Earlier this month, Voice4Israel published a statement explaining how the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement opposes the very existence of Israel. Now we have learned that the Triangle North Carolina chapter of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), true to its BDS mission of abolishing Israel, recently promoted the “Miko Peled NC Tour” on social media.
Peled promotes the idea that it is unlawful to recognize Israel and has repeatedly stated, it is “time to make Israel Palestine again.” In 2018 Peled tweeted, “Using the name ‘Israel’ legitimizes the genocide, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. If we reject those, then we must use the name ‘Palestine.'”
Progressive and conservative publications alike have rebuked Peled for antisemitic comments. For example, in 2016 the progressive Jewish Forward called-out what they described as Peled’s “string of anti-Semitic tweets.” In these tweets, Peled portrayed Jews as “sleazy thieves” and compared Israel to the Nazis. Legal Insurrection, a conservative-leaning publication, has detailed Peled’s antisemitism and anti-Zionism for years explaining, “Peled does not accept Israel’s existence. He considers all of Israel occupied territory, illegitimate, and in need of liberation.” In one of his many disturbing tweets, Peled stated, “Jews who support #Israel don’t mind the Nazi like methods of oppression.”
In 2017, Mondoweiss – one of the most anti-Israel publications on the internet – rebuked Peled for discussing free speech and the holocaust in a way that “was a major dog-whistle for all kinds of Holocaust deniers and revisionists.”
Mondoweiss added, “He [Peled] is quite clearly whistling to Holocaust deniers.” In a deeply troubling 2017 tweet, Peled wrote, “in fact Israelis are NOT victims of the Nazis or anyone else…”
In 2017, the British shadow secretary of the Labour Party publicly condemned Peled, saying, “We should have absolute zero tolerance when it comes to the quite disgusting and pitiful antisemitism that sadly we’re sometimes seeing on social media these days.” This is striking because the Labour Party itself has been widely accused of antisemitism.
In 2016, the Princeton Committee on Palestine — an intensely anti-Israel organization — uninvited Peled from speaking due to what they called his “anti-Semitic and hateful” statements. Even JVP’s national office and its Executive Director called Peled’s tweets antisemitic and publicly supported canceling the Princeton talk.
Anti-Israel activists immediately began accusing JVP leadership of being closeted Zionists. The message was loud and clear – JVP’s denouncement of left wing antisemitism would not be tolerated by anti-Israel activists. A few days after condemning Peled for antisemitic language, the national office of JVP attempted to slightly walk back their criticism by saying that Peled used “reckless” language due to his “privilege.” Oddly enough, JVP never deleted their widely circulated social media posts accusing Peled of using antisemitic language.
The anti-Israel left is so disturbed by Peled’s statements that even many BDS activists have denounced what they have called his antisemitic comments. Yet, even after JVP’s national leadership and other anti-Israel groups condemned Peled for hateful and antisemtic remarks, the Triangle chapter of JVP chose to endorse Peled’s three local North Carolina speaking events in 2019.
While JVP calls itself Jewish, in reality, it is part of the antisemitic movement to boycott, divest, and sanction only Israel. In Voice4Israel’s recent statement titled BDS Attacks Come to the Triangle, we explained that the BDS movement consistently rejects the right of Israel to exist and practices antisemitism by demonizing and delegitimizing Israel, by holding Israel to double standards, and by comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Local BDS activists refer to themselves as anti-Zionists.
Voice4Israel fully supports freedom of opinion and expression in our community. We also believe that Jewish congregations should strive to uphold their values and stated missions which include love and support of Israel. As Voice4Israel has recently pointed out, a few JVP members hold leadership roles in our local synagogues. The anti-Zionist actions and goals of JVP— which include employing antisemitic elements, embracing convicted terrorists, and endorsing hateful speakers — we feel should not be given legitimacy or a voice by our treasured Jewish institutions.