Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bay Area Women in Black and Jewish Voice for Peace: “Proud to be Ashamed to be Jewish”

Bay Area Women in Black and Jewish Voice for Peace: the “Proud to be Ashamed to be Jewish” crowd are joining together to protest the Jewish cultural festival “Israel in the Gardens”. These groups are known for their overwhelming hypocrisy, routinely standing alongside the most viciously anti-Israel groups in the Bay area. Bay Area Women in Black and Jewish Voice for Peace both endorse the Boycott Sanctions and Divestment Movement and support the Palestinian “right of return”, calling for the demographic destruction of the state of Israel. Last year Bay Area Women in Black sponsored notorious anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon in a fund raiser for the International Solidarity Movement,. proving to the world that while they'd never support Zionism, holocaust deniers were just fine. Once again participants from Jewish summer camps, days schools, non-profits and synagogues will be forced to walk a gauntlet of hate as the twenty or so protesters will insist that only their voice matters, and er, just ignore those inconsequential 20,000 participants beyond the gate.

Their email follows: (my comments in italics)

Those of you who have done this before know that the people of Voice for Israel/Stand With Us

You’ve been standing opposite us for 5 years now. And yet you still get the name wrong. Its no wonder something as complicated as Middle east History is far beyond your intellectual capacity. Its Stand With Us/ San Francisco Voice for Israel. We’ll expect you’ll get it wrong again next year

can be very aggressive.

We are so very very scary. We’ll never forget the time when Bay Area Women in Black was so threatened by our motley group of Holocaust survivors, aging hippies, children and Rabbis singing songs of peace that they called the Oakland police .

Two years ago some of their members (including some of the youngsters)

The very scary and aggressive youngsters? Like this one?

invaded our line and tried to provoke us to react to their taunts of “self-hating,” “traitor,” “terrorist,” etc.

Children holding signs! Anything but children holding signs! No! Not that!

Although it wasn't easy for some of us, we remained silent and made no response to them at all, thereby avoiding confrontation.

Trouble is Judith, while you are bothered and offended by youngsters holding signs in support of Israel, you seem less concerned about the actions of other youngsters, like these Palestinian children practicing "non-violent resistance"

We hope this year that the S.F. Police will be a bit more vigilant than they were the last time in keeping the VOI people from getting into our line, but we're letting you know what may happen so it isn't a "surprise" if it does.

Here’s a hint, Judith. Stay across the street. Don’t interfere with people entering the festival. Thats the way to avoid confrontation.


Maryanne Karavedic said...

Non violent resistance? With rocks?

Any youngster who can lift that boulder in the center is no longer a child. The scarf hiding the face also sends a message. These are no innocent children. But tackling the Israelis probably gives their parents time off, and keeps them from petty crime in their neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

re: Israel in the Gardens. Harris and his little friends are planning on coming early to vandalize, as is their pattern. But it doesn't always go as expected, does it, sweetpea?

Wink wink, nudge, nudge
Say no more.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

“Jewish cultural festival ‘Israel in the Gardens’”

I think it is critical to point to a dangerously erroneous assumption in your blog: “Israel in the Gardens” is NOT a JEWISH cultural festival; it is an ISRAELI cultural festival. The conflation of “Jewish” with “Israeli” is a central problem which MUST be addressed by all Jews – in particular, Jews in the U.S.

Le shana ha ba said...

Substantial overlap, Bambi.

"im-esh.kachech Yerushalayim tishkach yemini;
tidbak-leshoni lechiki im-lo ezkerechi im-lo a'ale et-Yerushalayim al rosh simcha.ti!

Psalm 137.5

On the other hand, Women in Balck are not Jewish. They're wannanotbes.

Quit Q.U.I.T. said...

Interesting video about what Bay Area Women in Black support:!

Watch it all the way through, please.


Abdel Latef Attawan said...

Hey hold on now, it isn't just for Jews, but for ALL Israelis!

Bedouin, Druze, Arab too.

Where else am I going to find falafil and hummous in a nice happy place with sunlight and good music? I am SO going to be there.

Abdel Latef Attawan said...

All that's missing is a good fatoush, and some fulmedamis. Usually.
But zigaras and khdrat meshwiyat usually can find.

Dusty said...


re: "Jewish vs Israeli" cultural fair.

What about Chabad is Israeli?
What about Bay area Day schools is Israeli?
What about a Jewish talent show is Israeli?
What about helping the Abayudaya community in Uganda raise money for a medical clinic is Israeli?

When JVP and Bawib protest a Jewish cultural fair, they make themselves the wicked child in the hagadah- "what mean YOU by this...."
They deny themselves a place in the community of Jews.

Anonymous said...

Jewish vs Israeli?

Since nearly half of the worlds Jews live in Israel, of course there is a great deal of overlap.

A friend of mine's mother (Jewish chicken farmer from New Jersey)once said " A Jew is someone who identifies with the fate of the Jewish people". Its one of the best definitions I've heard. The non- Jews of San Francisco Voice for Israel are more a part of the Jewish community that the people of "Women in Black" or "JVP" that may claim some Jewish genetics.

Personally, I know who I'd rather stand with

Unknown said...

I repeat: Jewish is Jewish and Israeli is Israeli -- they are not the same. Also, as Abdel so rightly points out, Israelis include Bedouins, Druze and Arab Palestinians. Twenty percent of Israeli citizens are not Jewish. Jews are an historical/cultural/religious grouping of people. Israel is a country. NOT the same thing! To answer Dusty re Chabad, Bay Area Day Schools, Jewish talent show, Uganda, etc: None of these entities is Israeli. ISRAEL IS A COUNTRY! (What is it about the word "country" do you not understand?)

The back of the hill said...

Israel is NOT only a country.

Israel are the descendants of Jacob - the Bnei Israel.

Israel is an ethnicity, a nationality, a people. They are Kohanim, Leviim, and all other Jews: Israel.
If you do not grasp the subtleties of these concepts, please take Judaism 101 again.

All Jews are Israel. Some Jews are not in Israel, the country named after the Kingdom of Israel, overlapping the territories of Judah and Israel. But ALL Jews ARE Israel.

Israel in the gardens = Jews in the gardens. Israel is, for Jews, another word for Jews. Israel is the nation of Jews, wherever they are.

What part of NATION do you not understand, Bambi?

Anonymous said...

Bambi... isn't that a rather Ishmaeli name?

That may explain it. The Bnei Ishmael think they're the only ones who count.

The back of the hill said...

Anonymous at 2:20 PM,

Please note that twenty percent of the modern nation or Israel are citizens of Arab descent ('Bnei Ishmael').

Including many heroes of the Bedouin Tracker units, the border police, druze volunteers in the IDF, and members of Zaka. All proud Israelis, even if not part of the Kohen-Levi-Israel nation.

Many of them actually do know their history. Even the Husseinis thought it a great and historic right that the Beni Israel should return to the daera wa zamin al Israel. As the late king of Jordan, Hussein the peacemaker, as well as his ancestor Sharif Abdullah al Husseini both often admitted.

Anonymous said...

"To answer Dusty re Chabad, Bay Area Day Schools, Jewish talent show, Uganda, etc: None of these entities is Israeli."

Ok. Now I'm confused. So if they majority of the participants in this fair are Jewish (not "Israeli") as Bambi says, then why are Women in Black and Jewish Voice for Peace protesting them? Are they anti-Semitic ?

The back of the hill said...

Bambi, you must understand that the term Israel means, for many Jews, Jewish nationhood. Admittedly, because Israel is a young country, often under attack on its borders, often under fire internationally for a wealth of reasons (some of which are most definitely anti-Semitism in a new guise, some of which are valid complaints blown out of all proportion), there is a defensive quality that operates. Jews are Israel – but not all Jews define the nation Israel the same, not all of them will see the state Israel as the best or only representative of the nation/nationality.

Differences of opinion are valid. Essential, also. But Israel as a state exists – it is a miracle that after so many years of being a pariah among its neighbors in its own land it STILL exists – and many Jews, supporters of Israel (including many critical voices!) are proud of its survival, its achievements, and its sheer chutzpah at maintaining itself in the face of the loathing and hate directed at it by most of the Arab and Muslim world, most of Europe (especially Western Europe, now proudly NOT responsible for the burden of their history), and even many in the US. Especially from Jews who would rather not have been born Jewish, and Jews who are not comfortable with Jews being proud of a country, or celebrating the defiance of their people.
Like the bullied kid on the playground, there are still many who are far more comfortable with being the put-upon Jew among the Gentiles, rather than the feisty little outcaste feared and despised for being different.

Yet it is precisely those attitudes and fears that maintain anti-Semitism. As long as there are Jews who obsequiously apologize for everything Israel does, as long as there are Jews who lavish affection on groups that have no intention of requiting that love, as longs as there are people who justify any enmity and discriminatory act as a valid voice of resistance, there will be a need for Israel to exist, and for Israel to resist.

Anonymous said...

Its quite easy to explain the position of Women in Black regarding Israel. Women in Black support all national liberation movements EXCEPT Jewish national liberation (usualy refered to by the political shorthand "Zionism") and independence. All the peoples of the world are entitled to the natural right of national self determination in their ancestral homelands EXCEPT the Jews. In essence, this position denies the Jewish people but ONLY the Jewish people "peoplehood." Although all nations of the world are entitled to national self defense, only Israel is somehow expected to "turn the other cheek." "Anti-Zionism" is distinct from "Anti-Semitism" in that "anti-Zionism" is focused on denying Jews the right of national political expression while "Anti-Semitism" is hostile to Jews in all manners in general,not just political expression. The double standard as applied towards Israel by such hypocrites as Women in Black speak more of psychology than politics.

Berkeley Wong said...

As Bishop Desmond Tutu’s so wisely said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

Anyone who thinks that the Palestinian narrative, with its violence, terrorism, incitement, and rank unbridled anti-Semitism, is the moral equal of a the Israeli narrative of impossible survival and redemption of a nation, is more or less choosing the side of darkness, deceit, and ultimately, ethnically cleansing the land of Jews.
This is so clear that it should not need to be said.

Berkeley Wong said...

And certainly 'Zionism' as a national liberation movement predates almost all other national liberation movements. In fact, Arab nationalism arose in imitation of Zionism in attmepting to cast out the imperialists, those being the Ottoman Empire, the English, and the French. Without the inspiration of the ideal of Jewish national rebirth, it is quite likely that the Arabs would STILL be mere subjects of the British, French, and Turks.

Zionism, of course, was also profoundly inspiring to many other nations casting off the yoke of empire - the Chinese, the Indonesians, the Indians (yes, EVEN Gandhi and Nehru!), the Yugoslavs, the nations of East Africa.....

The back of the hill said...

Berkeley Wong,

That’s a fascinationg observation about many other national liberation movements being profoundly influenced by Zionism.

I knew that Dr. Sun and the Chinese Nationalist drew inspiration, as did also the free Arabs under Alkadir in Mesopotamia. Even as recently as the post-war period, the ANC learned from the Zionist example too.
But I was quite unaware of the Congress activists (especially Gandhi!) seeing anything worthwhile in the Jewish national struggle. Usually Indians phrase everything in terms if an “Ancient Indian Wisdom” construct, pooh-poohing everybody else’s intellectual achievement. I thought it was Jinnah in any case who saw marginalizing of Muslims as being, in some way, the same as the European and Arab repression of Jews in the Ghettoes and Mellahs. A similarity of minority experience, as it were. I am fascinated that Gandhi saw anything worthy of emulation (I always tend to think of him as 'that dirty old mendicant in a sheet').

Can you PLEASE provide a link to something that explains what Gandhi and Nehru said about Zionism?
And if you can also point me at what B. R. Ambedkar said about Jews and the ideal of liberty (saw something a long time ago, forgot where, and who wrote it - but perhaps you remember), I would be most appreciative.

ViciousKitty said...

This comes within a situation where the credibility of the Palestinian narrative is eroding and Palestine as an exclusive Arab state is more and more discerned as the core of the problem. Not even the US is able to force the PLO to accept at least some Jewish mellahs (“ghettoes”)as a means to extend life to the European collaborators of the PA; meanwhile Hamas and their friends on the far left continue to commit a creeping genocide in Gaza. We are heading towards major chaos and civil unrest among the Arabs exploited and oppressed by the corrupt Palestinian Authority and their internationalist lackeys.

Anonymous said...

Women in Black and JVP aren't anti-Semitic. They just like their Jews disarmed, powerless, scattered and subjected to external authority.

Anonymous said...

Another of these intentionally misleading organizations is "Jewish" Voice for Peace. Accordng to traditional Jewish custom, any person with a Jewish mother is considered technically Jewish, whether or not they have any connection to the Jewish people, or knowledge of the languages, religion, or culture. In my experience, there are some people of Jewish ancestry involved in "Jewish "Voice for Peace, but without any of the above. It would be speculation on my part, but a large percentage of "Jewish" Voice for Peace isn't Jewish by any interpretation, for example the local leader of the International (read "Palestinian") Solidarity Movement. They just have a few technical Jews to sit in public view as window dressing. It was remarkably offensive when these groups held a mock Jewish religious ceremony called "taschlich" in public to bash Israel. As these folks don't know anything about Jewish religion, clture etc,they certainly don't undersstand that this is as offensive to Jewish people as a Miinstrel Show done in blackface at a Klan rally. Women in Black and "Jewish" Voice for Peace" have stood next to many, many openly hateful , anti-Israel groups, thus providing a fig leaf of respectibility to those that support terror and violence. Perhaps they are merely naive, but if so, they are the naive being lead by the malevolent.