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Selective morality of JVJP on Israel questioned



Victor Gordon

Articles on the Israel/Palestinian conflict are almost all blatantly one-sided and antagonistic towards Israel. Typical is: “Is Israel really like apartheid South Africa” by one Jaamia Galant with the answer predictably in the affirmative.

Despite the claims of their three spokespeople, Leonard Shapiro, Jessica Sherman and Rina King, that they have no affiliation with BDS or the radical American “Jewish Voices for Peace” (JVP), their sidewalk demonstration outside Huddle Park on August 3 against a rally in support of Israel, was openly endorsed by BDS, while JVJP boss, Leonard Shapiro, took part in a pro-Palestinian solidarity march with a BDS leaflet openly displayed on his T-shirt.

As for keeping the American JVP at arms length, a recent article in Jewish Report On-line by journalist Michael Coetzee reveals that JVJP hosted Dorothy Zellner, a representative of JVP during her recent visit to South Africa. 

In the “Amandla Manifesto”, which nobly calls for “peace, compassion and meaningful dialogue – as well as a commitment to speaking out against abuses of power and the perpetration of human suffering and injustice”, two features stand out: abuses of power and the perpetration of human suffering and injustice applies only to Israel. 

“No Jew and no human being can in good conscience support this Israeli military aggression.” There’s no attempt to place this “military aggression” in any context.

In a gesture of even-handedness, JVJP rejects “the indiscriminate targeting of Israeli civilians by Hamas rocket fire”, correctly calling it “morally wrong and illegal under international law”.

However, this recognition is immediately dampened by the excuse that “the true context of Gaza should be acknowledged in order to understand why some of its inhabitants have resorted to such desperate measures”. No mention is made of the continual incitement on PA TV and in Palestinian schools to eradicate Israel and kill Jews.

To understand these “desperate measures”, we refer to the article by Shapiro, Sherman and King in The Jewish Report on November21, titled “Thou shalt not bear false witness”.

“Central to these violations,” write the threesome, “is the ongoing occupation… of the West bank and Gaza Strip.” It’s here that JVJP part company with many of us who take a more truth-based view of things – for anyone who can seriously claim that Israel occupies Gaza after its wholesale evacuation in 2005 is seriously delusional.

Reading all the statements by JVJP that I am able to find, there is one ongoing, glaring omission. Not once is there any acknowledgment of Israel’s security. 

The untenable risk that Israel would be forced to take by completely withdrawing from the disputed West Bank and exposing its citizens to an undefendable attack, seems of little interest to JVJP, none of whom would have to live with the consequences.

Of premier concern to JVJP is the morality of Israel’s actions and its alleged human rights abuses, as if Israelis themselves are blissfully ignorant of what occurs daily in their lives within the course of a 67-year-old war. Demands for heightened morality on the Palestinian side are rarely mentioned.

JVJP calls for a just resolution to the conflict as defined under international law. What we never see in any similar articles/letters is a clear definition of the international law to which they refer.

I would suggest that the closest would be UN Resolution 242 which the Palestinians have ignored since 1967, but which still offers the best hope of a lasting and realistic solution. Against this the morality inherent in the conflict is irrelevant.


Victor Gordon

Brooklyn, Pretoria

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gary Selikow

    Nov 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

    ‘JVJP=Jewish Voices for a Judenreihn Palestine ‘

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