On ‘Jew-Washing’ And BDS
At the Pittsburgh General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) earlier this month, a motion to adopt a boycott of three companies for doing business with Israel was hotly debated and narrowly defeated. At this Christian gathering, a group of “young Jewish activists” provided important “testimony” supporting the motion to isolate and demonize Israel.
These were the “Jew-washers” – very visible actors in many such political attacks on Israel, particularly in Christian frameworks. They are influential beyond their actual numbers, providing a convenient means for cleansing such actions from the stains of double standards, demonization and sometimes anti-Semitism against the Jewish state of Israel, and even Judaism itself.
According to one media report from Pittsburgh, “These activists were mostly affiliated with Jewish Voice for Peace, a small but vocal left-wing advocacy coalition that many describe as a ‘fringe’ group… Commissioners said their personal testimony helped undercut prevailing rhetoric on the mainstream Jewish perspective.”
In fact, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is far from the Jewish mainstream. It is a fringe of a fringe – a small anti-Zionist group, whose finances are unclear, but are almost always found at events where Jew-washing is used, particularly when boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns (BDS) are at stake. Their motivations, like their financing, are unclear and irrelevant – the fact that they provide a useful cover for non-Jews to justify gratuitous Israel-bashing is what counts.
The article by Yitzhak Santis and Gerald Steinberg concludes
"There is nothing heroic or brave about Jews giving a “kosher hechsher” to movements and ideologies such as BDS that seek to undermine the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality. Let us call this activity by its rightful name: Jew-washing, and give priority to countering strategically and consistently its deceitful methods and destructive intent"
Divest this also explores the phenomenon of "Jew Vs Jew"
"Take for example our old friends at Jewish Voice for Peace who were omnipresent at virtually all of the big BDS votes that took place earlier this year.
If you read their writing, you’ll see that these guys are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. And given that they have spearheaded many of the most embarrassing disasters for the BDS “movement,” their ability as political operators is, at best, questionable.
But the strengths they bring to their cause derive from the very fantasy-based selfishness, bordering on sociopathy, we’ve been talking which understands that they – and only they – possess the virtues needed to be an enlightened Jew (if not a human being).
How else could they continue to bring their squalid little divestment resolutions before institutions like the Presbyterian Church when anyone with eyes can see that this issue is causing needless division within an organization facing extraordinarily difficult challenges? But what does the JVP/BDSer care about such details since, to them, the Presbyterians don’t exist (or, more accurately, they exist only to pass divestment resolutions that the boycotters can brag about to their friends).
This pathological self-involvement explains the shrill, indignant, outrage that accompanies any challenge to JVP’s claims to represent anything other than virtue, courage and all things good. And while this detachment from reality makes them vulnerable when making political decisions that require some sort of connection to the world outside their own heads, it also provides them the power to persevere, to endlessly push and push and push regardless of the number of times they lose, never mind the weakness of their arguments and the immorality of their cause"
At the Sonoma Human Rights Commission BDS hearing earlier this month, a distinguished gentleman addressed the panel, identifying himself as a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto. "I am disappointed but not surprised to see Jews acting against the interests of their people here", he began. "We also had them in the Warsaw ghetto. They were usually the last to be killed."
Even the "As a Jew" cru fell silent.