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

Activities

  • JVP is a leader in BDS campaigns in a variety of different forums, including with local governments and on university campuses. This includes lobbying the Durham, North Carolina City Council to announce a freeze on joint training sessions between local law enforcement and their Israeli counterparts.
  • 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.
  • The group has embraced and advocated on behalf of Palestinian terrorists such as Ahmed Sa’adat and Rasmea Odeh. Similarly, JVP regularly justifies and excuses Palestinian violence.
  • JVP routinely draws false and antisemitic parallels between the treatment of African-Americans and Palestinians, including by blaming Israel and US Jewish groups for racism and police brutality in the US.
    • In June 2020, Jewish Voice for Peace Boston posted a cartoon on its Facebook page calling to “Stop land theft,” “Defund the Police,” and “Stop Funding Violence From the US to Palestine.”
    • In August 2020, JVP joined the campaign against the ADL claiming it is the “single largest non-governmental police trainer.” The defamatory and antisemitic campaign accuses the ADL of funding trips to “train with the Israeli military and meet Israeli counterinsurgency specialists. Black and Palestinian activists have pointed to the parallels in tactics and shared weapons used to suppress uprisings in Ferguson and Palestine.”
  • On April 21, 2021, a coalition of American NGOs, including JVP, launched a campaign titled “End Medical Apartheid from the US to Palestine: a call to action.”
  • In March 2021, JVP welcomed the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to JVP, “An International Criminal Court investigation is a welcome and necessary step toward holding the Israeli government accountable for its egregious and ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights and international law…We will continue to struggle for an end to Israeli apartheid rule and for a future in which all Palestinians and Israelis live with equality, freedom, and justice.”
  • In January 2020, JVP referred to the newly-released President Trump “Peace Plan” as an “apartheid plan.” According to Rabbi Alissa Wise, JVP Deputy Director, “It’s a distraction ploy by two warmongerers who are prioritizing their personal election campaigns over any semblance of statecraft. International law, global consensus and decades of U.S. policy concur that Palestinian land isn’t for Trump to give away nor for Netanyahu to steal.”
  • 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.”

Justifying Palestinian “Resistance” and Embracing Terrorists

  • In April 2021, JVP issued a press release alleging that “the discredited IHRA definition has been a tool to silence Palestinians and safeguard Israeli government impunity.”
    • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by nearly 30 countries and counting, represents the international consensus definition of antisemitism, as well as how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. An example of the latter includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • JVP supported convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh during her deportation proceedings and hosted her as a featured speaker at their 2017 National Membership Meeting.
    • Rasmea Odeh, a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) operative was convicted for immigration fraud after concealing her role in two terrorist bombings in Israel. The PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization by the USEUCanada, and Israel.
  • In April 2020, JVP interviewed Laura Whitehorn about her activism with political prisoners. Whitehorn served “14 years in jail for her role in a 1983 bombing at the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.”
  • In January 2017, JVP San Diego endorsed a campaign lobbying for the release of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) General Secretary Ahmed Sa’adat, 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.
  • 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 by Palestinians to justify attacks on Israeli civilians.
  • 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.”

Engaging in Antisemitic Rhetoric and Ignoring Antisemitism

  • In June 2017, launched the “Deadly Exchange” campaign, that aims to “end police exchange programs between the US and Israel.” JVP claims that American Jewish organizations and programs are to blame for police violence against minorities in America.
    • The initial “Deadly Exchange” video labeled AIPAC, ADL, Birthright and other Jewish organizations as being responsible for these exchanges, and urged viewers to “Hold accountable the Jewish institutions who run and fund the deadly exchange.”
    • As a result of JVP lobbying, the Durham, North Carolina City Council voted in April 2018 to ban joint training activities with the Israel Police.
  • Beginning September 2015, JVP co-sponsored a speaking tour in the United States for Bassem Tamimi. Tamimi has expressed support for antisemitic sentiments including the claim that Israelis detain Palestinian children to harvest their organs and that the Zionists control the media.
    • 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
  • 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 BDS

  • According to its website, “Jewish Voice for Peace endorses the call from Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) as part of our work for freedom, justice and equality for all people. We believe that the time-honored, non-violent tools proposed by the BDS call provide powerful opportunities to make that vision real.”
  • 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’s Student Network works to advance BDS resolutions and anti-Israel demonization on college campuses, including at Vassar, George Washington University (GWU), and Barnard.
  • In September 2021, JVP launched a petition to “Say NO to another $1 billion in military funding to Israel.” The petition called for members of Congress to “oppose the additional $1 billion dollars in military funding for the Iron Dome to the Israeli government that is coming for a vote today. We already send the Israeli military $3.8 billion a year, and under no circumstances should the congressperson support sending an additional $1 billion dollars.”
  • In May 2021, JVP published a press release calling to “Support the Palestinian-led call for BDS, demand an end to U.S. military funding to Israel, and help us build a Judaism and Jewish community beyond Zionism.”
  • In June 2019, JVP launched the campaign “dropanyvision,” meant to pressure Microsoft to “cut all Microsoft investment in (Israeli company) AnyVision.”
  • In March 2019, JVP held a campaign titled “#SkipAIPAC,” calling on Members of Congress to “#SkipAIPAC this year and every year until Palestine is free.” According to the campaign, “Netanyahu always makes it so easy to support the boycott on Israel.”
  • Between March 31-April 2, 2017, JVP held its “2017 National Member Meeting” that included 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.”
  • Discourages Jewish students from participating in Birthright trips to Israel, explaining that “As young Jews, we recognize that Israel is not our birthright.”
  • 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.
  • 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 August 2014, along with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), ran the “BDS Summer Institute,” to train college students to stage BDS events on campus.
  • JVP formerly ran the “Muzzle Watch” blog, 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.

No Way to Treat a Child

Staff

  • Beth Miller, JVP Senior Government Affairs Manager, previously served as the U.S. Advocacy Officer for Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI-P).
  • Grace Lile, chair of the JVP Board of Directors, is the Director of Operations at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).
    • CCR is active in lawfare suits against Israel and Israeli officials (including Avi Dichter and Moshe Ya’alon); promotes anti-Israel BDS campaigns; urges the U.S. government to stop providing military aid to Israel; presents an entirely biased and distorted view of the conflict and utilizes highly politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of  “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and other such allegations.
  • Phyllis Bennis, member of the JVP Board of Directors, founded the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (formerly known as the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation).
    • USCPR is a national coalition of hundreds of groups working to advocate for Palestinian rights and a shift in US policy and is a leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS campaigns.

Appendix 1

2014-2019 Grants (amounts in USD)

FunderYearGrant
Rockefeller Brothers Fund2015140,000
2017140,000
2019175,000
Schwab Charitable FoundationFY 2014-2015191,450
FY 2015-2016190,450
FY 2016-2017$244,600
Bijan Amin and Soraya Amin Foundation201410,000
201575,000
Tides Foundation201449,477
201510,000
2016$10,000
Firedoll FoundationFY 2014-201525,000
FY 2015-201625,000
FY 2016-201725,000
Jewish Communal Fund201525,100
201615,100
The Kaphan Foundation201420,000
201525,000
201650,000
201750,000
Left Tilt Fund201515,000
Violet Jabara Charitable Trust201515,000
201620,000
201725,000
201825,000
Bonus Fund (Curbstone Financial Management Corporation)201420,000
201515,000
201615,000
201715,000
201815,000
National Philanthropic Trust201412,900
201612,250
New York Community Trust201410,250
The Pomegranate Foundation201410,000
Vivian & Paul Olum Charitable Foundation201410,000
201515,000
201618,500
Combined Federal Campaign2012-201410,000 (estimated)
The James & Mary Jane Barrett Foundation20147,166
20177,050
20187,875
Sparkplug Foundation20146,500
Vanguard Charitable Endowment ProgramFY 2015-20166,000
FY 2016-201718,000
FY 2017-20188,000
LouVin Foundation20145,000
20155,000
20163,000
The Nasiri Foundation20167,500
20175,000-9,999
Ploughshares Foundation20145,000
20155,000
20165,000
Shams Foundation20145,000
Porter Family Charitable Foundation20144,500
201510,000
20165,000
Do Right Foundation20143,000
20153,000
20183,000
Shimkin Foundation20143,000
20153,000
Ben & Jerry’s Foundation20142,500
20152,500
Iqbal G. Mamdani and Shelby M. Mamdani20142,500
20152,500
AJ Muste Memorial Trust20142,000
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven20141,500
20161,000
Hope and Justice Educational Foundation20141,100
20151,000
De La Cour Family Foundation20141,000
Horizons Foundation20141,000
2015500
2016500
2017500
Benjamin Fund201610,000
201710,55010,550

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