Israel’s Channel 2 recently dedicated a full 15 minutes to the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). For an Israeli audience that never heard of JVP, however, the reaction had to have been nothing short of shock and a profound sense of betrayal.
Though JVP has supported BDS for years, it didn’t officially join the international campaign until this February. BDS activists, of course, do not want to make peace with Israel. Rather, they seek peace without any Israel.
Being thousands of miles away from the chaos engulfing the Arab world on Israel’s immediate borders gives these two JVP representatives the luxury to objectify Israelis and reduce their predicament to one-dimensional theories supported by glib sloganeering.
We who live here in Israel, however, understand well that this “right of return” demand is a euphemism for delegitimizing Israel’s status as the national home in which the Jewish people are implementing their right to self-determination.
In 2011, Barghouti wrote that the “BDS National Committee (BNC)… sees JVP as an important ally in the U.S.” Further, Barghouti was listed as a featured speaker at JVP’s 2013 National Member Meeting.
Let’s not mince words. Israel’s 6-and-a-half million Jews are about half the world’s Jewish population. JVP’s support for delegitimizing Israel, while promoting its isolation and the destabilization of a Middle East where hundreds of thousands have died in ethnic and sectarian civil wars, is an act of existential betrayal to 50 percent of world Jewry.
Betrayal, with all its connotations of treachery and perfidy, is a strong word. But when a group of Diaspora Jews joins forces with Israel’s most extreme adversaries seeking to strip the Jewish people of the inalienable right to national self-determination, I cannot find another word to describe such behavior.