March 26, 2019

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J-Street U chapter opposes Israel campus group flying Israeli flag. (Yet they call themselves "pro-Israel.")

J-Street U at University of Vermont posted this on their Facebook page this week:

J Street U UVM opposes the University’s decision to allow Catamounts Supporting Israel to fly the Israeli flag on the Davis Center flagpole to try to honor the victims of the shooting in Squirrel Hill and support the Jewish community.
As a group of Jewish students who are critical of some of Israel’s right-wing government’s policies, especially its policies of Occupation and siege towards Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza, we know that Israel and its flag are not synonymous with Judaism or the symbol of all Jewish people. We further see how this action harms students affected by the structural forms of oppression that Israel’s actions bolster and we view this politicization of a tragedy as disrespectful and divisive both in the Jewish community and in the wider campus community. As such, we support this petition’s call for the flags removal and urge our supporters to sign it and share it widely, for more information on the reasoning behind this position please see the text of the petition itself.

The petition itself is, as one might expect, filled with lies about how Israel engages in “ethnic cleansing,” is homophobic, transphobic and a uniquely disgusting violator of all human rights of past, present and future. It appears to have been written by Students for Justice in Palestine.

So this purportedly “pro-Israel” organization showed that it was not merely against Israeli government policies, as it claims, but against the very flag of Israel. And it opposed a pro-Israel student group to fly the Israeli flag.

That is pretty much the definition of anti-Israel.

After complaints, J-Street U removed this post, and them posted this non-apology apology:

Yesterday, J Street UVM shared a post expressing concerns and frustrations with the some of the ways in which UVM has responded to the horrific terror attack in Pittsburgh. That post shared a petition, which was not created by our chapter, that opposed our university’s decision to respond to the Pittsburgh attack by allowing a campus group to fly the Israeli flag from a campus building. We regret that the wording, tone and arguments of the post were hurried, were not fully considered, and did not adequately or fully reflect our views and values as pro-Israel, pro-peace, anti-occupation activists who work towards a secure, just and peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians and for vulnerable minorities here in the US, including our own Jewish community. We have therefore removed the post.

We know that the appalling attack in Pittsburgh and the question of how best to confront white nationalist xenophobia and anti-Semitism are deeply sensitive, emotional and complex questions, for us and for many others. Moving forward, we will continue to seek to engage in discussion and productive activism on these subjects with our fellow members of the UVM community.

This “apology” does not in any way say that J-Street U does not oppose the flying of an Israeli flag. It does not say that it was inaccurate in describing the flying of the flag as “harm[ing] students affected by the structural forms of oppression that Israel’s actions bolster.” It does not say that flying an Israeli flag is not “disrespectful and divisive both in the Jewish community and in the wider campus community.”

It just said that the wording was not quite as sensitive as it could have been, but it does not rescind a word of it. It many not have “fully” reflected J-Street U’s position – but it partially did.

Without them saying otherwise, J-Street U still opposes anyone on campus even seeing the Israeli flag.

J-Street U is a hate group. It hates Israel, it hates all symbols associated with Israel, it hates the idea that Israel is a Jewish state. It claims to be “pro-Israel” in order to attract Jewish students whose minds it can then poison with rhetoric and lies that are identical with Palestinian propaganda.

(h/t Lenny)

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