As Jewish Voice for Peace’s beloved Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) projects continues to crash and burn in JVP’s own backyard of California, the organization’s Muzzlewatch mouthpiece is having a bit of trouble finding new issues over which to declare its martyrdom.
For this week’s installment, Muzzlewatch lead Cecilie Surasky returns to one of Muzzlewatch’s favorite chestnuts: having been prevented from holding their umpteenth propaganda event at a forum of their choosing (an event that easily found another home), Surasky – as always – cries “censorship.”
Never mind that similar events have been held up and down the California coast at every college and university in the land all year long. Never mind that when Israel’s supporters held their own events, they were the subject of disruption, with Muzzlewatch waving their tattered free-speech banner in support of the disruptors. And never mind that Jewish Voice for Peace guards its own public spaces as jealously as a fanatical cock guards its roost (up to and including eradicating Muzzlewatch’s comments space to ensure that no dissenting voices will even be given minimal ability to respond to their endless charges).
While there’s nothing much new in Muzzlewatch’s latest empty accusation of “muzzling,” Cecilie seems to have reserved her hysteria for the fact that Jewish students protested the UC Santa Cruz event by characterizing the proposed talk as hurtful and threatening, something which led college administrators to ask the organizers of the program to find another location.
Still lacking the ability to look into anyone’s soul (and not knowing anyone at UC Santa Cruz), I cannot say for sure whether these student’s were presenting accurate accounts of their feelings, or if they were simply taking a page out of the playbook of JVP and its allies in attempting to trump the opposition by appealing to emotion rather than reason. But it seems to be the fact that Israel’s supporters have chosen to fight back using tactics that Israel’s defamers reserve for themselves that has gotten JVP’s panties in a bunch.
Which leads me to yet another appeal to my modified version of what I’ve been calling “The Surasky Formulation.” This is named after the head of Muzzlewatch who routinely claims that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions projects are not the result of JVP and its allies working to get them enacted across the land seven days a week. No, according to “The Surasky Formulation,” Israel and its supporters are responsible for BDS which will only end when we do what we’re told.
To which I would counter: UC students fighting back at Santa Cruz, Berkeley and Davis is the direct result of JVP and its friends turning those campuses into war zones. If the whole Students for Justice in Palestine/Al-Awda/JVP axis didn’t force these kids to run the gauntlet between Israel Apartheid Week events, student council divestment resolutions and daily barrages of “Israel is an Apartheid War Criminal” propaganda morning, noon and night, there would be no need for these students to organize themselves and fight back.
Like most militant organizations, JVP would prefer that it be given free reign to do whatever it wants, wherever and whenever they like with no opposition and in full control of the language. Thus the need for a propaganda arm like Muzzlewatch designed to get Israel’s defenders to question their own free speech rights, a campaign that plays off the understanding that those defenders actually possess the concern for free speech that Muzzlewatch only feigns for their own political purposes.
In short, if students using their own free speech rights to fight against JVP propaganda so offends the delicate souls of Muzzlewatch, they have an easy out: stop shoving their nastiness in those student’s faces from dusk to dawn. There’s nothing written in any holy book saying that American college campuses must become an endless front of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is a choice JVP and its allies have made. And if they don’t like the results, they and only they have the power to make the pain stop.