Jewish Voice for Peace and Its Anti-Semitic Obsessions

Jan. 11 2018

New Israeli regulations ban a number of organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), from entering the county. According to its mission statement, JVP “opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression” and “seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem.” It also supports the boycott, divest, and sanction movement (BDS), celebrates Palestinian terrorists, and dedicates most of its efforts to libeling the Jewish state. Even worse, writes Andrew Mark Bennett, is the organization’s underlying obsession with the evils it ascribes not only to Israel but to American Jews:

Beyond its anti-Zionism, JVP consistently positions Jews as the cause of society’s ills. . . . The most glaring example of JVP’s obsession with Jewish wrongdoing is its “Deadly Exchange” campaign. According to JVP, Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League sponsor “exchange programs that bring together police, ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], border-patrol, and FBI [agents] from the U.S. with soldiers, police, border agents, etc. from Israel.” Through these exchanges, JVP says, “worst practices” are shared “to promote and extend discriminatory and repressive policing in both countries.” . . .

The campaign seeks to hold the Jewish institutions accountable for their alleged complicity in funding and promoting this “state violence.” [It is] an anti-Semitic libel designed to paint Jews with blood by . . . “exposing” the role of American Jewish organizations in U.S.-Israel exchanges as a shadowy Jewish conspiracy . . . to subvert race relations and to erode democracy and human rights. . . . In fact, there is no evidence whatsoever to substantiate suspicions that these exchanges are in fact pernicious, let alone unusual or especially deadly. . . .

JVP has [also] long considered Zionism to be a form of white supremacy. That absurd [slander] became more prominent over the last year with the rise of the “alt-right.” As white supremacists maliciously drew spurious comparisons between Zionism and their own desire for a white ethno-state, JVP latched on to them as if they were legitimate. . . . .

[In short], it’s hard not to arrive at the conclusion that JVP is anti-Semitic. As such, it does not merit . . . [a] defense when it is excluded from Jewish communities and the Jewish state.

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Read more at Forward

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Israel & Zionism, Jewish Voice for Peace

Jerusalem’s Economic Crisis, Its Arabs, and Its Future

Oct. 18 2018

The population of Israel’s capital city is 38-percent Arab, making Arab eastern Jerusalem the largest Arab community in the country. Connected to this fact is Jerusalem’s 46-percent poverty rate—the highest of any Israeli municipality. The city’s economic condition stems in part from its large ultra-Orthodox population, but there is also rampant poverty among its Arab residents, whose legal status is different from that of both Arab Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. Haviv Rettig Gur explains:

Jerusalem’s Arab inhabitants are not Israeli citizens—in part because Palestinian society views acceptance of Israeli citizenship, [available to any Arab Jerusalemite who desires it], as acceptance of Israeli claims of sovereignty over the city, and in part because Israel is not eager to accept them, even as it formally views itself as having annexed the area. Nevertheless, they have a form of permanent residency that, unlike West Bank Palestinians, allows them unimpeded access to the rest of Israel. . . .

There are good reasons for this poverty among eastern Jerusalem’s Arabs, rooted in the political trap that has ensnared the Arab half of the city and with it the rest of the city as well. Right-wing Israeli political leaders have avoided investing in Arab eastern Jerusalem, fearing that such investments would increase the flow of Palestinians into the city. Left-wing leaders have done the same on the grounds that the Arab half would be given away in a future peace deal.

Meanwhile, eastern Jerusalem’s complicated situation, suspended between the Israeli and Palestinian worlds, means residents cannot take full advantage of their access to the Israeli economy. For example, while most Arab women elsewhere in Israel learn usable Hebrew in school, most Arab schools in eastern Jerusalem teach from the Palestinian curriculum, which does not offer students the Hebrew they will need to find work in the western half of the city. . . .

It is not unreasonable to argue that Jerusalem cannot really be divided, not for political reasons but for economic ones. If Jerusalem remains a solely Israeli capital, it will have to integrate better its disparate parts and massively develop its weaker communities if it hopes ever to become solvent and prosperous. Arabs must be able to find more and better work in Jewish Jerusalem—and in Arab Jerusalem, too. Conversely, if the city is divided into two capitals, that of a Jewish state and that of a Palestinian one, that won’t change the underlying economic reality that its prosperity, its capacity to accommodate tourism and develop efficient infrastructure, and its ability to ensure access for all religions to their many holy sites, will still require a unified urban space.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Arabs, Israeli economy, Jerusalem