Jewish Voice for Peace: Arab front group?

By Lee Kaplan, senior analyst, communications director

6 January 2013: As we move into the year 2013,  part of the campaign to de-legitimize Israel abroad is to deconstruct the idea that Jews, particularly American Jews, are in favor of a Jewish national homeland and state.

At the Palsolidarity conference held at Ohio State in 2003 by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), it was determined that deconstructing support by American Jews would be the best route to bring down the national Jewish homeland. This was to be accomplished by putting Jews out front who would deny any affiliation or support for Israel. The ISM has called terrorism attacks on Israelis “legitimate resistance” and its leadership has admitted to working with terrorist groups including Hamas.

The Arabs have learned that overt antisemitism against Jews does not play as well in democratic Western societies as it does in the Middle East; therefore, to suggest Arab subversive goals against Israel and the Jews that do not look religiously based, the euphemisms of fighting “Zionism” and “Zionists” are used to enable the unknowing to be persuaded to attack or boycott “just” the Jews in Israel, while avoiding the stigma of appearing to advocate either outright antisemitism or Islamist expansionism.

This drive includes placing “Jews” out front to call for the dissolution of a Jewish state as part of preserving “human rights” to deconstruct and mitigate attacks on other Jews in Israel.

Now comes written proof that Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is not for “peace” as their moniker suggests, but for the victory of Israel’s enemies against the Jewish state. Although this was always the case before, JVP managed to convince mainstream media even in Israel more than once that it was merely a peace organization of Jews striving to end the conflict while the organization worked stridently to advance pat Arab propaganda against a Jewish state. In an email solicitation (viewable by clicking  here ) to the organization’s list serve on December 24th, 2012 in which she asked for year-end donations, Cecilie Surasky, who officially identifies herself as “Deputy Director” of JVP, stated that the most virulently anti-Semitic Muslim groups and their known front groups in the U.S. which openly call for exterminating world Jewry are “allies” of JVP.

Below are some quotes from her missive:

“Our entire reason for being is to unleash the courage of people like you and me to speak up, to speak the truth, and to do it now – all to prevent the dehumanization and oppression of entire peoples. When an anti-Muslim hatemonger put up ads calling Palestinians “savages,” Jewish Voice for Peace activists in San Francisco, New York, and DC quickly acted in support of Muslim and Arab allies and said NO.” [Emphasis in italics added by this writer].

It is important to distinguish between “allies” who might be claimed as fellow peace activists who would, say, denounce terrorism or missiles fired into Israeli communities (if such groups even existed), and “allies” whose sole purpose is to spread anti-Israel propaganda and lies to de-legitimize the Jewish state and thus continue unending war. Surasky in her email is referring to bus ads paid for by Pamela Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog that were critical of Hamas and other terrorist groups in general like Al Qaeda that wage a classical Islamic jihad against Israel and the West. None of the ads mention “Palestinians” at all, the second largest faction of the PLO whom is Christian, not Muslim.  In fact, many Arab-Israelis, both Christian and Muslim support the right of the Jewish state to exist and some even serve in the Israeli army. Visual examples of Geller’s bus ads can be seen by clicking here.

By accusing Geller of attacking all Muslims, Surasky shows her real aim it to bolster militant Islamists such as in Hamas and its support fronts in the U.S. like CAIR as victims of ethnic prejudice. Hamas, a Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that now controls Gaza after murdering the PLO leadership there is said by some Middle East experts to not be representative of all Muslims and is designated as a terrorist group by the US State Department and many European Union countries. Hamas is also an ally of Al Qaeda. But Hamas is a strange “ally” for Jews and Jewish Voice for Peace as Surasky and JVP openly considers them to be.

Below are just a few quotes from the Hamas Charter; no “Palestinians” or even the Muslim religion were mentioned in the Geller bus ads:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

‘The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. “

‘There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

‘After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is a notorious anti-Semitic forgery created by the Czar’s secret police in Russia at the turn of the 20th century and was used to promote pogroms against the Jews. The Protocols are still being sold as fact in the Arab world and are part of a mini-series on TV there where Jews are portrayed killing children for their blood to use in Jewish rituals or to murder non-Jews.

Still another quote from the Koran’s hadiths is included in the Charter to be followed:

“The day will come when the rocks and trees will cry out, ‘Come! There is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him!’”

Geller used the reference to terrorist jihadists as “savages” from a quote by the late Ayn Rand. In fact,  Surasky does the majority of the world’s  Muslims a disservice by conflating them with terrorism by her condemnations of the ads as being against all Muslims in general instead of jihadis who are militant Islamists and conduct terrorist acts.

Another quote from the same JVP email:

“When UC Irvine students protesting Israel’s Operation Cast Lead ,which killed over 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza, were criminalized because they were Muslim, Jewish Voice for Peace members made sure that Jews were heard saying: we reject this bigotry because of our history as Jews.”

The students who were prosecuted for disrupting a speech by Israel’s ambassador at UC  Irvine were not “criminalized because they were Muslim.” They were prosecuted for a proven conspiracy to disrupt a legal speaking event on a state university campus, as proven in court. The prosecution had nothing to do with their being Muslims, and the disruption was not an Islamic religious obligation except, perhaps, for militant Islamists.  Cecilie Surasky was simply repeating the usual line of the Hamas supporting fronts in the Islamic community, like CAIR, with her statement.

By leaving out facts and  details, Surasky takes this even farther by accusing Israel in the email of killing “over 1,300 Palestinians” during Operation Cast Lead, as a suggestion of mass murder of innocent civilians.  Yet even Hamas has admitted at least over half of those killed in Operation Cast Lead were armed combatants fighting Israeli soldiers who were responding to 10,000 missiles fired into Israel over the last 8 years. Surasky conveniently  ignores this as do her “allies” in their propaganda as she asks for donations. It’s as if Surasky copies verbatim what she writes off of Palestinian propaganda websites (which she very well may do).

Started in Berkeley by two Marxist professors  from UC Berkeley in the late 1990s, Jewish Voice for Peace was expanded and taken over by Mitchell Plitnick and an Israeli ex-patriot named Liat Weingart in the early 2000’s. Plitnick claims to be a Middle East Studies graduate from UC Berkeley, but seems to know little about the Middle East history. He also claims to be from an Orthodox Jewish family yet knows very little about Judaism.

Weingart once lectured at the UC Berkeley Hillel, where she told students that she considered herself a “citizen of the world” for whom her Judaism held little meaning, yet she was a “Jewish” voice for peace. She was in fact using her Jewish ancestry to speak for anti-Semitic irredentist and revanchist Arab groups like Al Awda. Al Awda, which means the return,  is a virulently anti-Semitic anti-Israel groups that supports Hamas and its goals openly and advocates the flooding of Israel with five million Arab “refugees” to overwhelm the Jewish population and achieve the end of a Jewish state. Al Awda also openly supports Hamas.  Jewish Voice for Peace would send out emails and promotionals on a regular basis and the original JVP group possibly had more anti-Israel Arab members in it than Jews,  a question the leadership repeatedly refused to answer. Ultimately, more and more Marxist “Jews,” who appeared to support the Stalinist edicts against “Zionism,” became members as members of Israel’s communist party joined in alliance.  Plitnick would write in the JVP newsletter and website that the Jewish Temple and the Exodus were merely myths and imply that Israel’s Jews today were not indigenous to the Middle East. Plitnick would repeat the standard propaganda denials that there was any Jewish connection to the land of Israel, the same as one can hear from Arabs in Ramallah.

JVP later apparently created liaisons with Israeli communists and anti-Israel anarchist radical groups in Israel. According to former JVP acolytes, Plitnick misused JVP funds for personal trips to engage in BDSM (sado-masochistic sex trysts)  he arranged over the Internet — until the  leadership in Israel got wind of this misappropriation of resources. The JVP demoted Plitnick and sent one Cecilie Surasky to the U.S. to replace him and retake the helm.  Surasky was previously involved in communist and various anarchist movements in Israel, including advocating for Palestinians to overrun the country.

Surasky began a campaign of deconstructing American awareness of Arab anti-Semitism by claiming JVP was merely presenting “just another point of view” to help Israel in the conflict, and that Jews like her were being “muzzled.”

Others in JVP like Penny Rosenwasser spoke of “re-framing antisemitism” in a JVP-promoted propaganda book and tried to suggest it was a bugaboo word used to stifle dissent that was pressing for “peace,” however, accusations of “Islamophobia” from Arab groups was always classified as legitimate by members of the group. This line of denying antisemitism while attacking Jews in Israel has worked to some degree successfully for JVP activists, who have managed to persuade some secular Jews that the group is striving for peace when it is in fact supporting an ideology to bring down the Jewish state by deconstructing American Jewish support for a Jewish national homeland. Raving favorable reviews of the book are written by anti-Israel activists known by few of the public.

A recent visit to Israel by the actor Mandy Patinkin  during which he mentioned that he belongs to JVP is an example. Patinkin, who played Che Guevara on Broadway in Evita, possibly thinks he is the mythical embodiment of the revolutionary communist leader, who was in fact was a mass murderer. While in Israel, Patinkin gave a speech hoping for the removal of Jews from Hebron, and suggesting that such a gesture would   bring about “peace” with the Arabs as well as make Jewish shrines in Hebron more accessible to Jews. In other words, deporting Jews would somehow be better for them.

Ed Asner, a former leader of the Screen Actors Guild in the US, also is a member of JVP; Asner possibly sees himself as a union leader fighting the revolution for the downtrodden, so he supports the “Palestinian revolution,”  with other “Jewish actors” like Roseanne Barr, who was raised a Mormon, but claims she is Jewish,  and who admitted she lied about being sexually abused by her Jewish parents (no Jewish parental issues there). Being well-known names they were also brought on board.   Other actors who similarly have no real frame of reference regarding Israel are sent allegations of Israeli atrocities, no matter how false, and then told that if they support “peace,” they can show it by joining JVP and lending their names.  It is doubtful that most of them have the time or inclination to investigate in any depth what and who it is they are supporting.

Openly, JVP suggests it only wants Jews deported from the West Bank, but the front group definitely belongs to consortiums led by Arabs that seek not only the destruction of all of Israel, but even the annihilation of all of world Jewry

That Surasky should then try to cloak her deceptive statements in her email as being “because of our history as Jews” is a classic example of how she and JVP are set up as a front group:  they maintain that the Jewish people do not support peace, do not support Israel, that Israel is a murderer of innocent people and that it is against Muslims.  She certainly is not  promoting “peace.” Jewish Voice for Peace’s leadership routinely meets at the Saudi- funded Washington Report on Middle East Affairs conclaves.  One has to wonder if a $100,000 “anonymous” matching donation Surasky tells her readers JVP will get if they reach $100,000 by the end of 2012 in that same email will come from the Saudis.  JVP isn’t talking.

Because JVP members claim to represent Jews, not Arabs, and are written about as if they legitimately represent only a political “peace” faction of Jews, when their real purpose is to enable Hamas and other Jew-killers in the Middle East,  they  are still admitted as speakers to Hillel meetings on campuses where they can sneak in posing as “peace activists.” Many Jews are even suckered into thinking they donate to a legitimate peace organization when their funds are really going to promote the destruction of Israel and even to support the Jew-killers in Hamas.

It is high time that such “Jewish” front groups be exposed — and rejected -for what they really are and for their real purpose, which is to undermine and help destroy a Jewish state as a homeland for the Jewish people.

Next up: The Neturei Karta : Clowns in Orthodox Jewish garb in the pay of Arab terrorists.