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Posts Tagged ‘pinkwashing’
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.

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March 7, 2012 1

Upcoming Conferences to Promote Anti-Israel Initiatives

Two upcom­ing left-wing anti­war con­fer­ences, one tak­ing place at Pace Uni­ver­sity in New York next week­end and the sec­ond tak­ing place in Stam­ford, Con­necti­cut the week­end after that, will have a sig­nif­i­cant Israel angle. These con­fer­ences are sched­uled to include ses­sions on a one-state solu­tion, Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns against Israel, oppo­si­tion to a U.S. or Israel attack against Iran, and more.

The anti­war and anti-Israel move­ments have long sought to cre­ate com­mon cause and unite their objec­tives. In recent years, many of the larger anti-Israel ral­lies and gath­er­ings have been co-organized by local and national anti­war orga­ni­za­tions like ANSWER. In turn, anti­war events are often marked by anti-Israel slo­gans and claims that Israel is respon­si­ble for pres­sur­ing the U.S. into wars in the Mid­dle East.

The fol­low­ing are some details about the planned anti-Israel ses­sions at the two upcom­ing conferences:

Left Forum:
Every year, left-wing activists par­tic­i­pate in a major gath­er­ing called “Left Forum.” The con­fer­ence, which in the past has attracted sev­eral thou­sand atten­dees, is titled “Occupy the Sys­tem: Con­fronting Global Cap­i­tal­ism.” It will take place at Pace from March 16–18, 2012. 

The con­fer­ence appears to have an anti-Israel agenda that goes beyond Israel’s alleged role in U.S. for­eign pol­icy. It will include ses­sions on Israeli “pinkwash­ing” (the claim that Israel show­cases its pro­gres­sive record on LGBT issues to cover up its poli­cies toward Pales­tini­ans); a one-state solu­tion to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict; “resist­ing” a U.S.-Israel war against Iran; Israel as rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the global 1%; and BDS as a form of “cor­po­rate resistance.”

A descrip­tion for the 1% ses­sion, titled “Israel: Strate­gic Asset to the Global 1%,” reads:

“We will ana­lyze the impact of Zion­ist strate­gies in the US includ­ing the increased vio­la­tion and ero­sion of civil rights, attacks on our move­ments, and the esca­lated tar­get­ing of Arab, South East Asian, and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties and com­mu­ni­ties of color.”

United National Anti­war Coali­tion (UNAC) Conference:
UNAC, a newly formed coali­tion com­prised of two dozen anti­war groups, will hold its first annual con­fer­ence in Stam­ford, Con­necti­cut from March 23–25.

Con­fer­ence atten­dees will vote on two major agenda items dur­ing the con­fer­ence, one of which is a pro­posal on end­ing U.S. aid to Israel. The con­fer­ence will also include a ses­sion on BDS as tool of “non­vi­o­lent resis­tance” fea­tur­ing Nancy Kri­co­rian, an activist with CODEPINK, and Ethan Heit­ner, an anti-Israel cartoonist.

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March 5, 2012 2

A Round-Up of Israeli Apartheid Week Events

With Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) draw­ing to a close in cities around the United States, here is a sam­pling of what took place on col­lege cam­puses and else­where this past week:

  • Bran­deis Uni­ver­sity: Ali Abunimah deliv­ered a talk in which he dis­cussed his sup­port for a one-state solu­tion and described Israel as a “sec­tar­ian gov­ern­ment.” Abunimah was quoted say­ing: “The claim that Israel should be a Jew­ish state can be asserted, not defended—not legally, polit­i­cally or ethically…Israel has reached a moral, polit­i­cal and eth­i­cal dead-end. The notion that Israel can be both Jew­ish and demo­c­ra­tic vio­lates the rights of Pales­tini­ans, which is fine if you don’t see Pales­tini­ans as humans, but, if you do, it is wrong.” He also offen­sively com­pared the Holo­caust to the “Nakba,” a term Pales­tini­ans use to describe the 1948 War of Inde­pen­dence and the estab­lish­ment of the state of Israel. He said, “We must con­demn Nakba denial as strongly as we must con­demn Holo­caust denial.”
  • George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity: Mem­bers of the Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter tried to dis­rupt an event orga­nized by GW’s pro-Israel orga­ni­za­tion MEOR. The event hosted a for­mer Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sol­dier, Sergeant Ben­jamin Anthony.
  • Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity: Mem­bers of SJP staged a “house demo­li­tion act” that was intended to mimic Israel’s demo­li­tion of ille­gal Pales­tin­ian homes. One of the activists argued that these demo­li­tions are made pos­si­ble by U.S. tax dol­lars and Colum­bia University’s invest­ments, which fund “spe­cial Cater­pil­lar bull­doz­ers for Israel to demol­ish Pales­tin­ian homes.”

  • New York City: Approx­i­mately 100 mem­bers of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA) gath­ered in the lobby of the LGBT Cen­ter to protest the Center’s deci­sion not to host events related to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict. [In March 2011, the Cen­ter had decided not to host an IAW event.] Pro­test­ers held signs that read “Stop Pinkwash­ing Israeli Apartheid” and “End Israeli Apartheid,” and accused the cen­ter of “suc­cumb­ing to the out­spo­ken in power” and “betray[ing] its his­toric mis­sion.” After an hour indoors, the protest moved out­side to the sidewalk.

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