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Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

Introduction

JVP’s strategy is to create “a wedge” within the American Jewish community, while working toward the goal of eliminating U.S. economic, military, and political aid to Israel.

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttp://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/
Founded1996, based in the United States
In their own wordsViews itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement and seeks to “end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.”

Funding

  • JVP’s funding sources are not transparent, and its website carries no information on its donors. Limited financial information on JVP is only available through public IRS documents (990s) and databases, which report a total revenue of $1,181,372 in 2013, $1,424,461 in 2014, and $2,596,654 in 2015.
  • In June 2015, received a two-year grant of $140,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
  • JVP has received funding from the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust (an Arab-American foundation that also supports Electronic Intifada), the Firedoll Foundation, and the Wallace Global Fund, which all contribute to numerous other anti-Israel groups. (See below for detailed funding information. For more information on JVP funding, read NGO Monitor’s report “Uncovering the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Funding Network.”)

Activities

  • In January 2017, JVP San Diego endorsed a campaign lobbying for the release of Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for heading an “illegal terrorist organization,” as well as for his involvement in planning many of the group’s attacks such as the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.
  • In December 2016, JVP was presented the “Defender of Liberty” award from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an anti-Israel organization that supports BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel as a response to “one of the greatest forms of injustice in our time – Apartheid.”
  • In 2015, JVP was a “National campaign partner” for the campaign “No Way to Treat a Child,” a vehicle for exploiting children for political warfare against Israel. The campaign was initiated by PFLP-linked Defense for Children International- Palestine and BDS organizer American Friends Service Committee. A February 20, 2017, exposé in the Jerusalem Post revealed the central claims of this campaign to be false.
  • Beginning September 2015, JVP co-sponsored a speaking tour in the United States for Bassem Tamimi. Tamimi was convicted in 2012 of encouraging Palestinian youths to throw stones at Israeli soldiers. His appearance in a third grade classroom sparked outrage, and the school’s superintendent denounced the remarks as “inflammatory.” Tamimi has, in addition to inciting violence, expressed support for antisemitic sentiments including the claim that Israelis detain Palestinian children to harvest their organs and that the Zionists control the media.
    • In March 2016, the U.S. government cancelled Tamimi’s visa for lying on his application form, specifically for “failure to disclose prior arrest and conviction.”

Support for BDS

  • Promotes political warfare strategy against Israel, including BDS, sustained campaigns of demonization alleging “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian claim to a “right of return” with the ultimate goal of dismantling Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
  • JVP states that its “goal, and the goal of the BDS movement” is to hold “any government accountable for violating the human rights of others—and that includes Israel… the United States has given Israel a free pass for decades, providing massive economic and military aid, and unconditional diplomatic support, thus allowing Israel to take Palestinian land and destroy Palestinian lives with impunity.”
  • JVP provides cover for BDS and attempts to shield activists from accusations of antisemitism: “We will defend activists around the world who employ the full range of BDS tactics when they are demonized or wrongly accused of antisemitism.”
  • JVP is involved in a campaign targeting Airbnb to end “illegal rentals in the West Bank,” and has lobbied for the Presbyterian Church and the TIAA-CREF retirement fund to adopt divestment resolutions.
  • Between March 31-April 2, JVP will hold its “2017 National Member Meeting” that will include workshops such as, “What Makes HP Such a Brilliant BDS Target?,” “Fightback against Anti-BDS legislation,” and “BDS: Everything you Want to Know about Municipal Campaigns.” Featured speakers at the conference include Rasmea Odeh, a PFLP operative who was found guilty for immigration fraud after concealing her role in two terrorist bombings in Israel, and Hatem Abudayyeh, the co-founder of US Palestine Community Network (USPCN), an anti-Israel organization that regularly organizes and cosponsors BDS events.
  • In February 2017, along with other groups including US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, signed a letter calling upon NFL players to boycott a planned trip to Israel. The letter accuses Israel of “war crimes,””whitewash[ing] its ongoing denial of Palestinian rights,” and constructing an “apartheid wall.” It makes numerous comparisons between Palestinians in Israel and apartheid South Africa and “brown and black communities” during the civil rights movement in the U.S.
  • On February 2, 2016, JVP, together with “Jews Say No!,” circulated a deceptive print and online edition of The New York Times to protest the newspaper’s coverage of Israel. The front page of the falsified edition read, “Congress to Debate U.S. Aid to Israel” and featured several ads, including one for Shalom Cement, a company specializing in building “apartheid walls,” and another for a luxury watch that reads: “The time is now to end Israeli military aid.”
  • In 2016, JVP partnered with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in taking out a full-page ad in the L.A. Times, calling on Academy Award nominees to reject a free trip to Israel. This followed a failed attempt to place a similar ad in Variety magazine.
  • Quotes BDS leader Omar Barghouti in its “Passover Hagaddah 2012/5772,” which also includes a “L’chayim [a toast] to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.” Among the Hagaddah’s “Ten Plagues of the Israeli Occupation” is the “plague” of the “Denial of the Right of Return.” In its “Passover Hagaddah 5776/2016” the customary third cup of wine is drank as a “L’chayim to the BDS movement!”
  • From August 10-14, 2014, JVP and American Friends Service Committee ran the “BDS Summer Institute,” a five-day indoctrination session in California to train college students to stage divisive and discriminatory BDS events on campus.
  • In July 2014, JVP organized demonstrations in 15 cities across the United States, opposing Israeli self-defense measures in Gaza, accusing Israel of “collective punishment,” and calling for BDS.
  • JVP formerly ran a blog titled “Muzzle Watch,” which billed itself as “Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.” The blog often referred to complaints lodged against campus BDS activists for violating various laws and regulations or to attempts to prevent schools from hosting BDS events. In a number of the cases detailed on the site, JVP had been directly involved in supporting campus BDS activities.

Justifying Palestinian “Resistance”

  • Promotes false allegations that the “Al-Aqsa mosque” is under threat “due to the escalation of Israeli settler violence, which is supported by the Israeli police and military” and that Israel “fanned the flames of Palestinian grassroots resistance by stepping up its attacks against al-Aqsa mosque.” These claims are often used to justify attacks on Israeli civilians.
  • Shared a Twitter message posted by one of its officials, Alice Rothchild, calling for JVP members and supporters to use the hashtag #SaveAlaqsa on social media. This hashtag had also been used by Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization, to encourage murderous attacks against innocent Israelis.
  • In October 2015, referred to an increase in terror attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces as “Palestinian popular resistance” and posted a statement on its Facebook page that praises “a new generation of Palestinians…rising up en-masse against Israel’s brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.”

Ignoring Antisemitism

  • In response to the January 2015 Paris terror attacks, including the attack on a kosher market, JVP published a blog post (“The Paris Murders & the Islamophobic Backlash“) ignoring antisemitism and instead highlighting that “Muslims are at greatly heightened risk from the forces of bigotry. This latest backlash occurs in the context of pervasive, systemic, and long-standing anti-Islam bigotry in many countries around the world.”

Support for the Palestinian narrative of “Nakba”

  • JVP supports and promotes the Palestinian narrative of “Nakba” (referring to the establishment of the State of Israel as a “catastrophe,”), as well as a Palestinian “right of return,” which, if implemented, would mean the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
  • Organized a special website, “Facing the Nakba,” which provides “educational resources to American Jews and a general American audience about the history of the Nakba and its implications in Palestine/Israel today.”

Antagonism Towards Organized Jewish Community

  • According to the FAQs section of its website: “Jews have a special role to play in bringing about a change in American and Israeli policy…Israel claims to be acting in the name of the Jewish people, and it is up to us to make sure the world knows that many of us are opposed to their actions.”
  • JVP regards the organized Jewish community as its “enemy” and “opponent,” yet it demands a seat at the communal table.

Partners

Appendix 1

2014-2015 Grants

FunderYearGrant
Rockefeller Brothers Fund2015$140,000
Jewish Communal Fund2015$25,100
Violet Jabara Charitable Trust2015$15,000
Left Tilt Fund2015$15,000
Schwab Charitable Foundation2014$158,000
Tides Foundation2014$49,477
Firedoll Foundation2014$25,000
Bonus Fund (Curbstone Financial Management Corporation)2014$20,000
The Kaphan Foundation2014$20,000
Left Tilt Fund2014$15,000
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program2014$14,500
National Philanthropic Fund2014$12,900
New York Community Trust2014$10,250
Bijan Amin and Soraya Amin Foundation2014$10,000
The Pomegranate Foundation2014$10,000
Vivian & Paul Olum Charitable Foundation2014$10,000
The James & Mary Jane Barrett Foundation2014$7,166
Sparkplug Foundation2014$6,500
LouVin Foundation2014$5,000
The Nasiri Foundation2014$5,000
Ploughshares Foundation2014$5,000
Shams Foundation2014$5,000
Porter Family Charitable Foundation2014$4,500
Do Right Foundation2014$3,000
Shimkin Foundation2014$3,000
Ben & Jerrry’s Foundation2014$2,500
Iqbal G. Mamdani and Shelby M. Mamdani2014$2,500
AJ Muste Memorial Trust 2014$2,000
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven2014$1,500
Hope and Justice Educational Foundation2014$1,100
De La Cour Family Foundation2014$1,000
Horizons Foundation2014$1,000
Combined Federal Campaign2012-2014$10,000 (estimated)

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Further Reading