Since May 2021 and The Unity Uprising, the public eye has majorly shifted towards the Palestinian cause with pro-Palestinian organizations taking the spotlight. Among the multitude of NGOs that managed to spearhead the narrative, Jewish Voice for Peace maintained a prominent and consistent leading position throughout. It still does. Perhaps it’s time to take a deeper look into JVP’s loyalties, code of conduct and purpose. Does it abide by the Thawabet (principles)?
What Is Jewish Voice for Peace?
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a zionist-funded and facilitated organization with a knack for furthering dubious sentiments and uplifting zionist voices. It was founded by UC Berkeley students Julia Caplan, Rachel Eisner, and Julie Iny in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since its initiation JVP has nurtured and sustained policies, ideologies, and objectives that wholly support the fascist colonial state of “israel” and its continued imperialist existence on indigenous Palestinian land.
In particular, JVP’s role has been to “normalize”* the existence of israel while simultaneously reducing the Palestinian struggle for National Liberation to an abstract “human rights” based campaign that poses no threat to the zionist entity.
*What Is Normalization?
To normalize is to admit to the existence of the zionist entity and reduce the criminal reality and origins of its being to that of a normal one (i.e one that wasn’t formed over the corpses of indigenous people and whose existence isn’t reliant on the continued genocide of Palestinians). This is done in a number of ways but in the context of today’s article; normalization is carried out by:
- Using normalizing language such as “israeli civilians”, “israel-Palestine conflict”, “israeli land”,
- Providing a platform to or collaborating with zionists/zionist-run organizations
- Accepting funding from institutions that fund zionist institutions
- Working/volunteering with organizations that do any of the above
Normalization is a long-running zionist strategy that is used side-by-side with a feigned alliance with the Palestinian cause. The alliance is generally a front to dupe and convince the masses (usually Palestinians as well) that the organization advocates for Palestinian liberation, however, its true intentions and actions are entirely in favour of the continued colonization of Palestine. Such organizations are in all actuality an extension of the zionist regime; equally as deadly and cancerous to Palestinians and their liberation.
Timeline of JVP’s Policies + Language Deconstruction
JVP’s policies have constantly been updated since the website was created in 2000. However, a common denominator of normalization can clearly be distinguished from all the dressed-up terminologies and fancily worded dogmas JVP has used over the years. The following is a breakdown of it:
JVP Policy in 2001
- “We believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be resolved only when Israel removes its Jewish settlements and other occupation installations in the Palestinian territories, grants freedom and the right to self-representation for Palestinian Arabs, and addresses the legitimate claims of Palestinian refugees.”
- Evasion from using the correct terminology such as “colonization, ethnic cleansing, genocide, apartheid…etc” and over-simplifying & diminishing the reality of “israel’s” racial extermination of Palestinians to a “conflict” is an unabashedly reductionist approach that conveniently provides cover for the zionist entity to continue its relentless war crime rampage so the world turns a blind eye to it
- The second underlined phrase indicates a clear desire toward “israel” being the reigning power that holds the authority of whether (or not) to ‘bestow‘ rights on Palestinians (as if the indigenous people require the colonizing entity to gift them their rights).
- “The rights of Israelis and Palestinians to self-representation and collective sovereignty within political entities of their own choosing.”
- There is no such thing as “israeli” rights. Simply US/EU settlers with pre-existing nationalities of where they came from. JVP’s use of such language is crystal clear admittance and endorsement of the existence of “israel” and settlers that identify as “israelis”.
- The use of ‘collective sovereignty’ is blatant advocacy for a two-state solution that calls for both “israelis” & Palestinians to ‘collectively’ reside together. The colonizer & the colonized will never “coexist”.
JVP Policy in 2007
- Support of the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination
- Another example of normalizing two-state-solution wording that implies colonial settlers and indigenous Palestinians somehow are at the same social level where both aspire for security & self-determination. The colonizer that receives billions of US taxpayer money to fund its military weaponry, iron dome system, and replenish its advanced war technology armoury…has aspirations for ‘security’ and ‘self-determination’?
- An end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem
- A clear attempt to not only fragment the Palestinian state (no such thing as East Jerusalem…Jerusalem will not be divided) but also minimize the zionist entity’s occupation of Palestine to only those 3 areas.
- A resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem consistent with international law and equity
- Ambiguous and dismissive; avoids stating the correct and necessary Right of Return of indigenous Palestinians to their motherland. “Refugee problem” is a disrespectful and cowardly terminology when referring to hundreds of thousands of indigenous Palestinians who fled their homeland to avoid being butchered alive by the same “israelis” JVP claim to aspire for security and self-determination.
JVP Policy in 2013:
- Jerusalem has to be shared in a manner that reflects its spiritual, economic, and political importance to both Israelis and Palestinians[…]
- A city that has belonged for hundreds of years to indigenous Palestinians has no reason to be ‘shared’ with American & European colonizing settlers who violate, destroy, and desecrate it on a daily basis. Jerusalem will not be divided.
- JVP supports peace activists in Palestine and Israel
- Settlers ethnically cleansing and displacing Palestinians will never hold the title of ‘peace activist’ alongside their colonial identity. There is no peace in colonization.
JVP Policy in 2022:
- We support any solution that is consistent with the full rights of both Palestinians and Israeli Jews, whether one binational state, two states, or some other solution.
- Offhand, ambiguous, and undefined (just like all of JVP’s policies) there is no clear indication of what exactly the organization advocates for but it is clear that their loyalties lie in whichever arena that favours, coddles, and furthers zionist livelihood.
- It is up to Israelis and Palestinians to reach a mutually agreed upon solution
- The belief that the colonizer and the colonized may reach a mutual agreement is not only highly uneducated and comically horrifying but to equate the identity of the oppressor with the oppressed is yet another display of normalization and denial of the Palestinian blood on every single “israeli’s” hands
- We believe that a just and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only happen through acknowledgment of the Nakba of 1947-9, which led to the creation of millions of Palestinian refugees
- Peace between “israelis” and Palestinians is as impossible as reversing the last 74 years of massacre and genocide. Acknowledging the Nakba is hardly a determining factor of a so-called peace when in light of the very public and documented “Death-to-Arabs” march in May 2021 (and May 2022) where white zionist men roamed the streets of Jerusalem calling for a “second Nakba” and faced no consequences whatsoever it is clear that “israel” acknowledges the Nakba…and continues it every day. It is both ignorant and beyond foolish for JVP to have this as one of their alleged mission statements.
JVP since its early years has never held a single stance or enforced one policy that could ever advocate for Palestinians’ rights, liberation, empowerment, or decolonization from the zionist entity.
“It’s important that people know we care about Israel and believe it has the right to exist, but that Palestinian lives are just as valuable as Israeli lives.”Penny Rosenwasser, founding JVP board member
April 11, 2002
JVP Staff Members and Their Ties
Below is only a handful of JVP staff (current and former) whose connections and links with zionist organizations prior, during, and after their employment with Jewish Voice for Peace are a clear indication of what exactly the org stands for.
One of the founding members of Jewish Voice for Peace, Rachel is based in Berkeley, California where she currently works as a Director of Development & Communications with Civicorps. Her professional portfolio lists her as a B.A graduate of multi/interdisciplinary studies from the University of California, Berkeley where she was fairly active in the Progressive Zionist Caucus society. She co-founded JVP in 1996 and immediately after (with no time to lose) was hired as Associate Regional Director at the New Israel Fund (NIF) in 1997 where she worked for over 4 years.
(The NIF, a US-based non-profit, lists its own objectives as aiming to “strengthen israeli democracy and attain equality and justice for israelis” while routinely allocating millions of dollars in grants to zionist establishments and simultaneously accepting funding from similar entities as well.)
Later in 2010, Rachel attained the position of Northwest Regional Director at J Street and worked with the pro-israel organization for more than 8 years. It goes without saying that J Street, yet another US-based non-profit, strives towards advancing zionist interests with its two-state solution advocacy and strengthening american-israeli relations i.e maintaining a steady flow of financial aid from the US to fund the genocide of Palestinians.
“We know this is the only solution. There is no other solution.”Rachel Eisner on a two-state solution between ‘israel’ and Palestine
Another one of JVP’s co-founders, Julie Iny’s participation in pro-Zionist activities dates back to her years in the third grade. Her affiliation with Hashomer Hatzair; the oldest Zionist youth movement (that recruits children as young as 7 to brainwash and groom into Zionism) must put a real damper on the spirits of everyone believing JVP’s policies were ever in the best interests of the Palestinians. Certainly not the last of her affiliations with zionist organizations, Julie was also an active member of the Progressive Zionist Caucus movement during her undergrad years at the University of California, Berkeley.
A former co-director of JVP who majorly contributed to the organization’s takeoff in its initial years, Mitchell has a history and a current-day track record of serving zionists and planting normalizers in Palestinian communities. Aside from being Co-Director at JVP, his past positions also list him as a Director at “B’Tselem – The Israeli Center for Human Rights”. He’s also served as Vice President at the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP funds the New Israel Fund among a number of other similarly normalizing and zionism-infiltrated organizations such as IfNotNow, Just Vision, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel).
Rebecca has been affiliated with JVP since 2001 and only recently called it quits with the org in 2019 after her husband was exposed for directly working for the cyber security branch of the israeli military. During her 19-year employment period, she was an Executive Director for 10 of them. This senior role probably emboldened her to take decisions such as collaborate with J Street under the facade of furthering the BDS movement. However, in 2017 when Jonathan Lebowitsch, her husband, was exposed to be working as a Solution Architect for Check Point Software Technologies (a cybersecurity vendor established in Occupied Palestine by zionist military forces) her sense of invincibility dropped a couple notches and 2 years later it was quits for her with JVP. Her husband’s affiliation with the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, Rebecca illegally took up residence in Occupied Palestine during the years of 2006-2009 with her family.
“In 2009, I was living in Tel Aviv during Operation Cast Lead. During that offensive, Israel killed about 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza […] When I dropped my children off at their preschool, parents chatted as if nothing unusual was going on. When they asked me what was wrong, I would tell them I was deeply upset about what was happening just 40 miles away.”Rebecca Vilkomerson for FootballAgainstApartheid
It is, of course, under no debate that every home a non-Palestinian takes up residence in, in Occupied Palestine was formerly a Palestinian home whose rightful owners were brutally killed/displaced/chased out of to make way for settlers. It is both disrespectful and impossible of Rebecca to claim to advocate for Palestinian rights with her ‘activism’ work at JVP while simultaneously actively violating them.
Jill Bratt, who likes to go by Scout Bratt, publicly began representing herself as part of the JVP team around early 2016 but her work with zionist-backed orgs dates back to late 2010. Scout’s portfolio boasts plenty of volunteer and work experience with a slew of different organizations. Her work with Avodah specifically is interesting where she took up 4 different job positions from 2010 to 2018.
Avodah, a globally functioning training and organizing group, plays the Judaism card claiming to be a left-of-centre Jewish enterprise that promotes “a vision of Jewish life rooted in justice”. However, a quick look at Avodah’s donor organizations shows the enterprise’s funding is largely influenced by ‘pro-israel’ foundations some of which are: Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Dorot Foundation (operates in conjunction with New Israel Fund), Morningstar Foundation, and Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation (grants funds to NIF and J Street).
However, more fascinating than that is Scout Bratt’s currently ongoing job placement of ‘Campaign Organizer’ (and Finance and Administrative Assistant) with the Center for Jewish Non-violence; a performative two-state normalizing org that assembles delegations of ‘Diaspora Jews’ to “co-resist” with Palestinians under occupation and ethnic displacement. Such organizations are nothing short of a sick ploy playing into the toxic narrative that Zionism equates to Judaism, aiming to emphasize that Jews are allies to the Palestinian cause hence sending Jews to ‘co-resist’ with Palestinians being crushed under an occupation regime.
However, though a realistic lens, these delegations not only pour their travel expenses into the israeli authorities’ pockets (further funding the apartheid and occupation) but also in the long run achieve absolutely nothing. Aside from using displaced Palestinians as puppets and props in the media to sell sob stories and pull off the ‘Jews are the good guys’ narrative, these delegations are comprised of American/European citizens and funded by American dollars. The part where they feign helplessness in the face of israeli military and settlers is poisonous and performative.
It’s been 5 years Scout’s been working hard at organizing campaigns to usher (even more) American Jews into Occupied Palestine….and it’s been 5 years of continued ethnic displacement, murder, and brutalization of Palestinians.
Yet another shining member on Jewish Voice for Peace’s board of directors who also happens to be on the Center for Jewish Non-violence team.
“We bring Jews from around the world to support whatever it is that Palestinians need in order to just continue to exist.”Ashley Bohrer on a CJNV trip to Hebron (July, 2016)
It is quite telling that a director of JVP holds such a view and actively strives towards merely “allowing Palestinians to exist” and not liberate them, decolonize their land, or support their families via mutual aid. But simply to keep them existing under occupation and apartheid. This is also very reflective of JVP’s purpose as can be clearly seen from its policies and members’ actions.
Isaac Lev Szmonko, is another one of the many JVP board directors who relish in their collaboration and normalization with zionist-backed and funded organizations. Isaac, in particular, has worked with donor organizations as well as enterprises falling in that category.
He has worked with Resource Generation; an organization that is funded by the Bafrayung Foundation (this one funds IfNotNow which closely works with JVP) & the Tides Foundation (and this one funds J Street). Isaac also represents a position of authority within the Bafrayung Foundation as he signed a signatory on its behalf in 2020. His co-worker at the Gelman Giving; Rachel Gelman also chairs this foundation.
Bafrayung Foundation also happens to be funded by the Morningstar Foundation; which provides grants to “leftist israeli” orgs. It must be made clear by now that there is no such thing as left-wing/right-wing israelis. That is simply another distraction technique to deter the public eye from paying attention to the criminal identity of each ‘israeli’ and the whole settler colonial entity that likes to call itself ‘israel’. Because if these settlers aren’t being deployed to the military, they are bearing weapons to assault and brutalize Palestinians and if not that then squatting in a Palestinian’s home and aiding the occupation regime continues its cycle of genocide and apartheid on indigenous people.
Jewish Voice for Peace’s Donor Organizations
A few funders and donor organizations were mentioned above, but the following will go into more detail about the sources of JVP’s funding:
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
One of JVP’s most prominent funders, Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) as of 2015 had a revenue of $14,599,535 and assets worth $859,466,256. In 2019 the fund distributed $38,700,000 in grants in almost 350 grants. However, when scrutinizing the list of the organizations that received these grants, Jewish Voice for Peace sits among others like the Anti-Defamation League Foundation (ADLF), IfNotNow Movement, J Street Education Fund, Just Vision, and the Sierra Club Foundation.
Most important among RBF’s donor organizations is the ADLF, which supports the “left-leaning” anti-semitism watchdog; Anti-Defamation League. It is highly interesting since Jewish Voice for Peace has been allegedly ‘doxxed’ and ‘outed’ as anti-israeli & anti-semitic by the ADL for almost a decade now. That undoubtedly stirred up a lot of commotion in the media and earned JVP its fair share of press and spotlight. However, that all is barely believable since the ADLF (which provides funding and support to the ADL) garners a chunk of its finances from the same funder that’s JVP’s biggest donor. Not to mention the ADL also routinely publishes public profiles threatening the safety and privacy of Palestinian activists. Which begs the question, why are the ADL and JVP commonly funded by the same entity whereas they both claim to have polar opposite approaches/goals?
It is also worth noting how the term “left-wing/left-leaning” is thrown around when referring to these NGOs. An entity that regularly endangers the life of Palestinians, while the other claims to advocate for Palestinian peace and rights; are both referred to as left-wing.
Schwab Charitable Fund
A provider of donor-advised funds, SCF in 2017 had a revenue of $3,147,045,622 and assets totalling $10,634,353,155 while in 2021 alone a total sum of $4,400,000,000 was granted. The fund claims to be donating funds to ‘left-leaning’ organizations but a closer look at its list of donor recipients shows the New Israel Fund and Anti-Defamation League as some of their largest recipients. Both JVP and the ADL (notorious for physically attacking and even murdering Palestinians in the diaspora) receive funding from the same source.
The Tides Foundation has a revenue of $511,078,682 and assets worth $531,362,799 in 2019 and has been a consistent benefactor of JVP with its grants dating back to 2014. In 2019 alone, Tides Foundation made grants of varying amounts to normalizing entities some of which are Sierra Club Foundation, Amnesty International USA, CodePink, and IfNotNow as well as outright Zionist pro-Israel organizations like the J Street Educational Fund. The Tides Foundation has also previously funded the New Israel Fund & The Israel Policy Forum.
This one has already been mentioned above, however, due to its relatively new emergence into the scene, a brief recap on this fund shows the Morningstar Foundation (funds Avodah, New Israel Fund, Sierra Club Foundation alongside others) among its Donor Organizations and the IfNotNow Movement, and Tides Center (sister organization of Tides Foundation) among its donor recipients with Jewish Voice for Peace.
JEWISH COMMUNAL FUND
JCF, in 2019, had a revenue of $822,229,715 and assets worth $2,031,447,910. Possibly the most interesting of all of JVP’s funders, the NGOMonitor reported in 2016 that the JCF granted JVP $25,100 in 2015 and another source quotes the granting of a sum of $10,500. On the other hand, in 2016 & 2017 JCF reportedly made grants of $1 million to the Central Fund of Israel; “a conduit” for funnelling US grants to ‘right-wing’ Israeli federations. The Central Fund of Israel was also utilized by the Helen Diller Family Foundation to make donations to Megamot Shalom (a Zionist public benefit corporation that runs Canary Mission)
Quite interesting how JVP’s funding is linked to both the ADL and Canary Mission; both entities that claim to allegedly have ‘doxxed’ the org. It’s clear the snowflake doxxing that the ADL and CM utilize for their Zionist counterpart JVP is merely a facade to dupe the public.
We at Al Thawabet refuse normalization, white saviorism, Zionist propaganda, and any entity that admits to the existence of “Israel” let alone a “leftist Israel”. We refuse to be pawns in the imperialist agenda. You should too!