Eliza Moss Horwitz
OverviewEliza Moss-Horwitz has demonized pro-Israel Jews and promoted the #returnthebirthright initiative, launched by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) against the Birthright Jewish heritage tour.
Moss-Horwitz is affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), having attended several of their anti-Israel programs.
Moss-Horwitz is also a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, as an affiliate of Columbia Univeristy Apartheid Divest (CUAD.)
Moss-Horwitz is a sophomore at Barnard College (Barnard), studying “religion and education."
On Facebook, Moss-Horwitz goes by the moniker “Eliza Rose."
Demonizing Pro-Israel JewsOn March 5, 2017, Moss-Horwitz co-authored an opinion piece for The Columbia Spectator titled, “Unlearning apartheid apologism: A Jewish response to Israeli Apartheid Week."
In the op-ed, the authors argued that Jews on campus “had been lied to and deceived by [their] teachers, parents, camp counselors, role models, and community leaders."
The authors repeatedly smeared Israel with accusations of “apartheid" and “ethnic cleansing" and insisted “that Judaism could flourish" without “the supremacy of Jewish ethnic identity in the State of Israel."
The authors concluded by claiming “the Jewish community" has chosen to wilfully ignore “any mention of human rights violations, apartheid, state violence, expulsion, or ethnic cleansing, and has chosen to label the people who do make those claims as anti-Semites and self-hating Jews."
Condemning Jewish Heritage TourOn October 12, 2017, JVP tweeted a photo of Moss-Horwitz to promote its #returnthebirthright campaign.
The photo was shared by Columbia/Barnard JVP and CUAD on Facebook with the caption: “We're tabling for #returntheBirthright here in the Diana center! Come thru until 2:00pm to learn about the Jewish Voice for Peace national campaign to #returnthebirthright!"
Anti-Israel Campus Activism
CUAD is comprised of JVP and SJP members, who joined forces in February 2016. The group called on Columbia to divest its equity holdings and endowment funds from companies that — in CUAD’s words — “profit from the State of Israel’s ongoing system of settler colonialism, military occupation, and apartheid law."
CUAD lists eight target companies that it believes “*likely* to be invested in by a university like CU."
During the week of October 30-November 3, 2017, Moss-Horwitz attended “Palestine Awareness Week!" at Columbia, where events included “Militant Cinema: The Stolen History of Palestinian Film," in addition to other SJP campus events.
Return the Birthright CampaignIn September of 2017, JVP issued its #ReturntheBirthright campaign manifesto, calling on American Jews to boycott the Birthright Israel (Birthright) program. Birthright was founded by Jewish philanthropists “in 1999 to address the growing divide between young Diaspora Jewish adults and the land and people of Israel."
After decades of demographic decline in the American Jewish community, Birthright set out “to strengthen Jewish identity, build a lasting bond with the land and people of Israel, and reinforce the solidarity of Jewish people worldwide." The program offers “the gift of a life-changing, 10-day trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26."
JVP’s anti-Birthright campaign was launched precisely to coincide with “the very moment that college students across America are returning to campus and registration for Birthright winter visits are underway."
The #returnthebirthright manifesto accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing" and alleged “the modern state of Israel is predicated on the ongoing erasure of Palestinians."
The text claimed: “We reject the offer of a free trip to a state that does not represent us, a trip that is only ‘free’ because it has been paid for by the dispossession of Palestinians."
The manifesto concluded: “And as we reject this, we commit to promoting the right to return of Palestinian refugees… Israel is not our Birthright… Return the Birthright."
On June 22, 2017, just prior to the launch of JVP’s #returnthebirthright campaign, JVP received a $140,00 two-year grant for general support for its operations from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF).
Since 2015, JVP has received $280,000 from RBF, which has a history of supporting anti-Jewish causes, including BDS campaigns and various organizations that promote BDS campaigns throughout the United States.
JVP was founded in Berkeley, California in 1996, as an activist group with an emphasis on the "Jewish tradition" of peace, social justice and human rights. The organization is currently led by Rebecca Vilkomerson and its board members include controversial Israel critics Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky and Tony Kushner.
JVP, which generally employs civil disobedience tactics like disrupting pro-Israel speakers and events, consists of American Jews and non-Jewish "allies" highly critical of Israeli policies. A staunch supporter of the BDS movement, JVP claims to aim its campaigns at companies that either support the Israeli military (Hewlett-Packard) or are active in the West Bank (SodaStream).
Although several Jewish groups critical of Israeli policies, like J Street and Partners for a Progressive Israel, make efforts to operate within the mainstream American Jewish community, JVP functions outside. The group is often criticized for serving as a tokenized Jewish voice for the pro-Palestinian camp and is widely regarded as the BDS movement's "Jewish wing."
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has accused JVP of being "the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States," and said the group "exploits Jewish culture and rituals to reassure its own supporters that opposition to Israel not only does not contradict, but is actually consistent with, Jewish values... JVP consistently co-sponsors rallies to oppose Israeli military policy that are marked by signs and slogans comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, demonizing Jews and voicing support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah."
According to the ADL website, JVP "uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide it with a greater degree of legitimacy and credibility."
SJP was co-founded in 2001 at the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) by Professors Hatem Bazian and Snehal Shingavi. Bazian served as president of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) while studying at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and headed the Muslim Students Association (MSA) while earning his M.A. at UC Berkeley. In 2004, while the second intifada was already winding down in Israel, he called for an intifada in the United States.
Shingavi, an activist tied to the International Socialist Organization (ISO), has been criticized for using his literature course as a vehicle for promoting anti-Israel propaganda. SJP has grown to become the primary student movement advancing the Palestinian national agenda on North American campuses and is the primary force behind BDS campaigns at most schools.
SJP activists frequently intimidate and harass Jewish and pro-Israel students. SJP members have physically assaulted Jewish students, aggressively disrupted pro-Israel events and possibly vandalized communal property. SJP rallies regularly include hate-speech and chants such as "Long Live The Intifada" and "From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free" — calls for violence and for the destruction of the Jewish state.
SJP chapters frequently run inflammatory campaigns against Israel, including BDS resolutions, rallies, Israel-Apartheid initiatives, propaganda comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, mock checkpoints and "die-ins."
The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti and asserts that it "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."
The movement's most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for "BDS resolutions." In these cases, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, student governments have brought to vote on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities. These resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.
BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It has been noted that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus. In 2013, when the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution, reports emerged of violent threats and the spitting on a student wearing a Star of David necklace. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a "secret ballot" in order to ensure its members' safety.
- Return The Birthright, Barnard
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