Thirty members of the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) on Wednesday demanded that Jewish federations take an open stance against the blockade of the Gaza Strip and Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in a visit to the UJA-Federation of New York offices.
In 2013, JVP was listed as one of the top 10 anti-Israel groups in America by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). On Wednesday, JVP delivered a petition signed by 30,000 of its members and supporters to federation staff, asking Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) President Jerry Silverman to speak out publicly against the “siege” of Gaza.
“In the last 22 days, the Israeli army has killed more than 1,200 people in Gaza. There is nowhere safe for people to take refuge. Hospitals, schools, beaches, playgrounds-even U.N. shelters have been attacked. The entire world has reacted with horror and outrage,” the petition’s text states.
After delivering the petition, JVP members dressed in black simulated the blockade of Gaza in a street performance, pretending to be food and supplies attempting to get through the blockade.
JVP said that a federation-affiliated strategic communications representative had rejected its request to meet with Silverman because the group’s “ongoing support for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel render any kind of direct communication, beyond this email, impossible.”
Yitzhak Santis, chief programs officer at Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday by JNS.org that JVP “is part of the international NGO ‘soft power’ war, whose unrelenting attacks on Israel’s right to self-defense ultimately aid Hamas.”
“This global political warfare strategy includes sustained delegitimization campaigns, BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions), and promoting a ‘right of return’ for Palestinians, which means dismantling Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” wrote Santis. “It partners with a wide coterie of radical leftist, Islamist, and Arab ultra-nationalist groups to promote its program. When asked, JVP states that they are ‘agnostic’ about a two-state solution. But that is a smokescreen. The group’s actions demonstrate a clear anti-Israel agenda.”