Nov 29, 2021
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Jewish Voice for Peace, a left-wing anti-Israel group in the US, observed Tisha B’av, the Jewish holy day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish Temples and the subsequent destruction of the Biblical Kingdoms of Israel, by “praying” for the destruction of modern Israel.

Tisha B’Av: All about Gaza and the “occupation”

Before the holy day, JVP, an organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) described as a “driving force behind the anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, called for a virtual Tisha B’Av event on their website. For this purpose, the organization offered a Tisha B’Av guidebook. While acknowledging the Jewish aspect of the holy day, the guidebook quickly becomes an anti-Israel manifesto:

“The creation of the Golden Calf, the manifestation of the Israelites’ fear and doubt. Today we lament the fear and doubt that, when provoked by politicians, can whip citizens into a frenzied call for blood. For the readiness of the Jewish people to demonize the Other, and become immune to the humanity of Gazans. The expulsion of the Jewish people from Spain, France, England, the loss of home, community, and safety, also said to have happened on the 9th of Av. Today we bear witness to the loss of home, community, and safety for Palestinians in Gaza at the hands of the IDF. The false witness given by the spies sent out to scout the land of Israel before the Israelites’ entered in the book of Numbers. Theirs was a testimony that stirred up doubt, fighting amongst ourselves, and the subsequent destruction of a generation. Today we are held accountable for the decimation of generations of lives in Gaza at this very moment.”

The guidebook contains verses from the Bible along with writings by Palestinian poets. 

In the past, the organization has sponsored anti-Israel/pro-BDS protests on Tisha B’Av. “The Palestinian Talmud,” a blog run by JVP’s “Rabbinical Council”, featured an entry about Tisha B’Av that promoted the “Day of Action” against Israel. The author, a Reconstructionist rabbinical student named Jessica Rosenberg, a transgender biological male, acknowledges that many Jews spend the day reciting prayers (known as Kinot) that mourn the destruction of the Temples, but notes that she will observe the fast by reading stories and poems about “Palestinians who’ve been dispossessed and expelled from their land.” Rosenberg acknowledges the difficulty of connecting mourning about Jewish trauma with criticism of Israel (in her words, the “Palestinian history and trauma that my community has to reckon with our part in causing”), but commits to starting this “new ritual.”

Perverting Jewish holy days and rituals

The perversion of the Jewish holy day of Tisha B’Av is the standard operating procedure for JVP. The group published a Passover Haggadah that rededicates the third cup of wine to BDS and adds an olive to the Seder Plate to mark the Palestinian struggle. Teh group has in fact, an entire litany covering all the Jewish holidays, redefining them as explicitly anti-Israel.

JVP: the Jewish-wing of the Palestinians

These perverted philosophies are consistent with the group’s self-description as being “ the Jewish wing of the Palestinian solidarity movement.”

NGO Monitor has an extensive report on JVP:

“JVP provides the façade of significant Jewish support for BDS and other forms of demonization, including on university campuses and in churches, while also seeking to create ‘a wedge’ within the American Jewish community and generate polarization over Israel,” NGO Monitor wrote. “As previously noted by NGO Monitor, JVP is not transparent about funding sources. Our research reveals that JVP received funding from a broad range of foundations and charitable trusts, many of which, unsurprisingly, also contribute to other anti-Israel organizations.”

According to NGO Monitor, JVP has embraced and advocated on behalf of Palestinian terrorists such as Ahmed Sa’adat and Rasmea Odeh. Similarly, JVP regularly justifies and excuses Palestinian violence.

The largest chunk of funding comes from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund which is linked to anti-Israel groups like J-Street and the New Israel Fund. 

JVP has claimed that the largest threat to Jews was from evangelical Christians who it claimed were white supremacists and anti-Semites. In December, JVP  co-sponsored a panel discussion titled “Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice” which was headed by several anti-Israel advocates including Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill.