Politics may make strange bedfellows, but much of the time the people who find each other truly deserve each other. Exhibit A: The flowering alliance between nominally Jewish anti-Zionist hate groups and the progressive politicians who wear the cheap suit of their approval.
The two sides of this goonish mutual-admiration society didn’t simply discover each other on Oct. 7, of course. But they’ve forged a strong partnership in its wake. Sometimes terrible events can help bring out the absolute worst in people.
“With attention-grabbing acts of civil disobedience, Jewish Voice for Peace has taken center stage in protest efforts to pressure the U.S. to stop Israel’s military campaign against Hamas since the militant group massacred more than 1,400 people in Israel on October 7,” writes New York Magazine, which covered the group’s shutdown of the Statue of Liberty today.
Indeed, of all the useful idiots to present themselves for service, JVP has become arguably the most useful in recent weeks. A staffer for Rep. Summer Lee joined the group’s Capitol protest and duly got himself arrested with other activists. Adam Ramer, the staffer who quit Rep. Ro Khanna’s office over his boss’s reluctance to throw Hamas a lifeline, tried to pressure Khanna using JVP and another anti-Zionist group, IfNotNow. When Rep. Pramila Jayapal was on the fence about cosponsoring an anti-Israel ceasefire resolution, INN called her staff with news that dozens of young Jewish activists were on their way to her office and would stage a protest if she didn’t sign on. Soon after, Japayal agreed to cosponsor it.
This anti-Zionist lovefest has been a long time coming. “There are really amazing organizations of young people, groups like IfNotNow, that they are young Jews organizing for justice because they realize that all of our fates and our destinies are intertwined and that there cannot be justice in Israel without justice for Palestinians too,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gushed in 2019. Jamaal Bowman and Rashia Tlaib run to JVP and INN any time they need the protection of token Jews.
What makes them all look particularly grotesque at the moment is not only that we’re in the wake of the biggest mass-killing of Jews since the Holocaust. It’s also that there are politicians who respect the Jewish community enough to push back on token pressure groups.
“A fringe figure wrote an Op-Ed attacking me for affirming Israel’s right to defend itself in the wake of the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust,” posted Rep. Ritchie Torres, a New York Democrat and the spine of his party when it comes to Israel and anti-Semitism. “She is part of an Anti-Israel organization, named Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (do not be fooled by names), that described Hamas’ terrorist attack as not ‘unprovoked.’ That should tell you everything you need to know about this person and the company she keeps.”
At an April speech by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, IfNotNow activists rushed the stage yelling “Jews Against DeSantis.” DeSantis shrugged it off with a joke, not fooled for a second into believing it was a legitimate representation of Jewish opinion. The banner the activists raised said “Ron DeSantis: Loves Israel, Hates Jews.” DeSantis was clearly puzzled as to why anyone would take seriously an organization that believes it’s anti-Semitic to support Israel.
Nearly all American Jews disagree with JVP and INN’s anti-Zionism. But AOC & Co. aren’t looking for consensus Jewish opinion, they’re looking for Jewish flak jackets. Normally this behavior is bad enough. But it comes at a moment when Jews are in mourning and facing existential threats. And the Jewish community is far more united these days than it has been in recent memory. The fear of that Jewish unity, and the communal strength and solidarity that comes with it, is the glue that binds the Squad to JVP and INN.