Saturday, March 27, 2010

There's no "me" (or JVP) in "democracy"

Unsurprisingly, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is in the thick of the latest BDS controversy going on at UC Berkeley. I say unsurprisingly because, as has been pointed out before, the entire purpose of Jewish Voice for Peace is not peace but propaganda, their primary mission being to provide a Jewish face to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) “movement.”

I’ll be providing running commentary on the Berkeley story here, but here at Muzzlewatch-Watch, I’d like to comment on how the JVP-BDS campaign is being portrayed at the JVP-mouthpiece “shut up our enemies” arm, otherwise known as Muzzlewatch.

In a piece bemoaning the fact that all commentary on the subject of Israel and its detractors does not conform to the JVP-Muzzlewatch world view, Muzzlewatcher-in-Chief Cecilie Surasky takes umbrage (as in Delores) with the fact that critics of the recent Berkeley divestment motion are not toeing the JVP party line that this vote is simply a commentary on “The Occupation” (queue scary organ music).

In other communication, JVP rails against the fact that BDS votes like the one at Berkeley are being described as part of a campaign “to delegitimize Israel,” rather than simply being taken as legitimate criticism of specific Israel policies.

Here Surasky and Company are being rather cute about highlighting just the parts of the Berkeley resolution that suit their purpose. If you read the resolution in its entirety, you’ll note that the vast majority of its 1700-word length is dedicated to a recitation of every accusation that can be dredged up about the loathsomeness and criminality of the Jewish state. Naturally, the text hides behind organizations like the UN when delivering its charges (never once noting that an organization that spends half its time and resources condemning just one country – at the expense of every other person on the planet – might be a wee bit biased). In other words, the Berkeley divestment resolution is a crystal clear example of an attempt to de-legitimize the Jewish state, which is no doubt why JVP-Muzzlewatch chose to hide most of its text (and actual purpose) in its public communication on the issue.

I also find it amusing that JVP is hailing the vote of the Berkeley Student Senate (which voted 16-4 in favor of the divestment proposal) as the height of democracy, while condemning the Student President for vetoing the resolution as an example of democracy being stifled. I say amusing because it was just last week that an elected board of the Davis Food Co-op (politically comparable to the Berkeley Senate) unanimously rejected a boycott of Israeli products, yet in this case the boycotters condemned this elected body’s action as – you guessed it – an example of trampling on democracy.

In other words, for JVP, Muzzlewatch and their friends and allies (such as the Students for Justice in Palestine organization behind the Berkeley vote), democracy has a new definition: them getting their way. To the Muzzlewatchers and their friends, anything short of people doing what they say is an example of censorship and democracy denied.

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