Given the pretention and shrillness of the self-declared Jewish Voice for Peace organization, sometimes the easiest approach to such a group is mockery and ridicule. But given their most recent pronouncementregarding escalating clashes between Israel and Gaza, paired with the group’s escalating demands that it be granted immediate and unconditional entrance to any “Big Tent” of their choosing, it’s time to take a few moments to define the specific “Big Tent” to which they can never and will never gain access.
At first glance, JVP’s Statement on the Escalation of Violence is just one more example of the “We Deplore the Killing of Israelis, BUT…” sub-genre that has become standard fare in “dialog” about the Middle East. The fact that that JVP can’t make it past their first sentence before shifting into “all death’s are tragic, BUTit’s all Israel’s fault” mode just makes this a more clumsily obvious example of this type of familiar pronouncement.
But as I’ve discussed before, we are now at a point in history where precedent has been set during the two most recent conflicts on Israel’s borders (Lebanon in 2006, Gaza in 2008) in which: (1) Hezbollah and Hamas push things to the limit with rocket fire, kidnapping and terror attacks on Israel’s borders, (2) JVP and other “supporters of peace” do nothing during this period but make mealy-mouthed “Rocket fire is wrong, BUT…” statements; (3) Israel finally returns fire; and (4) JVP and the other “human rights” machinery roar to life, taking to the streets by the thousands to demand an immediate cease fire, followed by war crimes tribunals directed at you-know-who.
With the first data point (Lebanon), we have a phenomenon, but with a second data point (Gaza) we see a trend, a trend that is no doubt being taken into account by war planners in both Beirut, Gaza City and beyond as they rearm (again, to the complaint of no one in the UN or the “human rights community”) and plan their next moves.
In other words, far from being “voices for peace,” groups like JVP are part of the arsenal militant organizations count on when making their military decisions. “How much can we rebuild our weapons stockpiles?” “How far can we push?” “How many rockets can we fire while Israel weighs the consequences of retaliating?” “If we trigger another war, how long before marches in the street (which will materialize seconds after Israel decides to shoot back) will force a cease fire?”
In short, for all their talk of peace, justice and love, JVP and like minded individuals and organizations who stand silent during the preparation for war, and spring into action only when two sides vs. one start firing needs to be seen for what they are: participants in a military conflict, no less responsible for mayhem than the driver of a getaway car who claims innocence since he did not pull the trigger himself.
If members of such organizations have managed to delude themselves into thinking they are voices for peace, virtue and justice, that is really immaterial, given the role they are currently playing as the propaganda arm of military planners. The fact that they have bamboozled themselves about their own true nature in preparation for bamboozling others into accepting their self characterization matters not a bit as renewed rocket fire signals the opening round of something that we all know will not end well.
Not end well for Israelis and Palestinians, that is. But for members of JVP, they will get to take to the streets in an orgy of self-righteous indignation with ranks swollen by those who “want to do something” without understanding that by marching alongside the BDS cru they are helping to ensure the next war is even bloodier than the last.
So if you’re wondering what Big Tent JVP has been denied access into, it is the Big Tent of those who actually prefer peace to war. And a weapon system that uses propaganda as its tactic no more belongs under this big tent than does a crate of hand grenades.