On December 8th, Swarthmore Hillel’s student board endorsed the “Open Hillel” framework, which seeks to overturn Hillel International’s guidelines that proscribe partnering with anti-Israel groups or individuals. While the Open Hillel campaign claims that it “does not advocate for BDS, or for any other political position on Israel-Palestine,” the alliance with JVP demonstrates otherwise. JVP openly seeks to drive a “wedge” in the Jewish community over support for Israel and mainstream BDS in the American Jewish community.
The close relationship between JVP and Open Hillel is documented in detail in NGO Monitor’s report, Driving a Wedge: JVP’s Strategy to Weaken U.S. Support for Israel by Dividing the Jewish Community, including JVPs role in of promoting anti-Israel and anti-Zionist propaganda. (While JVP has an annual budget of approximately $1 million, enabling it to promote these campaigns, including at Swarthmore, they refuse to reveal the source of this funding.)
JVP views itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement saying, “We will defend activists around the world who employ the full range of BDS tactics when they are demonized or wrongly accused of anti-Semitism.”
JVP’s Statement on BDS (2011) declares: “JVP shares the aims of the Palestinian Boycott National Committee – ending the occupation, achieving equality for Palestinians now living in Israel, and recognizing Palestinian refugees’ right of return. JVP focuses our efforts on boycott and divestment campaigns.”
“JVP’s Campus Divestment campaign amplifies this radical anti-Israel agenda on U.S. campuses,” said Yitzhak Santis, NGO Monitor’s Chief Programs Officer. “JVP campus chapters are actively promoting and supporting the BDS movement through campus chapters. They are engaged in advocating the Palestinian cause on U.S. campuses, including support for pro-BDS resolutions in student governments.”
The author of NGO Monitor’s JVP report, Santis also states, “Open Hillel has become a willing participant in the strategic effort by anti-Israel activists to split Jews over Israel. It is the old stratagem of divide and conquer.”
To read the full report: Driving a Wedge: JVP’s Strategy to Weaken U.S. Support for Israel by Dividing the Jewish Community