When Rebecca Vilkomerson wrote her column in the Washington Post, she tried to imply quite arrogantly that Jews who support Israel are wrong, and her organisation, Jewish Voice for Peace, is the real standard-bearer for peace and justice.
How wrong she is.
For Jewish Voice for Peace is not about peace or hope or solutions. It’s about none of those heartfelt and fuzzy things like truth and justice that we use like a warm blanket to wrap around us for comfort and security. It’s the antithesis of all of that. It is not a freedom movement but an anti-freedom one, for if there is a bright centre of freedom in the universe, the Jewish Voice for Peace is farthest from it.
Jewish Voice for Peace talks of freedom, yet is responsible for denying that very freedom to others. In January 2016, they helped to disrupt an Israeli LGBTQ group Sabbath event. And one year earlier they did the same at an Auschwitz Liberation commemoration in New York. They also disrupted a pro-Israel event in Chicago in August 2014 as well as constantly disrupting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at a General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America back in 2010.
Jewish Voice for Peace’s mission statement talks of human rights and respect, but they cannot even show a basic respect to allow others the freedom to speak.
It proudly supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, an anti-Semitic movement designed to demonize and delegitimise the State of Israel. The BDS movement, in fact and deed, is responsible for singling out and attacking the Jewish singer, Matisyahu, in a Spanish music festival last year for Israel’s “actions,” even though he’s not Israeli. They’ve occupied the Max Brenner chocolate shop in Sydney, intimidating shoppers and staff. They’ve disrupted the performances by the Jerusalem String Quartet and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in London. And in Birmingham, a hundred protesters entered a Tesco store shouting and throwing Israeli produce around the shop. On top of the attacks on business and cultural groups, they also continue to harass and openly threaten Jewish students across US campuses both verbally and violently.
They are thugs in every sense of the word, but thugs that Jewish Voice for Peace supports wholeheartedly.
Ms Vilkomerson goes on to talk about horrific assaults on Gaza, yet fails to mention even once the ten thousand rockets launched into Israel against Israeli civilians, just as she fails to mention how the billions of dollars the Palestinians in Gaza have received has been used to build tunnels of terror rather than institutions of learning; weapons of mayhem, rather than tools of education; infrastructure to kill rather than infrastructure to heal.
She casually mentions attacks on Israeli civilians, but immediately dismisses it as a result of “ongoing occupation and repression,” quite happily ignoring the Hamas charter that calls for the murder of all Jews or the blood libel the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, unleashed in a speech at the European Parliament when he accused Jews of poisoning the water wells of Palestinians.
Ms Vilkomerson asserts that the “State of Israel is not the same as the Jewish people,” but what Ms Vilkomerson fails to understand, and will likely never understand, is that Israel is very much a part of the Jewish people. It is the place where Jewish national identity was formed, where Jewish laws were developed, where Jewish courts were set up and where Jewish people’s identity became cemented into the fabric of history.
Jews are not foreigners in a foreign land, but indigenous people in their own land.
In each grain of the Judean desert, and each rock on the mountains of the Galil, and in each drop of the waters of the Kinneret lie the genesis of the Jewish people. It is imprinted on the Jewish soul and is a part of us, as much as our eyes and our ears and our hearts.
Make no mistake, Ms Vilkomerson does not stand for justice, but for injustice, for Israel remains the only democracy in the Middle East that stands up for religious freedom, gay people, human rights and all those feel good liberal things we in the west take for granted. And to her great shame, this is the country she is campaigning against.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who publicly took a stand against BDS, is on the wrong side of history, according to Ms Vilkomerson, but history was not written in a day, or a week, or a month. The history of the Jewish people goes back thousands and thousands of years, and if there is anyone on the wrong side of history, it is not Governor Cuomo, but Rebecca Vilkomerson.