As regular (and even irregular) readers may know, I have been a harsh critic of the organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), one of the main proponents of BDS (at least in certain parts of the US). And I have been particularly harsh on them for their insistence on having access to other people’s public forums while simultaneously controlling or eliminating discussion in thier own civic spaces where debate over BDS and other issues could occur in public.
Well good news! It looks like the youth wing of JVP (named Young, Jewish and Proud) has decided to engage with critics (and supporters) of BDS in a new program they entitle Go and Learn. Now this program is scheduled to begin in March, but given the clear importance JVP/YJP put on this issue, I have invited them to begin the debate immediately on their new Web site and just posted the following invitation in this comments section:
I’m thrilled to learn that you are interested in an open discussion and education project surrounding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) project.
As some of you may know, I represent one of those people “actively opposed to [BDS]” your invitation above is asking to engage with you. As the creator of the web site www.divestthis.com, I have been eager to discuss and debate with people like yourselves who are supportive of BDS. Until now, however, there have been very few supporters of BDS ready to engage directly on this subject in a sustained and constructive manner.
I’m glad to discover that JVP is interested in remedying this situation and recommend that we begin this debate right now on the Internet (where the world has access to our exchanges), rather than wait until March to discuss what the Young, Jewish and Proud organization obviously considers to be such a pressing topic.
I will post information on your invitation and my own at Divest This (along with any follow ups), but I recommend we have this public discussion right here since, unlike the forums you claim to not have access to, your organization is in full control of this online space. And using it to provide a globally public forum for our conversation would not just provide everyone with the discussion you clearly crave, but would also demonstrate JVP’s openness (in contrast with those places you feel you have been excluded from).
I look forward to hearing back from you and let the conversation begin!
This invite is awaiting moderation, but given the eagerness they are showing to have an open conversation on the subject we will no doubt hear from them soon.
I’ll keep you posted.