Driving a Wedge: JVPs Strategy to Weaken U.S. Support for Israel by Dividing the Jewish Community
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Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a U.S.-based organization, which views itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement. Though JVP regards the organized Jewish community as its “enemy” and “opponent,” it nonetheless demands a seat at the communal table. The strategy, as stated by JVP’s executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson, is to create “a wedge” within the American Jewish community to generate the impression of polarization over Israel. The tactic is to dilute support for Israel in the Jewish community, toward the goal of reducing or eliminating the United States government’s economic, military, and political support for Israel.
In this role, JVP has actively promoted the central dimensions of the political warfare strategy against Israel, which was adopted at the 2001 Durban NGO Forum. This “Durban strategy” includes the tactics of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), a sustained campaign of demonization such as accusations of “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. To these ends, JVP promotes divestment campaigns on U.S. campuses, in mainline churches, and in corporate stockholder meetings by deploying the language of demonization and delegitimization.
JVP works closely with other organizations that promote the Durban strategy, such as Electronic Intifada, American Muslims for Palestine, Adalah-NY, Code Pink, Sabeel, International Solidarity Movement, and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (of which JVP is an official member).
JVP amplifies the radical anti-Israel agenda through its Rabbinical Council, a youth section called “Young, Jewish and Proud,” and activism within the LGBT community. It also hosts the “Muzzlewatch” website, purporting to expose “McCarthyism” in the Jewish community. Yet, JVP has engaged in the disruption of the programs of organizations with whom JVP disagrees.
JVP’s funding sources are not transparent. 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 budget of $876, 529 for 2011.
These sources reveal that JVP has received funding from an Arab-American foundation that also supports Electronic Intifada (the Violet Jabara Charitable trust), the Firedoll Foundation, and the Wallace Global Fund, which all contribute to numerous anti-Israel groups.
- Website: www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org
- Based in the U.S. Founded in 1996.
- Claimed mission: “JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.”
- Actual goal: Drive a “wedge” in the Jewish community over Israel while mainstreaming boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaigns (BDS), so as to weaken U.S. support for Israel.
- Budget: $876, 529 in 2011 (figures for 2012 and 2013 are not available at this date)
- Executive Director: Rebecca Vilkomerson
- Lack of transparency: JVP does not make any of its financial information available on its website. The organization’s last annual report is from 2005 and is no longer available on its website.
- According to JVP’s 990s (filed with US tax authorities), from 2005 to 2011, JVP more than tripled its total revenues. In 2005, total revenues were $269,582. By 2011, revenues amounted to $876,529. Amounts for 2012 are not available at this date.
- During this period, JVP’s aggregate total of “contributions and grants received” was $3,527,396. NGO Monitor was able to identify about 10% ($397,700) of JVP’s funding sources during this period. (See Appendix for table of funders.) The sources of the $3,129,696 difference are not available. In 2010, JVP announced, “Thanks to an anonymous donor, every gift we receive before the end of the year will be matched – up to $100,000.”
- In 2009, JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson earned $28,457 in salary and other compensation. The following year, her salary was $71,084, and in 2011 her salary was $74,544. Figures for 2012 are not available at this date.
Foundations donating to JVP
- The Wallace Global Fund donated to JVP $25,000 in 2010 and $25,000 in 2011. The Wallace Global Fund also funds the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is the main lawfare promoter in the US, and also supports BDS; the Institute for Policy Studies, which publishes articles about “Israeli apartheid,” advocates for BDS and calls for an end to US aid to Israel; Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
- In 2009, 2010, and 2013, the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust donated to JVP $1,000, $16,500, and $15,000 respectively for media projects. This foundation also gives to other pro-Palestinian organizations, including the Electronic Intifada; the Institute for Middle East Understanding, which promotes BDS; and to the American Friends Service Committee, which also supports BDS.
- The Firedoll Foundation donated to JVP a total of $29,500 during this period. Firedoll also funds the Alliance for Global Justice, which serves as a fiscal sponsor to Anarchists Against the Wall, which supports BDS and uses the term “apartheid” in their descriptions of Israeli policies; Coalition of Women for Peace, a leading BDS organization; Zochrot, established to “materialize” a “right of return”; the Lajee Center, which supports BDS and “the inalienable ‘Right of Return’ for all refugees”; the One Democratic State group; and the Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee, which supports BDS and organizes protests that often turn violent.
Create a “wedge” in the Jewish community to weaken U.S. support for Israel
- At a May 13, 2013 Stanford University forum JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson described JVP’s goal of creating a “wedge” within the Jewish community over Israel.
“I think part of our job as the Jewish wing of the [Palestinian solidarity] movement, is to facilitate conversations inside the Jewish community… So, I think it’s very important to think sort of how we plan a wedge… So, I think that the more and more we can sort of put that wedge in, saying the Jewish community’s not agreeing on these issues, the more we’ll make progress.”  (emphasis added)
This view of JVP’s role is corroborated by Heike Schotten, an anti-Zionist activist and academic active in JVP’s Boston chapter, who was a scheduled panelist at JVP’s 2013 National Member Meeting. She wrote:
“Groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), American Jews for a Just Peace (AJJP), and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) drive a wedge between Zionism and Judaism, demonstrating by their very existence that not all Jews are Zionists (nor are all Zionists Jews). This is of enormous strategic value, particularly in the U.S. context.” (emphasis added)
Another JVP activist, Mark Gunnery, writes of how American Jews can “subvert” US support for Israel:
“Jews can get away with a lot more criticism of Israel than non-Jews. Instead of hiding from these privileges and acting like they don’t exist, we can simultaneously recognize, subvert, and utilize them… The United States maintains a special relationship with Israel that involves providing them diplomatic cover and giving them military aid… Jewish activists can work towards justice in Palestine through shifting public opinion so much that it will become impossible for the US to continue supporting Israel the way it does now. Without US military aid and diplomatic support, Israel could not maintain the system it currently does within its disputed borders. JVP is doing tremendously important and difficult work”
“Go & Learn” Initiative: Mainstream BDS in the Jewish community
- In July 2012, JVP initiated the Go & Learn Initiative, “to bring conversation about BDS into Jewish institutional communities.”
Overarching BDS strategy
- JVP’s 2005 “Statement on Selective Divestment“ described the organization’s long term strategy of supporting “selective divestment” as a tactical first step in a long-term strategy that eventually will evolve into a call for general divestment once Israel is isolated in the U.S., as part of the Durban Strategy seeking to delegitimize Israel as “the new apartheid state.” The document states:
“The sanctions against South Africa were a tactic at the tail end of a decades-long movement, when the South African government was thoroughly isolated in the US population. As of now, the Israeli government has powerful allies in the United States… enough that it is a significant obstacle to any forward motion, and a guarantee that economic power against the Israeli government is not yet within our reach.
“Our central task by far, and for the foreseeable future, is to educate the public. Our strategic criterion needs to be whether a given campaign helps us educate people, or whether instead it helps our enemies’ disinformation machine. On this score, we face a more hostile environment than our European comrades, and thus we cannot uncritically adopt the decisions of the European Social Forum. (They approved an economic sanctions platform, at the urging of Palestinian activist Mustafa Barghouti.)
“Choosing a strategy that plays into the hands of our opponents is just wrong: when they attack us, and they will, we want to win the fight and have more supporters, not fewer.
“The selective sanctions strategy is quickly gaining adherents… Here in the US, the Presbyterian Church resolved to explore ‘selective divestment…’ (Note that they wisely ‘did not approve a blanket divestment from companies that do business in Israel’.)… The genie is out of the bottle, and we may be entering an entirely new phase in the movement for justice and peace in Palestine/Israel. American Jews have a key role to play in it.” (emphasis added)
- According to a 2011 media report on JVP, “At the moment, there are only 500 core members, but according to [Rebecca] Vilkomerson, 100,000 people are on the group’s lists as having participated in a JVP action or event.” (emphasis added)
- While speaking at Stanford University on May 13, 2013, Vilkomerson claimed that “We have 150,000 people on our online support group, we have 35 chapters around the country.”
- Neither claim is independently verifiable.
- Vilkomerson’s 2013 Stanford claim was made in the context of this broad assertion: “We’re not an insignificant portion of the Jewish community and when the Jewish community tries to present a united face about what the Jewish community thinks about divestment, what the Jewish community thinks about Israel… So, I think it’s very important to think sort of how we plan a wedge. And I think we are at that point now where we can legitimately claim that we can’t say that we are being mainstream, but we are ‘a’ mainstream and we can legitimately say that the Jewish community is split on these issues.” (emphasis added)
- In answer to the question, “Do I have to be Jewish to join JVP?” on its FAQ page, JVP answers: “No. At JVP, we are inspired by Jewish values and traditions that call for peace and justice. At the same time, we welcome both Jews and allies who advocate for an end to the Israeli occupation and oppose anti-Jewish hatred, anti-Arab racism, and Islamophobia.”
JVP does not discuss how many of its claimed 100,000 or 150,000 “online” supporters are Jewish, nor does it discuss the criteria used to claim inclusion as an integral part of the Jewish community.
Support for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
Boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel is the main component of the “Durban strategy” – adopted by the NGO Forum of the UN’s Durban Conference (2001), and based on the use of false claims of “war crimes,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid.”
BDS supporters deny the Jewish people the right of national self-determination. This is confirmed by the statements of BDS leaders.
“[The one state solution means] a unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.”–Omar Bargouti Founder, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
“Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish state itself…BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state.–Ahmed Moor, Pro-BDS Author
“BDS represents three words that will help bring about the defeat of Zionist Israel and victory for Palestine.”–Ronnie Kasrils
- 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 that directly target Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip… We believe this to be the most effective way for JVP to help bring about the aims we share with the Palestinian BDS call.” (emphasis added)
- BDS leader Omar Barghouti (see above) wrote that the “BDS National Committee (BNC)… sees JVP as an important ally in the US.” Barghouti was listed as a featured speaker at JVP’s 2013 National Member Meeting.
- JVP quotes Barghouti in its “Passover Hagaddah 2012/5772,” which also includes a “L’chayim [a toast] to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.” Among the Hagadah’s “Ten Plagues of the Israeli Occupation” is the “plague” of the “Denial of the Right of Return.”
- In 2011, JVP launched a campaign demanding that the U.S. grant Barghouti a visa to enter the country to “speak and debate.” JVP’s action alert described Barghouti as “a key leader of the global movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel’s government.”
- After Barghouti received a visa, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that this was the result of “a support campaign led by Jewish Voice for Peace in Oakland.”
- JVP has supported and promoted the BDS agenda in mainline churches since at least 2004 when the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted for “selective divestment.” Since then, JVP has been present at numerous national church gatherings, collaborating with pro-Palestinian denominational activists (such as the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) or United Methodist Kairos Response), to promote divestment and boycott resolutions.
- One of JVP’s principal partners in this effort is Friends of Sabeel — North America, the U.S. arm of Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian NGO based in Jerusalem. Sabeel created and promotes Palestinian Liberation Theology that draws from and revitalizes historic Christian anti-Jewish teachings, particularly replacement theology and deicide imagery. JVP’s Rabbinical Council issued a “Statement of Support for the Sabeel Institute” that declared, “As rabbis and people of faith, we stand in solidarity with the work of Sabeel.”
- At the 2012 national organizing conference of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, JVP’s Sydney Levy was a panelist at the “Engaging Faith Communities” workshop that focused “on opportunities and challenges of working with and organizing within communities of faith to end U.S. institutional support for Israeli occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians.”
- In 2012, JVP sent an “Open Letter to the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA)” signed by twenty-two rabbis, three rabbinical students, and one cantor to “encourage your efforts to initiate phased selective divestment from corporations which profit from or support Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.” In contrast, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, representing fourteen national Jewish agencies (including the four streams of American Judaism) and some 125 local Jewish Community Relations Councils in the U.S., sent an open letter signed by 1,500 rabbis plus another 22,800 Jewish community members calling for Presbyterians and Methodists “to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in rejecting the counterproductive proposal to selectively divest from certain companies whose products are used by Israel.”
- JVP and the Israel/Palestine Mission Network received the 2013 Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s “top award” in recognition of “their courageous work for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel and for their prophetic witness to the Presbyterian denomination at the 220th General Assembly in Pittsburgh last summer.”
- JVP supports and actively promotes the BDS agenda on US campuses. JVP campus chapters are engaged in advocating the Palestinian cause on US campuses, including support for pro-BDS resolutions in student governments.
- JVP, in partnership with the American Friends Service Committee, is running a Summer BDS Institute for Student Leaders at the Presbyterian Church’s Stony Point Center, in Stony Point, New York. The training is for “all campus activists currently running or hoping to launch BDS campaigns on their campus.”
- JVP issued a statement “commending Brooklyn College for hosting forum on BDS” in 2013.
- JVP also issued a statement in support of the 2012 BDS Conference at the University of Pennsylvania. The key note speaker was Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada co-founder and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse). Other speakers included JVP’s executive director, Rebecca Vilkomerson; Ahmed Moor (see above); Sarah Schulman, member of JVP’s Advisory Board; and Kristin Szremski, Director of Media and Communications of American Muslims for Palestine.
- The JVP Brandeis chapter brought “three Palestinians living in the United States” to present “their experiences as three generations of refugees in the States.”
- Gabriel Schivone of JVP’s University of Arizona chapter, wrote against “U.S.-Israeli crimes in the occupied territories, their past and possibly future invasions of Lebanon as well as the grave threats the two countries pose to other areas in the region.”
The “Open Hillel” campaign at Harvard
- The Open Hillel campaign was founded after Harvard University Hillel in 2012 cancelled an event set to be hosted by Hillel. This event was organized by the Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) that included the pro-BDS Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee. The Harvard PSC defines Zionism as “a settler-colonial ideology, similar to the colonial ideologies of Britain and France at the time.”
- This follows a 2011 decision by Brandeis Hillel to reject a membership request submitted by JVP.
- Open Hillel efforts include two petition campaigns seeking to force both Harvard Hillel and Hillel International to drop their Guidelines for Campus Israel Activities that proscribe the hosting, partnering or housing by Hillel of pro-BDS groups or speakers.
- The evidence of the close links between Open Hillel, Harvard College PJA and JVP include:
- PJA’s homepage, which prominently displays an announcement for JVP’s 2013 national organizing conference in Berkeley.
- Open Hillel’s “Testimonials” page is dominated by video endorsements by the JVP Rabbinical Council’s co-chairs Rabbis Brant Rosen and Margaret Holub, and other members of this council: Rabbis Alissa Wise (also JVP’s Campaigns Director), David Bauer, Brian Walt (who imagines a Judaism without Zionism), Lynn Gottlieb, David Mivasair and rabbinical students Jessica Rosenberg and Alana Alpert. The same videos are found on Brant Rosen’s blog, Shalom Rav.
- While Open Hillel claims that it “does not advocate for BDS, or for any other political position on Israel-Palestine,” its efforts to broaden Hillel’s tent to include JVP and other pro-BDS groups aligns with JVP’s strategy of creating a “wedge” in the Jewish community over Israel and mainstreaming BDS.
- In 2010, JVP launched its WeDivest.org campaign, calling on financial services giant TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.”
- This campaign is “a coalition effort led by JVP, The American Friends Service Committee, The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Grassroots International, Adalah-NY, and the US Palestinian Community Network.”
- The TIAA-CREF campaign also has a “student leadership team” designed to be “an exciting opportunity to build intracampus organizing and strong, winnable campaigns…” allowing campus groups to “support each other in launching We Divest campaigns on campus, as well as receive resources and ongoing mentorship from AFSC and JVP staff.”
- The BDS National Committee issued a statement of endorsement for JVP’s TIAA-CREF campaign declaring, “The BNC strongly supports the fast-growing and inspiring campaign initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)…”
- JVP also engages in divestment efforts against other corporations doing business with or in Israel, including Caterpillar, Motorola, Veolia, Northrop Grumman, Elbit and Ahava.
- The WeDivest website announced in February 2013 the formation of an “Interfaith Boycott Coalition” that is “organizing a SodaStream Boycott here in the U.S.”
- On August 4, 2012, Vilkomerson gave an interview to Dave Gahary of American Free Press, discussing JVP’s TIAA-CREF effort.
- American Free Press is the successor to The Spotlight, the official publication of the far right wing and antisemitic Liberty Lobby founded by Willis Carto (“Hitler’s defeat was the defeat of Europe. And of America. . .”).
- Gahary has also interviewed Ernst Zundel, a Holocaust denier and white supremacist.
- Vilkomerson claimed that “the interviewer had approached me under false pretenses, that I was horrified the interview was run without my consent and that I had been trying for days to have it removed.”
- Vilkomerson gave a previous interview to Dave Gahary (posted on AFP’s website on April 14, 2010).
- Rae Abileah, a “founding member of Young Jewish Proud, the youth wing of Jewish Voice for Peace” and “co-director of CODEPINK,” also gave an interview to AFP on September 13, 2011.
“Our mission statement endorses neither a one-state solution, nor a two-state solution … we have members and supporters on both sides of this question, as well as many others who, like the organization as a whole, are agnostic about it.” In contrast to this rhetoric, JVP participated in and supported the One State Conference at Harvard in 2012. The conference’s website states “our main goal is to educate ourselves and others about the possible contours of a one-state solution and the challenges that stand in the way of its realization.” Several JVP members presented at this conference, including Rabbi Brant Rosen, co-chair of JVP’s Rabbinical Council. There were many scheduled speakers from BDS/one-state NGOs including Electronic Intifada, Mada al-Carmel, Who Profits.
- In 2000, JVP marched in a Washington DC rally supporting a “right to return.”
- JVP’s “Passover Hagaddah 2012/5772 declares: “When Israel and the American Jewish community continue to deny the Right of Return to the refugees of 1948 — We say: enough!”
- The FAQ page on its website states: “Peace will only be possible when Israel acknowledges the Palestinian refugees’ right of return and negotiates a mutually agreed, just solution based on principles established in international law including return, compensation and/or resettlement.” (emphasis added)
- “Nakba”: JVP promotes the “Nakba narrative” in its “Nakba Fact Sheet,” which blames Israel exclusively for the Palestinian refugees resulting from the 1948 war. Also, at JVP’s 2013 National Member Meeting, a session was devoted to a workshop to “Train the Trainers” given by the Nakba Education Project (NEP). NEP’s curriculum materials rely heavily on materials produced by the NGOs BADIL and Zochrot, which are dedicated to using the refugee claims to prevent peace based on compromise.
Ending U.S. Security Cooperation with Israel
“The root of ending the Occupation is here in the United States, not in Israel, and we work for an end to US military aid to Israel until the Occupation ends.”
- In a June 30, 2011 statement, JVP’s Rabbinical Council stated that it “fully supports the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the American ship called ‘The Audacity of Hope’ in their effort to end the blockade of Gaza.”
- In another statement, JVP “condemn(ed) the Israeli government’s numerous attempts to prevent a nonviolent flotilla of international peace activists from attempting to break the illegal blockade of 1.6 million imprisoned inhabitants of Gaza.” JVP members also participated in the 2011 Gaza Flotilla.
- JVP partnered with Global Exchange and Code Pink (see below for these organizations’ stands on Israel) in a campaign to raise $50,000 for the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza, headed by Dr. Eyad el-Sarraj. During the June 2009 Goldstone mission hearings in Gaza, El-Sarraj said, “. . . inside Israel there is an identification with the aggressor, the Nazis.” El-Sarraj is president of Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and sits on the Board of Advisors of the Free Gaza Movement, which partnered with the Islamist terror-linked IHH in organizing the Gaza Flotilla in May 2010.
- In July 2012, JVP initiated the Go & Learn Initiative, “to bring conversation about BDS into Jewish institutional communities.”
- JVP supports the national effort by pro-Palestinian student groups to lobby their respective student governments to issue resolutions calling for divestment.
- Videos and ads in support of the UC Berkeley divestment resolution “Berkeley Divest.”
- During the 2013 AIPAC National Policy Conference JVP co-sponsored with Avaaz 100 billboard ads in Washington, DC declaring “Jewish and Proud and AIPAC Does Not Speak for Me.” The ad campaign cost $100,000.
- JVP exploits LGBTQ issues, most notably through its IsraeliLaundry.org website, which amplifies the “Pinkwashing” campaign against Israel. “Pinkwashing,” as formulated by JVP Advisory Board member Sarah Schulman, is the baseless allegation that Israel employs “a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.”
- IsraeliLaundry.org links to Electronic Intifada and to Pinkwatching Israel, “launched by queer Arab activists in 2010” and dedicated to “creating a global movement to promote queer-powered calls against pinkwashing and pushing the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment Campaign against Israel to the forefront of the global queer movement.”
- In March 2012 JVP’s Seattle chapter participated in a successful effort to pressure the Seattle LGBT Commission, a sub-committee of the Seattle City Council, to cancel a planned program at Seattle City Hall that would have hosted a visiting delegation of Israeli LGBT activists. JVP delivered a “thank you letter” to the LGBT Commission whose signers included Sarah Schulman, Judith Butler (also a JVP Advisory Board member) and filmmaker Barbara Hammer.
Disruptions of Jewish Programs and Muzzling of Free Speech
- March 2012: a JVP activist disrupted a workshop at AIPAC’s National Policy Conference.
- March 2012: JVP’s Seattle chapter participated in a successful effort to pressure the Seattle LGBT Commission to cancel a program featuring Israeli LGBT activists at Seattle City Hall (see above).
- November 2011: JVP activists disrupted a Birthright Israel conference in New York City.
- November 2010: JVP activists disrupted the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
Partners and Alliances
- JVP consistently partners with many radical anti-Israel organizations in co-sponsoring specific programs and collaborating on long-term campaigns. All these groups, as with JVP, promote the central dimensions of the 2001 Durban NGO Forum Declaration, which adopted a strategy for political warfare against Israel: boycotts, divestment and sanctions, a sustained campaign of delegitimization including accusations of “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian claim to a “right of return.”
Adalah – NY
- Supports BDS, promotes “apartheid“ accusations, advocates for a “right of return,” and promotes slogans such as “ZIONISM=RACISM” and “ISRAEL=APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA.”
- In 2011 Rebecca Vilkomerson received the “Mondo Award” from the anti-Israel website Mondoweiss. She “earned the highest score in our Mondo Awards contest for her piece on Adalah-NY namimg (sic) them the leading inspiration of the previous year; and our eminent judges, Susan Abulhawa, Omar Barghouti, Helena Cobban, Joseph Dana, and annie (along with the two of us) gave it our highest #s.” In her piece, Vilkomerson describes Adalah-NY as “excellent allies.”
Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
- Advocates for “all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands of origin,” supports BDS, and rejects the two-state solution: “Zionism is based on ethnic superiority and complete denial of the other, which leaves no room for peace with Zionism in Palestine.”
American Friends Service Committee
- AFSC, “a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action,” supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, and advocates for a “right of return.” AFSC and JVP are co-sponsors of the Summer BDS Institute for Student Leaders (see above).
American Muslims for Palestine
- Supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, advocates for a “right of return” and one state: “Palestinians are more determined than ever to fight on until total liberation, until every refugee can return, until the land of Palestine is free from the river to the sea!”
Bay Area Women in Black
- Supports BDS, “apartheid,” accusations and advocates for a “right of return.”
- EI has an extensive BDS section, including academic, consumer, cultural, and church boycotts, commercial divestment, and government sanctions against Israel. See NGO Monitor’s report on EI here.
- Supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, advocates for a “right of return,” and supported the 2011 “Freedom Flotilla” to Gaza.
North American Friends of Sabeel
- Supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, advocates for a “right of return,” promotes antisemitic replacement theology and deicide imagery.
- Supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, advocates for a “right of return.”
International ANSWER Coalition [Act Now to Stop War & End Racism]
- Supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, advocates for a “right of return,” and decries the “racist character of Zionism and its product Israel.”
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
- Supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, advocates for a “right of return,” and characterizes Israel and Zionism as “expand(ing) Western capitalist control over and destruction of land, people, and the environment across the region.”
International Socialist Organization
- Demonizes Israel as a “colonial-settler state,” “apartheid” accusations, supports a “right of return.”
International Solidarity Movement
- Supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, advocates for a “right of return,” supports “one state.”
- ISM describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement.” In a 2002 article, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf wrote, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent…In actuality, nonviolence is not enough…Yes, people will get killed and injured,”
- ISM attempted to help terrorists taking refuge in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002.
- In 2003, terrorists originating from the UK, having established links with ISM, attacked the Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv, murdering three people.
- Also, in 2003 ISM activist Susan Barclay, “said in an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, she knowingly worked with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad…” (the U.S. State Department designates both these groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations).
- In 2008, ISM member Richard David Hupper was convicted by a U.S. federal jury for materially aiding Hamas, “giving about $20,000 to Hamas while working in Israel with the International Solidarity Movement, a non-governmental organization.”
- In 2003 JVP helped fundraise for ISM.
- In 2011 JVP, along with ISM, was a co-sponsor of a fundraiser for the Middle East Children’s Alliance. Other co-sponsors included American Muslims for Palestine, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, International Socialist Movement, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions – USA and others.
Middle East Children’s Alliance
- Supports BDS, “apartheid” accusations, advocates for a “right of return” that “means the beginning of the end of the settler-colonial state.” MECA has acted as ISM’s fiscal sponsor allowing for donors to make tax-exempt contributions to ISM.
Nakba Education Project
- Supports BDS, advocates for a “right of return,” is an official partner with JVP and Zochrot, links to BADIL, Adalah, and other similar groups for its “Learning about the Nakba“ resource.
Strait Gate Ministries
- In June 2013, David Mandel of JVP’s Sacramento chapter sent an email titled “Action opportunities this weekend,” which included an action alert from Charles E. Carlson of Strait Gate Ministries. The action alert announced a protest against a concert honoring Israel in Sacramento, and stated, “Jesus, not Israel, is the fulfillment of Old Testament Prophesy.”
- In 2011, JVP’s Colorado chapter co-sponsored a similar vigil with Carlson’s Strait Gate Ministries. Carlson wrote of this, as did Colorado JVP activist Rob Prince. (Friends of Sabeel also co-sponsored this vigil.)
- On his website, Carlson writes of “the Zionist influenced banking fraternity” that is “in league with world Zionism,” and that “fortunately, the Internet and thousands of cell phones are not yet Zionist controlled.”
- Elsewhere on his website, Carlson writes, “Their Zionese (sic) self-brainwashing makes it possible for them to justify the murder of thousands, including children, in the name of Judeo-Christianity. They’ve been taught that destroying Iraq and Iran, two of the world’s oldest civilizations and no threat at all the the (sic) United States, is ‘biblical.’ This has never been God’s plan; it has only been Israel’s plan.”
Students for Justice in Palestine
- Supports BDS, opposes “normalization” and dialogue with pro-Israel students, principal sponsor of “Apartheid Week” programs on US campuses, advocates for a “right of return.”
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
- Supports BDS and the “right to return,” “apartheid” accusations, publishes numerous articles supporting “one state.”
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO)
- JVP is an official member of this umbrella organization, along with many of the other groups on this list above. The USCEIO supports the BDS, promotes “apartheid” accusations, and supports a “right of return.” The group’s 2012 national conference’s workshops focused on BDS activism in local communities, cultural and academic boycotts of Israel, and engaging “faith communities.” JVP speakers led many of the conference’s workshops.
- The group’s 2011 national conference hosted workshops with the following titles:
- “Crafting and Sharpening Effective BDS Campaigns: Changing the Discourse and Isolating Apartheid Israel”
- “The Legal & Popular Approaches to Challenge Zionist Organizations in the United States”
 “Understanding Israel Today: Issues of Democracy, Equality and the Right of Return.” Panelists also included Stanford History Professor Joel Beinin and UC Berkeley Prof. Hatem Bazian, who is also president of American Muslims for Palestine.
 A copy of the event’s transcript is on file with NGO Monitor.
 The European Social Forum, a section of the World Social Forum, is “an open space where civil society groups and movements opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism, but engaged in building a society centered on the human person, come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, to formulate proposals, to share their experiences freely and to network for effective action.” Cecilie Surasky, JVP’s Communications Director, attended the 2004 World Social Forum in India and expressed her “surprise” at finding “that the Israel-Palestine conflict and the occupation are not more prominently featured at the conference.”
 Many Palestinian and international NGOs promote a so-called Palestinian “right of return.” This refers to the return of Palestinians displaced during the 1948 War of Independence – as well as their descendants – to houses and properties in Israel. For further analysis of these issues, see: “Return of Palestinian Refugees to the State of Israel“ (translated from the Hebrew), Yaffa Zilbershats and Nimra Goren-Amitai, The Metzilah Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal, and Humanist Thought, February 2011.
Visible JVP donors 2005 – 2013
(Source: Foundation Center)
|Grantmaker Name||Grant Amount ($)|
|The Do Right Foundation||10,000|
|Funding Exchange, Inc.||2,000|
|Liberty Hill Foundation||1,000|
|Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc.||1,000|
|The San Francisco Foundation||10,000|
|The San Francisco Foundation||1,000|
|Apple Pickers Foundation||10,000|
|Community Foundation of Greater Memphis||1,000|
|The Bonus Fund||15,000|
|Community Foundation of Greater Memphis||1,000|
|Corrine and Lenny Sands Foundation||100,000|
|Still Ain’t Satisfied-A Foundation With Attitude||1,100|
|Lynn Handleman Charitable Foundation||10,000|
|Still Ain’t Satisfied-A Foundation With Attitude||1,100|
|The LouVin Foundation||3,000|
|Szekely Family Foundation||4,000|
|The Bonus Fund||10,000|
|Funding Exchange, Inc.||2,000|
|Horizons Foundation 2010||1,000|
|The LouVin Foundation||5,000|
|Violet Jabara Charitable Trust||16,500|
|Wallace Global Fund II||25,000|
|Wallace Global Fund II||25,000|
|The LouVin Foundation||3,000|
|Violet Jabara Charitable Trust||15,000|