ROI Fellow Ariel Vegosen Called BDS a “Jewish Value”

I already outed Code Pinker Ariel Vegosen as someone seeming to be hiding her anti-Israel activities to get gigs within the Jewish community, as well as potential funding as part of the ROI community funded by the pro-Israel Schusterman Family Foundation.

Now I have discovered that leading up to the United Methodist’s divestment vote in 2012, she wrote some posts on the radical site Jew School, in which she spoke about the virtues of BDS. In one of these posts, not only did she reject the idea that divesting from the Jewish state is antisemitic, but she had the chutzpah to claim it is a Jewish value.

I was raised in a household committed to social justice and Tikkun Olam.(and great New York bagels). I believe in the Jewish value and Torah commandment “Justice, justice you shall pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:20) As a Jew, I cannot stand by silently while the Israeli military bulldozes Palestinian homes, harasses and harms Palestinians at checkpoints, and creates a system of segregation and oppression. The Torah teaches me to speak out, to be nonviolent, and to stand up when I see injustice. I am obligated by my faith and proud to stand in solidarity with all those working to end oppression and to end the occupation of Palestine.

Divestment is a nonviolent moral action to change unjust practices. If the United Methodist Church passes divestment it will be the moment that their words become action. I hope to see this community and many other faith-based communities, including my own, divest from companies that are profiting from the occupation. Both Judaism and Christianity teach that we are not allowed to profit from our neighbor’s blood. Caterpillar, Motorola, and HP are providing Israel with products such as unmanned, weaponized bulldozers, surveillance systems for Israeli military bases, and electronic data systems which provide biometric monitoring at checkpoints in the West Bank. These products are specifically designed for the continuation of the oppression of Palestinians and to maintain segregation between Jewish and Palestinian communities. Why should anyone get to profit off another people’s suffering?

Divestment from the Israeli occupation is neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Jewish. In fact nonviolent resistance to oppression is a Jewish value.

Note how she claims to be “obligated by [her] faith” and believes “in the Jewish value and Torah commandment “Justice, justice you shall pursue.”” Yet somehow the Torah commandment to settle the land of Israel is a crime to her. Plus remember, this person who claims to be all about Jewish values and hold reverence for the Torah also has no problem using one of the holiest sites in Judaism for a protest, while showing a complete lack of respect for its holiness by turning her back to it and dressing immodestly there.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, of which Vegosen is an ROI fellow, has among its values:

A profound devotion to Judaism, the Jewish people and the Jewish State. We believe that the ethics, values and lessons inherent in Judaism remain as relevant today as they have for thousands of years and that the perpetuation of the Jewish community and the State of Israel is of paramount importance for the Jewish people and for society as a whole.

Once again, we see how Vegosen has been actively working against these values. It is no wonder these activities do not appear on her ROI page.

I will continue to bring this to the Schusterman Foundation’s attention since I am sure they would be horrified to know who they might be funding.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media