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Jewish anti-Zionist group that overran U.S. House building linked to BDS movement, liberal funders

A self-proclaimed anti-Zionist organization staged a protest calling for ceasefire, previously called for Israel to give up its land.

Published: October 18, 2023 11:00pm

Jewish Voice for Peace, the self-proclaimed progressive anti-Zionist organization that organized a protest that overran parts of the Cannon House Office Building on Wednesday, has deep connections to left-leaning foundations and organizers and a history of claiming Israel is an apartheid state engaged in genocide.

The organization portrays itself as a community for Jews “with justice at the center” and tells prospective members that “you are part of building a Jewishness and Jewish life beyond Zionism.” The protest Wednesday, which resulted in scores of arrests by Capitol Police, demanded a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

“We’re organizing a grassroots, multiracial, cross-class, intergenerational movement of U.S. Jews into solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle, guided by a vision of justice, equality, and dignity for all people,” the organization’s about page reads.

On Wednesday, after its protest was broken up by police, the group posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that "we demand an end to genocide in Gaza," and "we must put the same effort into dismantling the systems of Zionism, apartheid, and colonialism that brought us to this moment."

Claims that Israel is an apartheid state are roundly rejected, including by the Anti-Defamation League, which states that the "accusation of apartheid fundamentally distorts what Israel is."

Jewish Voice for Peace also has a long history of anti-Israel activism and has found itself consistently aligned with pro-Palestine movements in the United States.

It has put forward petitions to suspend U.S. military aid to Israel, and in 2015 it announced its support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) strategy to end “Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967." In that announcement, Jewish Voice said that it is “proud to be a part of the global, Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to end Israeli human rights violations.”

Jewish Voice for Peace has been funded by left-aligned foundations and was founded by longtime progressive organizers. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund provided a $140,000, two-year grant to the organization. This happened after current U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns resigned from the organization over its support for BDS-aligned groups. In 2019, the organization received $75,000 from the Tides Foundation, according to NGO Monitor.

The organization makes none of its funding public and available on its website.

Jewish Voice for Peace was founded in 1996 by Tony Kushner and Noam Chomsky. Chomsky has called Israel’s treatment of Palestinians “worse than apartheid.”

Many protestors were arrested in the House office building, Capitol Police told The Hill. “A group of protesters are demonstrating inside the Cannon Rotunda. Demonstrations are not allowed inside Congressional Buildings,” Capitol Police posted to X.

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