'We often play the role of being able to say things that the rest of the movement cannot,' Jewish Voice for Peace director Rebecca Vilkomerson says in a wide-ranging interview about the group's decision to come out as opposed to Zionism, how to fight the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and recent attacks on Black-Palestine solidarity. Jewish Voice for Peace’s announcement that it opposes Zionism, published quietly on its website earlier this month, has thus far come and gone without much fanfare or public attention. It simply wasn’t surprising for many. “This doesn't change anything about our focus or our…Read More... | 35 Comments
As part of Israel's anti-BDS campaign, officials say members of Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in the U.S., will not be able to enter Israel. An Israeli government ministry confirmed on Saturday that the American Jewish organization, Jewish Voice for Peace*, is among 20 organizations from around the world that have been placed on a BDS blacklist, which means its members will be barred from entering Israel. JVP is the only major Jewish organization in the U.S. that openly advocates for and identifies with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. As part of its war on BDS, Israel's Strategic…Read More... | 4 Comments
A storm of protest failed to overshadow a diverse, progressive panel on anti-Semitism held in New York, featuring Linda Sarsour and Jewish Voice for Peace head Rebecca Vilkomerson. In the end, the controversy, threats, protests and endless scandalized op-eds were unable to derail a diverse, progressive panel on anti-Semitism that took place in New York on Tuesday evening. The event, held in front of 500 people at the New School (with a further 1,200 watching via a livestream) was moderated by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, and featured Linda Sarsour, Jewish Voice for Peace Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, Leo Ferguson and Lina…Read More...
A lot of smart people thought Barack Obama would be more sympathetic than his predecessors to the Palestinian cause, hopefully resulting in a more even-handed approach to the conflict. Obama, however, along with Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, failed to achieve peace and things on the ground in Israel/Palestine are measurably worse today than they were eight years ago. The Trump administration, however, has thrown most campaigners on the issue of Israel/Palestine for a loop, and forced many to re-evaluate their priorities. "Even having prepared for the worst since the election, in practice things are still pretty shocking," Rebecca Vilkomerson,…Read More... | 15 Comments
Earlier this week, an Israeli security company named Hashmira has announced it will stop supplying equipment to the West Bank. Hashmira is owned by Danish giant G4S, which was under considerable pressure due to its projects in Israel. This was another success for the boycott campaign, which seems to gain momentum, especially when it targets activities directly involved in the occupation. The Boycott is extremely controversial in Israel. While there is some tolerance, especially on the left, for the boycott of the settlements, supporting the BDS is a political taboo. Furthermore, a new Knesset bill would make it illegal for…Read More... | 12 Comments
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