(At the Intersectional Left) JVP Targets The Bad Jews

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Claiming to be a Jewish Voice for Peace, the activist organization gins up antipathy against Jews and Jewish communities at the intersectional left. What they leave in their wake is mistrust and rancor, broken relations, and a strong whiff of anti-Semitism with which others are left to contend. As a religious and political form, the anti-Zionist sectarian logic of JVP is that of the litmus test and loyalty oath, with good Jews, the righteous ones, on one side separated from wicked mass of Jews on the other. And in case a person unfamiliar with Jews, Judaism, Jewish history, and symbols can’t tell the one from the other, JVP will ferret out the truth. “Yes, that person over there is a Zionist, that person, especially that liberal person, supports pinkwashing and police violence against African Americans.”

–Pinkwashing is a red herring. You can read a JVP statement here. In truth, the vast majority of American Jewish support for LGBT rights and communities in Israel does nothing to whitewash the occupation. Liberal Zionists who (still) support a 2 state solution and civil rights in Israel and human rights in Palestine contend that one should simultaneously work towards LGBT rights in Israel and a just, agreed upon resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This should only be impossible if one’s political starting point is that the State of Israel and the vast majority of Jews who support the State of Israel in this or that form are a primary source of unmitigated evil with a wide international reach in the world at large.

–Behind this JVP video here lies the unsubstantiated claim that Israel and a cabal of Jewish institutions are behind the police shootings of black people in the United States or contribute to that culture of American racism. This too is a form of demonization, creating the image of a web-like, nefarious association at work to shoot and strangle POC. What one is to take from the video is the notion that cops in America are in deep and ongoing systematic cahoots with the Israeli armed forces, that Israeli police shoot Palestinian citizens of Israel on a regular basis like happens here to African Americans, and that American Jews and Jewish American Jewish organizations are to blame for this.

–BDS targets to silence not the State of Israel and its economic institutions, but a large class of Jews, namely Israeli Jewish academics, artists, and activists, as well as supporters of Israel and Zionism. What JVP wants one to understand is that Zionism is an emblem of white supremacy, not the historically and theoretically complex and pluriform idea that Jews constitute a people and that Jews should enjoy somewhere the right to political self-determination (as opposed to bourgeois civil rights of a minority protected [or not] under law). On Israel and the Occupation, JVP demands a pure and unsullied form of apologetic Judaism.

The upshot is clear once you align Zionism and all Jews who support Jewish life in the State of Israel with pinkwashing and racism. There is one and only one subject of Jewish conversation: the Occupation and Jewish-Zionist state violence in Israel. And the only Jewish voice at the intersectional left is Jewish Voice for Peace and those like it, the ones for whom Jews symbolize some righteous standard of suffering and struggle. They are the One; everyone else is the Other. They are the ones who get to define Judaism and Jewish values and symbols. The political, if not physical, abuse of those other Jews is okay. Those Jews, one can shout down and silence. Against them, it’s okay to “target,” “hold accountable,” “take action,” expel from public space. This is a rabbit hole into anti-Semitism.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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4 Responses to (At the Intersectional Left) JVP Targets The Bad Jews

  1. pintohaus says:

    Total nonsense. David Pinto Montreal,, Canada

    From: jewish philosophy place To: david_e_pinto@yahoo.ca Sent: Monday, July 3, 2017 3:58 PM Subject: [New post] (At the Intersectional Left) JVP Targets The Bad Jews #yiv5772892613 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5772892613 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5772892613 a.yiv5772892613primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5772892613 a.yiv5772892613primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5772892613 a.yiv5772892613primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5772892613 a.yiv5772892613primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5772892613 WordPress.com | zjb posted: ” Claiming to be a Jewish Voice for Peace, the activist organization gins up antipathy against Jews and Jewish communities at the intersectional left. What they leave in their wake is mistrust and rancor, broken relations, and a strong whiff of an” | |

  2. Alan Jay Weisbard says:

    A powerful statement. Sadly, all too correct. I have friends and colleagues who participate in JVP. I do not necessarily question their ideals or their motivations. But I do question their judgment. JVP has become a solidarity organization that defers to those who desire the destruction of the Jewish State and the denial of political rights to the Jewish people. It is possible to be extremely critical of Israeli policies while still believing that the Jewish people has a right to national self-determination. JVP is on the wrong side of that line.

  3. Ken Waltzer says:

    It is already well down the rabbit hole. The good/bad Jew binary, the caricature of Israel and Zionism, the finger pointing Manichean outlook. JVP acts the notary for certifying antisemites as, well, they are okay, they are just antizionists….

  4. larryzb says:

    Jews must not criticize other Jews.,

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