In almost every recent controversy involving accusations of anti-Semitism, the U.S.-based organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has stepped forward to defend the alleged anti-Semite. Moreover, explains Joshua Muravchik, JVP’s position is that anti-Semitism is “less important than other prejudices.” The group, which characterizes itself as “the Jewish wing of the Palestinian solidarity movement,” also claims in its literature that Jews tend to be racists and have far too much power. In a thorough study, Muravchik makes clear what JVP is really about:
Sometimes on its own, sometimes in coalitions, JVP undertakes projects aiming to weaken Israel materially or in reputation. [To do so], it deploys its Jewish identity to reassure non-Jewish groups that they can target Israel without compunction or fear of alienating the Jewish community. It has devoted special attention to encouraging U.S. churches to embrace the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). . . .
Like the rest of the “Palestinian solidarity movement,” JVP does not shrink from supporting terrorism. Nominally it says it is against violence aimed at civilians, although it does not say by whom. And when I asked the JVP spokeswoman Sonya Meyerson-Knox, in the course of a correspondence in which she had answered some other questions, if JVP had “ever criticized any specific acts or statements by Palestinians against Israel or Jews,” she fell silent and broke off the exchange. In truth, repeated JVP statements defend Palestinian violence of all kinds. . . .
Contrary to allusions in the press, [JVP] is neither liberal nor dovish. Rather, it is a collection of mostly Jewish ideologues of the radical left who realize that their lineage affords special leverage in attacking Israel, which is a defining target of contemporary leftism. Nowhere does JVP evince any genuine interest in Judaism or in the well-being of the Jewish people or any reverence for the accoutrements of Jewish life—holidays, prayers, ceremonial garments, Hebrew words—that it appropriates as props or adornments in its impassioned campaign for Palestinian vanquishment of Israel.
If the use of “Jewish” in its name is opportunistic, the use of the word “peace” is entirely disingenuous. JVP derides what it refers to as “so-called ‘peace talks.’” It declines to spell out an alternative path or the end it seeks, declaring itself indifferent to the details so long as the Palestinians’ “right of return” is achieved. There might be one state or two, it says, but in this formula all will be Arab-dominated. The Jewish state will disappear, and this will constitute the end of racism, the birth of democracy, and the fulfillment of Judaism.