Recently, one of the Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink activists who disrupted Bibi Netanyahu during his speech at the New Orleans GA wrote an article which was posted on Jewlicious explaining their action. I wrote a response, where, in part, I criticize JVP for their tactics, their hypocrisy and their goals regarding Israel. Today I came across this video of a JVP group in Chicago demonstrating against Israel. It is very informative.

Video source is Rebel Pundit.

h/t Blazing Cat Fur

About the author



  • On Sunday, November 14, 2010, the Chicago chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace experienced a provocation at our weekly vigil. This provocation included thrusting a cell-phone camera into our faces, bombarding us with hostile questions, and video-recording us. A highly-edited version of this video is making its rounds on the internet. This prompts us to make the following facts crystal clear.

    We have held a one-hour vigil in downtown Chicago every Sunday for almost 10 years. Over the years, our message has been brought before literally millions of people.

    That message is very simple: Israelis and Palestinians should have a chance to live together in peace, but the main obstacle, which prevents them from having that chance, is the illegal and immoral Israeli Occupation of Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank.

    Our message is stated very clearly in the material we distribute as well as by our signs and banners.

    We have also welcomed the participation of non-members at our vigils. They are there in support of our message. Sadly, we cannot always control what everyone says, particularly those who are provoked beyond rationality. One person, who is not a member, is quoted at length in the video. His extreme views are those of neither JVP nor the other participants. In fact, they are absolutely contrary to our local Common Ground and JVP Guidelines.

    The video has been creatively edited to give the appearance that this person represents JVP. He does not. Specifically, his statement that Israel has no right to exist is exactly opposite of JVP’s position. It is also contrary to the message contained in the material we distribute.

    We are taking appropriate steps to ensure that this does not happen again. As we know, anyone can place any video into the public domain. We have no control of the editing and distribution of materials that purport to represent JVP. However, we can control our own adherence to our basic political principles. We intend to do this vigorously.

  • The irony of having a group that disrupted Netanyahu’s speech complain about the “provocation” of some guy asking them questions while they are demonstrating in a public place is rich bordering on hilarious.

    This is precisely the type of hypocrisy one can expect from Jewish Voices for Peace who run the Muzzlewatch blog that does not permit comments on the site even as it attacks Israel and its supporters for supposedly stifling voices that are critical of Israel.

    As if this hypocrisy is insufficiently dishonest, Jewish Voice for Peace blames Rebel Pundit who created the video above for “creative editing” because he asks JVP demonstrators questions related to the signs they are holding in a public place or about things they are openly saying.

    Contrary to the statement made by the JVP Chicago Steering Committee, the video isn’t edited to focus on one individual. Five people are interviewed, and the responses of 4 of 5 depict consistently anti-Israel views by the demonstrators. Sadly, the demonstrators also reveal a significant ignorance about the conflict and recent events related to the conflict. The 5th person, the one who refuses to answer questions, is the person who represents himself as the demonstration’s organizer.

    Instead of explaining his group’s position to the videographer who is asking reasonable questions about the demonstration, the organizer attempts to shut him out and even block signs from the camera’s view. In addition, one of the JVP demonstrators continuously seeks to block the videographer and his camera by walking right in front of him several times.

    The outcome of this is that JVP appears to be employing tactics that on the one hand criticize Israel and its supporters for supposedly stifling speech critical of Israel, while in actuality it is JVP that seeks to shut down any speech that does not comport with their message.

    One can only wonder (with some trepidation if you’re somebody who dares to challenge JVP) what JVP means when they say of this exercise in free speech, “We are taking appropriate steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”

  • Wait! I forgot something!!

    JVP states:

    “That message is very simple: Israelis and Palestinians should have a chance to live together in peace, but the main obstacle, which prevents them from having that chance, is the illegal and immoral Israeli Occupation of Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank.”

    Um, the main obstacle preventing the Israelis and Palestinians from having a chance to live together in peace is the consistent refusal by the Palestinians to negotiate or negotiate in good faith. It is the consistent refusal of the Palestinians to accept that a state for the Jewish people may exist on any part of the Land of Israel. Furthermore, there is no occupation in Gaza, East Jerusalem is annexed by Israel and is not Palestinian anyway, and the West Bank has been offered virtually in its entirety to the Palestinians so they could establish a state. Three times it has been offered by Israel, and Netanyahu has also made it clear that he would be willing to come to a deal.

    In other words, Jewish Voice for Peace is focusing their ire on the wrong party. They should be doing everything in their power to make the Palestinians come to the table to compromise and come to a deal that accepts the existence of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

  • When Israel acquiesces to the three non-negotiables, that all the Arab countries in the region have agreed in principle to trade for Palestinian sovereignty, which is also the unanimous position of the International Community, excepting the US, Israel, and Micronesia, there will be peace in Israel/Palestine: return to the 1967 borders; negotiate the practicalities of the “right of return”; and the providing of East Jerusalem as the historic capital of Palestine. Forsooth, it is Palestine that doesn’t have a negotiating partner, not Israel.

  • “there will be peace in Israel/Palestine: return to the 1967 borders; negotiate the practicalities of the “right of return”; and the providing of East Jerusalem as the historic capital of Palestine.”

    OK then, all of this was provided for in the peace offers from Barak in 2000 and 2001, and from Olmert in 2008. The Middle’s point stands.

    JVP’s post is too precious for words. So you claim to have brought your message before “literally millions of people”, i.e. your vigils have reached almost the entire population of Chicago — more people than the combined circulation of every newspaper in the city! I guess you’ve proven that, when it comes to market penetration, every conventional type of media outlet (newspapers, TV, radio, internet) is no match for five people on a street corner carrying signs. You guys are truly the vanguard of the communication age.

    Let’s just say that I believe you when you say that this one particular person isn’t a member of JVP. Regardless, like it or not, if someone is participating in your event and carrying your signage, then he’s representing your organization. Obviously you’re perfectly willing to say that this buffoon represents you when he’s coming to your events and helping you spread the truth to literally millions of people, but as soon as he says something embarrassing and/or offensive then you claim that you have nothing to do with him.

  • Tracy, first of all there is no Palestine. There has never been a state called Palestine. In order for Palestine to become a state, the Palestinians will have to declare such a state. They can do so unilaterally, but then face the real prospect of automatically limiting themselves to the borders delineated in their declaration. They will also have to resign themselves to the fact that Israel will no longer have any incentive to negotiate on any point whatsoever, while still holding most of the cards.

    Second, while it is cute for you to mention Micronesia, you dismiss Canada and Australia too easily. They also often vote together with the United States and Israel on matters that pertain to Israel on the Israeli side. Admittedly, this is a small group of nations, but I’d much rather have them on my side than China, Russia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. You should ask yourself why you don’t.

    Third, the only material laws governing the conflict from the perspective of Israel’s obligations are UNSCR 242 and 338. Not only do those govern the situation, but are enshrined by the Oslo Accords. UNSCR 242 and 338 explicitly do NOT require that Israel return to 1949 armistice lines (what you call 1967 borders) and whatever territory Israel gives up (not gives back, but gives up) will only be done so when certain conditions are met by Israel’s neighbors, namely peace.

    Fourth, there is no “right of return” according to international law.

    Fifth, eastern Jerusalem has been offered to the Palestinians as their capital at Taba by Barak and by Olmert in 2008. They refused to close the deals or change any of their demands in those negotiations. In the case of Olmert, they simply walked away. Now this should amuse you because east Jerusalem was never the capital of Palestine since there was never a state of Palestine. It should doubly amuse you because if you’re going to call east Jerusalem the “historic capital of Palestine,” you might be surprised to learn that there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem as early as the early 1800s.

    Sixth, the Arab offer of 2002 attempts to enshrine elements of a deal which do not presently exist. Namely, they seek to enshrine UNGAR 194, which ironically was rejected previously by all the Arab states but now signifies the only recourse of the Arab attempt to turn back the clock to an existential and genocidal war that they began in 1948 and which they lost; and they seek to move Israel out of eastern Jerusalem which houses the holiest site to Jews, the Temple Mount. Like any offer, this is merely an offer. The Israelis learned about this offer from the media – Tom Friedman announced it – not from some emissary of the Arabs, and that lack of seriousness has marked this plan at its inception and since then.

    Your assumption that the Arabs can dictate the outcome of a war they started and lost is not surprising, considering the spite in which you hold Micronesia, but what is surprising is that some people, like you, believe that the King of Saudi Arabia can make a declaration and that the state of the Jewish people which had given up tens of thousands of dead in its wars, has no right to dispute the demands.

    Seventh, you ignore the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries who had to leave and make their homes in Israel, with all the repercussions that stem from their eviction and departure from those lands.

    Finally and most important is that incredibly, despite there never having been a state called Palestine, or a historic Palestinian capital in any part of Jerusalem, or such a thing as a “right of return” in international law, or any suggestion that anything other than 242 and 338 govern the eventual borders of this conflict, Israel has offered these very things to the Palestinians!

    Israel has offered the Palestinians a Palestinian state on about 98% of the 1949 armistice lines including 100% of Gaza and 96-97% of the West bank/Judea and Samaria, has offered eastern Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital, has offered to share sovereignty or allow an international mandate over Jerusalem’s holiest areas, has allowed a limited right of return to original refugees as defined by international consensus and offered to participate in a huge reparations fund worth tens of billions of dollars.

    These offers were made twice, not once, and were made even as the PNA was in attack mode against Israel.

    People who seek peace understand the problem is with the Palestinians, not the Israelis. Polls show this to be true and so does the behavior of the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships, respectively. If Jewish Voice for Peace and its ilk were serious about peace, they would use their network of left-wing groups and other anti-Israel partisans to place pressure on the Palestinians to negotiate in good faith and come to a reasonable agreement with Israel.

  • Middle, your statement that the behavior of the Israeli leaderships shows that the problem is with the Palestinians is highly debatable. Do you really think Netanyahu wants peace, if we define it loosely as any outcome reasonably foreseeable in the current round of negotiations?

    I think each side has an interest in the failure of the current talks. Neither is satisfied with now-likely outcomes. The P’s want a better deal, and think they can get one from Obama by waiting. Meanwhile, the evidence of the last few months shows that Netanyahu is not yet ready to give up on the WB settlement project, for narrowly political and/or other reasons.

  • Yes, Netanyahu wants peace. Peace by the standard set by Barak at Taba, if not Olmert’s version.

    What’s happening with the settlements right now is not indicative of anything other than refusing to play ball if the rules are set by the Palestinians or a hostile Obama administration. Netanyahu still has to deal with a right wing coalition and considerable distrust of Palestinian motives in his party. He can’t come to the table without a deal, and as far as they are concerned, they’ve already given up a great deal with the 10 month moratorium which, to be clear, included a stealth eastern Jerusalem moratorium.

  • Anyone who begins an argument by claiming that “there is no Palestine” is neither worthy nor desirous of dialogue. It is simply too stupid a remark.

  • Anybody who claims that somebody who claims that “there is no Palestine” is neither worthy nor desirous of dialogue needs to prove there is a Palestine.

    In the meantime, I welcome dialogue. It seems to me that JVP types are the ones who are afraid of dialogue. There’s that one woman in my other post who claimed that my facts were “facts” and then there’s the former paratrooper who made a comment similar to yours and then there is the “organizer” in the video who is trying to hide banners that his friends/hired guns are holding up. Then there’s Muzzlewatch that shuts down all discussion because things weren’t going their way. Oh, and then there’s you who won’t have a dialogue because apparently I’m not worthy of it. 🙄

  • What we have learned so far:

    Jewish Voice for Peace likes to make noise far beyond its numbers,

    Jewish Voice for Peace likes to disrupt others but has very thin skin when others disrupt it,

    Jewish Voice for Peace victimizes others but pretends to be a victim,

    Jewish Voice for Peace activists make up history as they go along and dismiss or ignore inconvenient facts,

    Jewish Voice for Peace activists make derogatory comments about others with no basis other than they feel like it.

    Oh, and if Tracy McLellan is a JVP activist, then we have a couple more such as:

    Jewish Voice for Peace activists support Palestinian rule over the Temple Mount, including the Western Wall, even after the PA came out with a shameful “study” claiming no Jewish connection to this important Jewish site,

    Jewish Voice for Peace activists dismiss American support for Israel, ignore other Western countries’ support for Israel and revel in the majority bullying of Israel in the international forum – the UN – where a small democratic country has become a key scapegoat for the world’s inaction on the many serious human rights violations that occur regularly in numerous countries, many of which tend to sponsor the anti-Israel motions in the first place…