stays that way.

      || … where do you think the Jews in Israel–or whatever you want to call them, as I don’t find much to identify with in them–where do you think they’ll go? … ||

      Israeli Jews should remain in Israel as Israelis, alongside Israeli non-Jews.

      Where do you think they should go, these Israeli Jews you don’t seem to think very much of?

      || … The world is fucked. … ||

      And Zionism is doing its part to make sure it stays that way.

      || … if and when “anti-Zionists” get their way, the world-wide pogrom that will take place will not give a single hoot about the fine-grained distinction Mondoweiss makes between the Jews who support and live in Israel and those who don’t. We’ll all get the yellow stars. … ||

      …and Zionists will pat themselves on the back for having anti-Semitically but very successfully conflated Zionism and Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism and Israel.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      January 30, 2019, 11:21 pm

      This is supposed to be the “everything sucks” defence of Zionism.

      But the biggest weakness is that lembert clearly only cares about Jews. S/he has not concern for the deaths of anyone else.
      And s/he probably has no idea how revolting this attitude is to the rest of us.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 31, 2019, 6:32 am

      lembert: “Mondoweiss is a hate site, and JVP is a hate group.”

      Here is a question, infantile and/or imbecile accusers of hate can’t answer:

      What makes Mondoweiss a hate site and JVP a hate group?

      (Yes, lembert, it means that I’m not expecting an answer from you or anybody else who uses the same methods antisemites use to defame others.)

  14. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    January 30, 2019, 2:03 pm

    @lembert
    ” Or do you think a second Nakba in reverse will be cool because the first one was so bad?”
    Nonsensical condescending statement. The Nakba was a meticulously planned cynical strategy and operation organised by Foreign Colonists to drive out the Native population of Palestine from their homes and lands and replace them with a messy pot pourri of Foreign Nationals.That Native population under the Geneva Convention is legally entitled to return to their native homeland.If the Foreign Colonists find this unpleasant or irritating they can always pack up their bags at leisure and return to THEIR native homeland be that America,Europe,Russia or wherever.

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