Nov 06, 2018
While Students for Justice in Palestine have increasingly been revealed as anti-Semitic, Jewish Voice for Peace have increasingly come to their aid. In fact, Jewish Voice For Peace (JVP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) have proven to be two sides of the campus anti-Israel coin. The groups can regularly be found fundraising, promoting, attending and co-hosting each other's events, sharing student activists and defending one another.
JVP Acts as a Jewish Shield for SJP
It is in this vein that JVP frequently stands “in solidarity” with SJP chapters. In a 2016 letter to the City University of New York (CUNY) administration, JVP defended SJP against “false allegations of anti-Semitism.”
One such incident occurred on November 12, 2015, when SJP at Hunter College helped organize the “#MillionStudentMarch” to demand “tuition-free public college.” SJP blamed high tuition at CUNY on the “Zionist administration” and its investments in Israeli companies.
During the march, SJP activists yelled “Zionists out of CUNY!” and “Long live the Intifada!” The ADL condemned SJP’s invoking of “a classic anti-Semitic stereotype which blames Jews for the financial woes of others.”
In May 2017, JVP and SJP activists disrupted an event featuring Israeli soldiers at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine). Activists attempted to shut down the event by chanting accusations of genocide and making obscene gestures.
In spite of these efforts, the program went on and those who stayed required a police escort out of the building for their safety. While JVP and SJP activists later claimed they were the victims of aggression, video evidence showed that the activists from SJP and JVP were the true aggressors.
After an investigation, SJP at UC Irvine was put on a “two-year probation” which included meeting with the dean’s office for a series of discussions on free speech issues and consulting with the dean’s office before hosting campus events. Further violations would have led to the group’s suspension or revocation of SJP’s official group status.
SJP appealed this decision with the support of JVP. Daniel Carnie, a member of JVP who participated in the disruption said it was “outrageous that the university is punishing us, students, instead of protecting us from aggressive foreign military agents on campus.”
On February 2, 2018, JVP held their “First Meeting” at Vassar College. According to the Facebook event description, the group works “very tightly with Vasser Students for Justice in Palestine and this will be a joint meeting.”
On April 27, 2018, multiple chapters of JVP and SJP co-sponsored a counter-protest to a pro-Israel student group’s celebration of Israeli Independence Day at New York University (NYU). Two anti-Israel activists were arrested after stealing a microphone and an Israeli flag.
On January 8, 2014, JVP Boston declared support for SJP at Northeastern University, after the group was suspended for “for multiple violations of university policy over an extended period of time,” including distributing mock eviction notices under dorm room doors “to raise awareness of Israeli home demolition policies towards Palestinians.
JVP and SJP promote BDS
JVP supports and works with SJP “to support and develop BDS campaigns” across the United States. At their 2017 National Member Meeting, JVP bragged that “on almost two dozen campuses across the country, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters, with support from JVP, have passed divestment and boycott resolutions.”
JVP has rejected the notion that BDS is anti-Semitic and defends “activists who employ the full range of BDS tactics.” On April 4, 2017, JVP and SJP co-sponsored an event featuring BADIL, a group that promotes BDS and has reportedly promoted “virulent anti-Semitic incitement.” The BADIL representative also spoke at the 2017 JVP National Member Meeting.
By defending SJP against allegations of anti-Semitism and working together to promote BDS and demonize Israel, JVP repeatedly demonstrates that it is willing to provide a “Jewish shield” for activities that are truly harmful to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.