Jewish Voice for Peace Promotes Anti-Israel Hagaddah » ADL Blogs
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April 5, 2012 6

Jewish Voice for Peace Promotes Anti-Israel Hagaddah

As Jews around the world pre­pare to cel­e­brate Passover this Fri­day night, one Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tion has opted to use the hol­i­day as an oppor­tu­nity to pro­mote an anti-Israel agenda.

Jew­ish Voice for Peace, a Jew­ish anti-Zionist orga­ni­za­tion, recently pub­lished an alter­na­tive Hagad­dah that com­pares the Jew­ish people’s exo­dus from Egypt to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, replete with assert­ing that the third of the four cups of wine rep­re­sents the Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paign against Israel, the Ten Plagues rep­re­sent the “Ten Plagues of Israeli Occu­pa­tion” and that the maror (bit­ter herbs) rep­re­sents the “bit­ter­ness of life under occupation.”

While some ele­ments of the alter­na­tive text focus on social jus­tice and pro­gres­sive causes (and includes texts and poems from some of the moral lead­ers of our time), much of the Hagad­dah tries to exploit the text to advance anti-Israel ini­tia­tives. The intro­duc­tion, for exam­ple, com­pares Moses’s famous dec­la­ra­tion to Pharoah, “Let My Peo­ple Go!” to the efforts of the Gaza Flotilla to “free” the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple by break­ing Israel’s block­ade of Gaza.

Accord­ing to JVP, the third cup of wine, which is tra­di­tion­ally con­sumed after the meal por­tion of the Seder, rep­re­sents BDS and Seder par­tic­i­pants are encour­aged to “make a L’Chayim” to BDS.

The con­stant supremacy of the Pales­tin­ian cause is also star­tling. When the text, for exam­ple, reaches Yachatz, the break­ing of the mid­dle matzah, the text reminds par­tic­i­pants to acknowl­edge the “break that occurred in Pales­tin­ian life and cul­ture with the estab­lish­ment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

JVP had trou­ble insert­ing two addi­tional core parts of its agenda into the Hagad­dah text and instead included them as “Adden­dums” at the end. The first is a let­ter about “pinkwash­ing,” which details a recent suc­cess by anti-Israel activists in Seat­tle to can­cel an event with Israeli LGBT peo­ple. The sec­ond is a let­ter signed by JVP’s Rab­bini­cal Coun­cil oppos­ing a war against Iran.