Misnomer, Misrepresentations, and Anti-Semitism in Jewish Voice for Peace Central Jersey

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

A great irony about Jewish Voice for Peace (“JVP”) Central Jersey is not just that it encourages hate and violence rather than peace, and that it is steeped in terrorist influence, but that the group itself is not even very Jewish. This unusual JVP chapter keeps a Jewish façade. It parades out Jews to events such as the Highland Park Public Library Board meeting on June 24, 2019 where a member boasted of her Yiddish speaking skills and other members expressed shock at being called anti-Semitic. In the end, overruling the protests of Israel supporters, the Board granted JVP’s wish to schedule a reading to children of the propaganda book “P is for Palestine,” by Golbarg Bashi.

I was at the meeting where the ratio of JVP Jews to JVP non-Jews appeared to be about 90-10. The latter group included a silent, observant young man of college age who appeared to be Yeou-Shiuh Hsu, a JVP member who has played a major role in organizing the Highland Park Library BDS campaign.

The truth, as explained by JVP Central Jersey member Peter Levish, is that while other JVP chapters are about 90 percent Jewish, Central Jersey JVP is, “interestingly,” only 40 percent Jewish. Levish said of the remaining 60 percent:

We have concerned citizens. We have immigrants from the Middle East. We have several Palestinians who are with us. So we really represent anyway a much broader spectrum to the point that we sometimes say, “In what way are we acting as Jews? This seems . . . you know maybe we ought to be NJ Citizens for Social Justice in Palestine.”

The comments above were made to Diane Moxley of New Jersey Revolution Radio on June 12, 2019 (45:35 – 46:45). A video of the interview is posted on the JVP Central Jersey Facebook page:

In this interview about “P is for Palestine,” Levish asserts that the goals of JVP-Central Jersey are to convince the public that aid to Israel should be cut because Israel commits crimes against humanity, to “call Congress into account” for “Israel-centric” actions, and to lobby New Jersey legislators against proposed anti-BDS laws. He is concerned, however, that accusations of anti-Semitism could frustrate these objectives.

Of course Levish should be concerned, very concerned, about accusations of anti-Semitism at JVP Central Jersey. Take, for instance, Yeou-Shiuh Hsu, whose photo uploads on Facebook feature an illustration of Israeli government officials with pig heads and hoofs under a caption, taken from George Orwell's Animal Farm: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

Hsu recruits for JVP Central Jersey:

His leadership in the group is demonstrated in the following Facebook posts:

As can be seen in the membership drive post, above, Joe Catron is involved with Hsu’s effort.

Catron is the United States coordinator for the NGO Samidoun.

According to an Israeli Government report, "Terrorists in Suits, The Ties between NGO's Promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations” (p. 31), Catron in 2015 tweeted a message to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah: "Nasrallah my friend," he wrote, "Attack, attack Tel Aviv!" https://4il.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MSA-Terrorists-In-Suits-English-1.pdf

Catron’s current Facebook cover photo shows him standing shoulder to shoulder with Leila Khaled, a Popular Front terrorist responsible for Hijacking TWA Flight 840 in 1969 and El Al Flight 219 in 1970:

Terrorist-linked NGO Samidoun was a sponsor of a JVP Central Jersey petition calling on the Highland Park Public Library to “rise up for what’s right [and] reject this racist attack on free speech”:

It is understandable that JVP Central Jersey, a minority-Jewish group infected with anti-Semitism and linked to violence, should want to burnish its public image by presenting a Jewish face to the world. How could they possibly be anti-Semitic if the 70-year old Yiddish-speaking grandmother is with them? Of course, there is political value to this. When meeting with state and federal representatives, real Jews must oppose anti-BDS legislation and claim that BDS is about social justice rather than hate and anti-Semitism. The 40 percent must look like 90 percent.