Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jewish Voice for Peace Lobbying Hard for Church Divestment

Update: The Presbyterian Church voted against divestment late Thursday evening, July 5. While ADL welcomed the decision, we are troubled that the issue was decided on such a narrow vote (333-331 with 2 abstentions) and that the debate was biased from start to finish with vehement anti-Israel sentiment.  

Jewish Voice for Peace has been a highly visible and vocal advocate in the General Assembly in favor of the Presbyterian Church’s consideration of a virulently anti-Israel divestment resolution. The resolution, which calls for the church to divest from three companies that allegedly profit from Israel’s occupation (Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard), will be voted on later today by the full plenary after it was passed in committee earlier this week.

There is much to criticize about the problematic nature of the resolution itself, but one of the more disturbing elements of this campaign has been Jewish Voice for Peace’s aggressive lobbying for it.

The group invested significant time and resources to send a delegation of activists to the General Assembly who reportedly testified on the committee floor in favor of divestment and are live-tweeting the conference. A large portion of Twitter chatter about the resolution has been generated by JVP using the hashtag “#churchdivest” to provide updates on the resolution. Of tweets using that hashtag in the last 36 hours, approximately 25% have been generated by JVP and two of its staff people.

JVP activists have also created and distributed a flier called “Divest from Violence. Invest in Peace” which contains several statements from Christians who support divestment, and is circulating a petition that calls on Presbyterians to support divestment. The petition claims that the international community has failed in its efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and it is clear that BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is now the only option left. The petition ends with, “Can you tell Presbyterians we’ve got their back?”

It is clear that JVP believes it has a very critical role to play in the domestic anti-Israel agenda: JVP promotes itself as representing the views of American Jews and can be seen as trying to provide cover against claims that the Presbyterian divestment initiatives are anti-Semitic. Nobody should be fooled. JVP is a fringe organization with its own anti-Israel agenda.


Anonymous said...

The ADL says over and over that Jewish Voice for Peace is anti-Israel, but repeating this mantra doesn’t make it true. Jewish Voice for Peace works for peace with justice in Israel and Palestine, and that means working to end the occupation that deprives Palestinians of basic political rights. The Presbyterians are debating a resolution to stop investing in companies that support and profit from the occupation like Caterpillar, whose armored bulldozers are used to demolish the homes of Palestinians. I, for one, applaud the Presbyterians for this effort and I hope the readers of this blog will ask the ADL, exactly how is this anti-Israel?

Unknown said...

So Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a “fringe organization,” is it? I invite you to take a look at its Advisory Board, which includes, among others, Emmy Award winning actor Ed Asner; linguist/philosopher Noam Chomsky; playwright Eve Ensler; journalist and author Naomi Klein; Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner; attorney Robert Meeropol, the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and founder and Executive Director of Rosenberg Fund for Children; Michael Ratner, former President of the Center for Constitutional Rights; and actor/playwright Wallace Shawn.

Furthermore, Jewish Voice for Peace is not, nor has it ever been, “anti-Israel.” If you took the time and trouble to get your facts right, perhaps you could make a better case for whatever it is you are trying to say. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your time and ours.

Sylvia said...

Well, having seen your Passover Haggadah and the other Judaic beliefs reduced by you to a state of skeleton, I 'd say you don't have to worry about handing over your religion "to gangsters in Israel". You have nothing left to hand over to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sylvia!
Yes,we do know that jv'p' has something amiss. Let's see....
Caterpillar does not sell to Israel -fact- equipment is purchased from the US Govt.
The so called palestinians are supplied directly from Caterpiller. Neat, eh?

This group is ashamed of Israel-enough to harm her.
What kind of Jews are these? (song)
What kind of person would work to support
a non-existent people and country at the expense of a real country?

Anon and Davey: Since you are such big fans of 'palestine', could you please educate us?

When was the country of 'palestine' founded and by whom?
Please describe the actual borders of this 'ancient' country at any time in their 'history'.
Name one (or more) leaders, other than Arrafat and the current pretenders
(check on Abbas re when his term actually expired.Years.)
Please tell us about, and provide pictures of, this 'country's' coinage.
Any National Holidays you can describe? ('Holidays' that don't focus on Jews)
Anything about 'palestinian' culture that is not obviously Arab?

For more info, please see the State of 'Palestine' Quiz at Dry Bones:
(spread the news)


Anonymous said...

I wish to see them live in an Arab country. They need to suffer the Arab racism and humiliation for being Jews and then they will know how precious Israel is.
They don't know what it feels to see your child come home crying because of the Arabs anti-Semitism. They never lived under a non-Jewish state. I bet Ali Abunimah washes his hand after he shakes hands with JVP.