EMAIL EXCHANGES WITH THE JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE BOSTON CHAPTER LEADERSHIP, IN WHICH THE JVP LEADERS DECLARED IT "RACIST" TO EXPLAIN THAT THE TRUE PURPOSE OF ISRAEL'S VIOLENCE AGAINST PALESTINIANS IS NOT TO MAKE JEWS SAFE, AND KICKED ME OUT OF THE ORGANIZATION MERELY FOR ASKING THAT THE CHAPTER MEMBERS DISCUSS MY ARTICLE ABOUT THIS. 

by John Spritzler

 

August 14, 2021 & updated since then

The URL of this article is https://www.pdrboston.org/jvp-email-exchange 

 

Below is the exchange between JVP-Boston and myself (John Spritzler), in chronological order. It begins with my email asking for the chapter to discuss my article that shows Israeli violence against Palestinians is not at all for the purpose of making Jews safe. My request was denied and then the reason given by the chapter leader (and defended by the national leadership) was that it would be racist for the JVP to express this fact. At this point I was removed from the chapter (by having my name removed from the list of people receiving notices of the zoom chapter meetings and the chapter newsletter.)

 

I had planned to firmly ask at the next Thursday (Aug. 12) zoom chapter meeting that the entire membership of the chapter make the decision for the JVP-Boston chapter on the grounds that otherwise the chapter is not truly democratic. The issue is fundamentally whether to build a winning, or a losing, anti-Zionist movement, as you can tell from this email exchange. Here's what happened. The JVP leadership never sent me the zoom information for the Aug. 12 zoom meeting, and when, on Aug. 11, I emailed the chapter's leader, Marc Gurvitch, asking if there was to be a zoom meeting (they occur regularly on the second Thursday of each month) and if so what is the zoom call information, I received no reply whatsoever. This is how I was kicked out of JVP!

Based on the behavior of JVP leaders (as you can see in the emails below) it is apparent that JVP leaders do not want JVP to express the following fact, which is proven by my article that JVP leaders refuse to let JVP members even discuss: Zionist violence against, and oppression of, Palestinians is NOT for the purpose of making Jews safe. Its actual, unstated, purpose is to enable the Israeli billionaire upper class to make of Palestinians a bogeyman enemy that it (the Israeli upper class) pretends to protect Jews from, thereby making it possible for this upper class to control and oppress Israeli working class people to enrich itself, secure in the knowledge that Israeli working class people, even though horribly economically oppressed by the Israeli upper class, will fear doing anything to seriously threaten its power because they think it is protecting them from their "real enemy." 

JVP leaders warmly welcomed Stanley Heller to be the featured speaker at its Dec. 9 zoom meeting to discuss his book, titled Zionism's Betrayal of Jews: Herzl to Netanyahu but kicked me out of the organization for asking that my article, titled "Israel's Government Attacks Ordinary Jews As Well As Palestinians," be discussed. Why? The reason is this.

 

Heller's book is critical of Zionist leaders for making deals with antisemitic national leaders, but it does not even hint that Zionism is a strategy of the Israeli upper class for controlling and oppressing Israeli working class people. People reading Heller's book can easily conclude that Zionist leaders, in their noble efforts to create and defend Israel as a haven for Jews in an antisemitic world, had to (and need to) use realpolitik, which requires sometimes making deals with antisemites. Heller's book will not persuade people who care about the safety of Jews to oppose Zionism. Heller's framework is "Jews versus non-Jews," which is exactly the framework that Zionism requires in order to persuasively argue that its undeniable violence against, and oppression of, Palestinians is for the purpose of making Jews safe.

 

My article, in contrast, frames the conflict as fundamentally a class conflict: working class Palestinians and Jews versus upper class Palestinians and Jews. Only the class conflict framework can persuade people who care about the safety of Jews to oppose the Zionist project of oppressing (with ethnic cleansing and apartheid laws) Palestinians to make Israel have a guaranteed Jewish majority and thus (falsely) seem to be about making Jews safe.  Zionists therefore do not want the class conflict framework to gain influence among anti-Zionists.

This is where JVP comes into the picture. JVP attracts Jews who are horrified by Zionist violence against, and oppression of, Palestinians in the name of "the Jews." The actual aim of JVP leaders (as is evident from the emails below) is to attract these anti-Zionist Jews and then make sure that they never are exposed to the true class-conflict framework that would enable them to win over the vast majority of people--including Jews who are currently pro-Israel--to opposing Zionism and knowing that this is what people who care about the safety and well-being of ordinary Jews should logically do.

JVP is essentially anti-Zionism fly paper: like fly paper that attracts flies and renders them incapable of pestering us, JVP attracts anti-Zionists and renders them incapable of seriously threatening the power of Zionism.

 

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: jvpbostonnewsletter@gmail.com

Date: 07/30/2021 7:14 PM

Subject: Re: Newsletter: June 26, 2021

 

Hi Nicole and Marjorie,

I would like you to help me communicate a very important (for our movement) idea to the other JVP members. Here is the idea, expressed as seven related points.

First: Most of the general public, to their credit, want nothing to do with anything that they perceive to be "against the Jews," i.e., anti-semitic.

Second: The main Zionist Big Lie--the PILLAR of Zionist propaganda--is that the Israeli government is about protecting Jews from harm and that the violence it uses against Palestinians is only what is required for it to accomplish this.

Third: Because most people believe the Zionist Big Lie (about the Israeli government protecting Jews from harm) they also agree with former Harvard President Larry Summers's assertion that anti-Zionism--because it criticizes what the Israeli government does to protect Jews from harm--is antisemitic in effect if not intent.

Fourth: The only way to win over the great majority of the public to support the anti-Zionist movement is to persuasively (and truthfully!) refute the Zionist Big Lie, as my article (at https://www.pdrboston.org/israel-s-government-attacks-jews-to) has been proven to do even with Jews who were passionately pro-Israel before reading it. My article proves that the Israeli government treats Palestinians like dirt not simply to grab more land from them but FOR THE PURPOSE of making them be so angry at Israel that they will be perceived by Israeli Jews as a frightening bogeyman enemy--an "existential threat"--so that the Israeli government can pretend to be protecting Jews from their "real enemy" (Palestinians) and thereby prevent working class Israeli Jews from seriously challenging the power of the Israeli government while actually economically oppressing working class Israeli Jews horribly in order to enrich the billionaire Israeli upper class. Jews who were passionately pro-Israel change their mind after reading my article and see the Israeli government as their enemy, not the protector of Jews. And non-Jews likewise change their mind because they see that it is not antisemitic to oppose the Israeli government but is actually antisemitic to support it.

Fifth: Until we persuasively refute the Zionist Big Lie, the anti-Zionist movement will remain a minority movement that the U.S. government will therefore be able to ignore and thus continue to give enormous support to the Israeli government. The anti-Zionist movement will remain a minority movement because it asks people to choose between "supporting Palestinians" or "supporting Jews" and most, in order to support Jews and avoid doing what they believe would be antisemitic, will oppose the anti-Zionist movement.

Sixth: It is an unfortunate fact that, having done my due diligence to try to find a single prominent anti-Zionist person or organization that is refuting the Zionist Big Lie (note that merely pointing out that Mizrahi or Sephardic Jews are discriminated against in Israel does not refute the Zionist Big Lie; the truth is that ALL working class Israeli Jews are oppressed by the Israeli government, including Holocaust survivors who are Ashkenazi Jews of course) I have not found a single one. Not a single one! As long as the Zionist Big Lie goes un-refuted, Zionism will prevail. (If you know of a prominent person or organization that is refuting the Zionist Big Lie, please let me know so I can get in touch with them and help them.)

Seventh: I hope JVP will devote serious and energetic efforts to refuting the Zionist Big Lie. Otherwise Zionism will prevail.I trust you agree that the idea expressed here is extremely important for all JVP members to hear and discuss.

Thank you.

----------------------------------------------

 

---------- Original Message ----------

From: Marc G <marcovitch43@gmail.com>

To: spritzler@comcast.net

Date: 08/05/2021 10:37 PM

Subject: Fundamental Differences

 

John

 

The communication you sent to Nicole and Marjorie was forwarded to the chapter organizing team since the content was not a newsletter matter, but a political opinion piece. These were the same arguments presented in your communications with the JVP-B Jewish Community Dialogue Group in which several of these issues were addressed and JVP's position explained. It is apparent that you have fundamental political differences with JVP. The position of JVP is that the path to the end of Political Zionism requires the support of all progressive forces for justice and liberation of the Palestinian people. Only through this support can Jewish anti-zionist organizations build an effective coalition of all people, including Jews. If we build support by only addressing the impact of Zionism on Jews rather than the primary victims, the Palestinians, then we have simply built a chauvinistic(racist) movement. It would be similar to many trade union organizations in the U.S. that built a labor movement excluding the most oppressed victims of Capitalism, the Black and Brown workers. Those trade unions have been decimated and used to undermine labor solidarity.

While we are not prepared to change our practice of centering justice for Palestinians and Palestinian lives in the work we do, we urge you to find another organization to further your goals.

 

We wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors.

 

JVP Boston Chapter Organizing Team

Jill Charney, Susan Etscovitz, Lauren Jappe, Nicole Cohen, Mocha Herrup, Marc Gurvitch

---------------------------------

 

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Marc G <marcovitch43@gmail.com>

Date: 08/05/2021 10:59 PM

Subject: JVP Re: Fundamental Differences

 

Dear Jill Charney, Susan Etscovitz, Lauren Jappe, Nicole Cohen, Mocha Herrup and Marc Gurvitch (Marc, would you please cc this to the others?)

Let me point out to you that you have mis-characterized my article. You wrote, "If we build support by only addressing the impact of Zionism on Jews rather than the primary victims, the Palestinians..." My article does not "only address the impact of Zionism on Jews." My article starts out with the following:

--------------------------

 

Zionism is an ATTACK on ordinary Jews ( as well as Palestinianshttps://www.pdrboston.org/israel-s-government-attacks-palestinians]). It is therefore antisemitic (meaning anti-ordinary-Jewish-people) NOT to oppose Zionism. ​

As the facts recounted below make clear, Israel is not a state of the Jewish people; it is a state of--controlled by--the Jewish billionaires who have contempt for ordinary Jews, who oppress them terribly and have no genuine concern for their welfare.

As discussed below, the reason why the Israeli ruling class treats Palestinians like dirt [ https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/11/14/benny-morriss-untenable-denial-of-the-ethnic-cleansing-of-palestine/ ] is not simply to grab more land from them but to provoke their anger and violence against Israel so as to make them be perceived by Israeli Jews as a frightening existential threat, a bogeyman enemy that enables the Israeli ruling class, by pretending to protect Israeli Jews from their "real enemy," to control ordinary Israeli Jews whom it oppresses economically--severely!--to enrich the billionaires.

--------------------------

 

Please follow the links in the first and in the third paragraph, and you will see that I provide enormous documentation of Zionism's attack on Palestinians.

But what I do, that you do NOT do, is explain the true PURPOSE of the attack on Palestinians. I explain, but you do not explain, that the true purpose is NOT (as the Zionists assert) to protect Jews from harm but, on the contrary, to oppress ordinary Israeli Jews terribly.

Furthermore, as I have stated to you clearly but you seem not to want to acknowledge, unless one refutes the false Zionist claim that its violence against Palestinians is for the purpose of protecting Jews from harm, then most people in the general public will continue to believe the Zionist claim and thus believe that it is antisemitic in effect if not intent to criticize what the Israeli government does to Palestinians that is (they wrongly believe) for the purpose of protecting Jews from harm, and they will thus OPPOSE THE ANTI-ZIONIST MOVEMENT. This means that unless the anti-Zionist movement persuasively refutes the Zionist claim that its violence against Palestinians is for the purpose of protecting Jews from harm--and the only WAY to persuasively refute it is to show, as I do, what the actual purpose really is--then the Zionists will prevail by maintaining the support of a majority of the general public.

If you deny what my paragraph above says, then say why you deny it, clearly and specifically. If you think my argument is based on a false premise, then say what the false premise is. If you think my argument is based on faulty logic, then point out where the faulty logic is. But please stop evading the actual issue by using a straw man argument based on mischaracterizing what my article says. If you do not deny what my paragraph above says, then it follows that JVP will want to do what my article does--persuasively refute the Zionist Big Lie by explaining what the TRUE purpose of its violence against Palestinians is.

I look forward to having a sincere and fruitful conversation about this matter, so that we can build an anti-Zionist movement that wins over to its side a majority of the general public and thereby can defeat Zionism.

John

-----------------------------------

 

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Marc G <marcovitch43@gmail.com>

Date: 08/06/2021 11:30 AM

Subject: Re: JVP Re: Fundamental Differences

 

Dear Jill Charney, Susan Etscovitz, Lauren Jappe, Nicole Cohen, Mocha Herrup and Marc Gurvitch (Marc, would you please cc this to the others?)

I am asking the JVP to persuasively refute the Zionist Big Lie that enables Zionism to maintain the support of a majority of the U.S. public. The Zionist Big Lie says Israeli government violence against Palestinians is for the purpose of protecting Jews from harm. To persuasively refute this Big Lie one must show that the real purpose of the Israeli government's violence against Palestinians is to enable the billionaire ruling class of Israel to control Israeli working class Jews whom it oppresses terribly in order to enrich itself at their expense.

Here are some simple yes or no questions that I would like to hear your answer to:

Question #1. Do you agree that the purpose of Israeli government violence against Palestinians is to enable the billionaire ruling class of Israel to control Israeli working class Jews whom it oppresses terribly in order to enrich itself at their expense?

Question #2. If you answered No to Question #1, then Do you agree that the true purpose of Israeli government violence against Palestinians--whatever it actually is--is NOT to protect Jews from harm?

Question #3. If you answered No to Question #2, then Do you agree with the Zionist claim that Israeli government violence against Palestinians is for the purpose of protecting Jews from harm?

Question #4. If you answered Yes to either Question #1 or #2, then Do you want JVP to directly and persuasively refute the Zionist Big Lie by showing that the purpose of Israeli government violence against Palestinians is NOT to protect Jews from harm?

Question #5. If you did not answer Yes to either Question #1 or #2, then Do you agree that JVP's opposition to Israeli government violence against Palestinians is opposition to violence the purpose of which is to protect Jews from harm? (Note: If you answer No here, then I challenge you to defend your answer because, after answering No to both Question #1 and #2, it is illogical. If you answer Yes here, then you are essentially agreeing with former Harvard President, Larry Summers, who said that anti-Zionism is antisemitic in effect if not intent; this argument is what keeps a majority of the U.S. public in the pro-Israel camp, of course, and if it is not refuted then Zionism will prevail.)

Question #6. If you answered Yes to Question #5 (after answering No to both Question #1 and #2), then Do you intend to win over a majority of the U.S. public to the anti-Zionism side in spite of the fact (that you agree with) that the anti-Zionism side opposes the violence that the Israeli government uses to protect Jews from harm?

I look forward to hearing your answers to these very relevant (for building the anti-Zionism movement) questions.

 

Sincerely,

 

John

----------------------------

On August 21 I received a postal letter from Samantha Brotman, Director of Operations of the National JVP. The letter was dated August 16 and it was a standard "welcoming" letter from the national organization to new members such as myself. I replied to Ms. Brotman with the following email. If and when I hear back from Ms. Brotman or anybody at the national JVP I will post that reply here. So far (it's August 24 as I type this) I have not heard back.

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: "samantha@jewishvoiceforpeace.org" <samantha@jewishvoiceforpeace.org>

Date: 08/21/2021 9:42 PM

Subject: A question about my membership in JVP

 

 

Hi Samantha,

 

Today I received your letter in the mail dated August 16, which began: "Dear John, We are honored to have you as a member of Jewish Voice for Peace!"

 

I am writing to you to ask if you approve or disapprove of the leadership of the Boston, MA chapter removing me from membership of the chapter, which they recently did. I ask you to read the email exchanges between myself and JVP-Boston individuals that led to my being removed from the chapter against my will; the emails are online at my website at the following URL: https://www.pdrboston.org/jvp-email-exchange .

 

It seems to me that my proposal to have a point of view--about how to defeat Zionism!--should have been discussed by the full membership of the chapter, and by removing me from the chapter to avoid permitting this discussion to take place, the leadership of the Boston chapter has made a mockery of the idea that it is a democratic organization. Is JVP a democratic organization?

 

I look forward to hearing back from you about this. 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Spritzler

-------------------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: Samantha Brotman <samantha@jewishvoiceforpeace.org>

To: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

Date: 08/30/2021 9:44 AM

Subject: Re: A question about my membership in JVP

 

 

Hi John,

 

Thanks for writing. Chapter leadership are able and encouraged to set boundaries around their membership and around what strategies they prioritize in their organizing. It seems that you and the chapter have fundamental differences of opinion about how to approach our work, and in this case, from what I can tell, it is absolutely reasonable for the chapter leadership to set this boundary. 

 

Thank you,

Samantha Brotman

----------------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Samantha Brotman <samantha@jewishvoiceforpeace.org>

Date: 08/30/2021 11:36 AM

Subject: Re: A question about my membership in JVP

 

 

Hi Samantha,

 

Let's put aside the question of the Boston Chapter leadership's "setting boundaries" on chapter membership and discuss something FAR more important.

 

Here is a question for the NATIONAL JVP that I would like you to answer please.

 

Should JVP tell the public (implicitly or explicitly) that the actual purpose of Israeli government violence against Palestinians is to make Jews safe?  Or should JVP refute this FALSE Zionist assertion?

 

Let me call to your attention that currently the JVP says that the Zionist assertion is true.

 

The JVP website [ https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/conversations/ Part 1, in "Tips for Getting the Conversation Started"] has a section about how to talk to people who support Israel. This is what JVP says:

 

----------------------

 

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN AGREE ON AND THEN STEER THE CONVERSATION IN THE DIRECTION YOU WANT TO GO

 

Start by asking what their vision for justice in the region looks like. If they say “a place where Jews can be safe,” great, affirm that and then explain that Jewish safety should not come at the cost of Palestinian lives and freedoms. If they say “two states for two peoples,” you don’t necessarily need to affirm or reject that, but you can say that with continued settlement construction, displacement and the network of checkpoints dividing up the land, Israel is making that impossible in the near term, so we need to talk now about respecting Palestinian equality, dignity and human rights.

 

​----------------------

 

Notice this key sentence:

 

“If they say 'a place where Jews can be safe,' great, affirm that and then explain that Jewish safety should not come at the cost of Palestinian lives and freedoms.”

 

​Do you see the problem, the FATAL problem for any anti-Zionist movement?

 

Here's the problem. This sentence CONFIRMS, rather than refutes, the PILLAR of Zionist propaganda, namely the Big Lie that the PURPOSE of the Iaraeli government's violence against Palestinians is to make Jews safe. The truth is that the purpose of this violence is to enable the Jewish billionaire ruling class of Israel to control (with a Palestinian bogeyman enemy) Israeli working class Jews whom it oppresses horribly to enrich the billionaire Israeli ruling class, as I prove in my article, “Israel's Government Attacks Ordinary Jews As Well As Palestinians.”

 

Once one accepts, as JVP does, the false Zionist assertion that Israeli violence against Palestinians is for the purpose of making Jews safe, then it necessarily follows, just as former Harvard President Larry Summers said, that anti-Zionism is antisemitic in effect if not intent because it opposes what the Israeli government does to make Jews safe. This "anti-Zionism is antisemitic in effect if not intent" argument is why a majority of the U.S. public supports Israel--they, to their credit, do not want to support anything that they perceive to be against the Jews because of sympathy for Jews as survivors of the Holocaust.

 

​As long as JVP fails to refute the Zionist Big Lie and thereby accepts the false framework that says the conflict is "Jewish safety versus Palestinian safety," it will NEVER win over the majority of the U.S. public to opposing Zionism, and Zionism will hence prevail. This must not be allowed to happen.

 

Samantha, I use my Facebook account (with 5000 friends) and my website to tell people about this failure of the JVP to refute the Zionist Big Lie. JVP has an important decision to make now: either continue to endorse the Zionist Big Lie, or refute it. Your call. What will JVP do now?

 

--John

-----------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Marc G <marcovitch43@gmail.com>

Cc: "samantha@jewishvoiceforpeace.org" <samantha@jewishvoiceforpeace.org>

Date: 11/02/2021 2:17 PM

Subject: Re: Fundamental Differences

 

 

Marc,

 

My anti-Zionist message was featured on Palestine TV in Arabic (with I being interviewed with a simultaneous translator). A link to the TV show along with the English text of what I said is at https://www.pdrboston.org/my-t-v-presentation-re-zionism . I reported on how persuasive the anti-Zionist message is when it features the content of the article of mine that I asked JVP to discuss, an article that you dismissed in your email to me (see it below, and see our full email exchange here) in which you said, "If we build support by only addressing the impact of Zionism on Jews rather than the primary victims, the Palestinians, then we have simply built a chauvinistic(racist) movement," as if exposing the true PURPOSE of the oppression of Palestinians was the same as "only addressing the impact of Zionism on Jews." 

 

You removed me and my friend, Kathy, from the JVP Boston chapter for the "crime" of merely asking for this way of making anti-Zionism persuasive to be discussed within the chapter. 

 

Palestinians LIKE my approach to anti-Zionism; they do not think it is, to use your words, "chauvinistic(racist)."

 

Do you wish to change your mind about this and invite Kathy and me back into the Boston Chapter and allow it to discuss this PERSUASIVE approach to anti-Zionism? 

 

Note that I have blind cc'd this email to numerous anti-Zionist activists who were shocked to hear that you had removed Kathy and me from the Boston JVP chapter for espousing the anti-Zionism that I expressed on Palestine TV.

 

Sincerely,

 

John Spritzler

 

P.S.  I note that you praise Frederick Douglass at the bottom of your emails. Do you think he was being "chauvinistic(racist)" when he pointed out that the chattel slavery of blacks made poor whites slaves too, with these words of his from his book, "My Bondage and My Freedom" :

 

"The slaveholders, with a craftiness peculiar to themselves, by encouraging the enmity of the poor, laboring white man against the blacks, succeeds in making the said white man almost as much a slave as the black slave himself. The difference between the white slave, and the black slave, is this: the latter belongs to one slaveholder, and the former belongs to all the slaveholders, collectively. The white slave has taken from him, by indirection, what the black slave has taken from him directly, and without ceremony. Both are plundered, and by the same plunderers. The slave is robbed, by his master, of all his earnings, above what is required for his bare physical necessities; and the white man is robbed by the slave system, of the just results of his labor, because he is flung into open competition with a class of laborers who work without wages."

 

What about MLK, Jr.? Was he being  “chauvinistic(racist)” when he carefully explained in his 1965 Selma, Alabama speech (read it and listen to it here)  that the Jim Crow laws were for the purpose of enabling the Southern upper class to control and oppress the poor whites as well as the blacks?

 

Do you not see that the reason these staunch anti-racism leaders pointed out that racial discrimination ALSO harmed working class whites was to build unity of ALL the have-nots against oppression? That's what my approach to anti-Zionism is all about. What's your approach all about?

 

On 08/05/2021 10:37 PM Marc G <marcovitch43@gmail.com> wrote:

 

 

John

The communication you sent to Nicole and Marjorie was forwarded to the chapter organizing team since the content was not a newsletter matter, but a political opinion piece. These were the same arguments presented in your communications with the JVP-B Jewish Community Dialogue Group in which several of these issues were addressed and JVP's position explained. It is apparent that you have fundamental political differences with JVP. The position of JVP is that the path to the end of Political Zionism requires the support of all progressive forces for justice and liberation of the Palestinian people. Only through this support can Jewish anti-zionist organizations build an effective coalition of all people, including Jews. If we build support by only addressing the impact of Zionism on Jews rather than the primary victims, the Palestinians, then we have simply built a chauvinistic(racist) movement. It would be similar to many trade union organizations in the U.S. that built a labor movement excluding the most oppressed victims of Capitalism, the Black and Brown workers. Those trade unions have  been decimated and used to undermine labor solidarity.

 

While we are not prepared to change our practice of centering justice for Palestinians and Palestinian lives in the work we do,  we urge you to find another organization to further your goals. 

 

We wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors.

 

JVP Boston Chapter Organizing Team

Jill Charney, Susan Etscovitz, Lauren Jappe, Nicole Cohen, Mocha Herrup, Marc Gurvitch

 


-- 

“Where Justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

 

Frederick Douglass(1818-1895)  Born into slavery. Fought for emancipation and equality, women’s rights, free public education, land reform, abolition of capital punishment.

-----------------------

As soon as I hear back from JVP (or Samantha) I will post its (or Samantha's) reply here. Until then (it's November 5, 2021 as I type this) it means that as you are reading this there has still been no reply. As long as the JVP refuses to refute the Zionist Big Lie, it means that the organization is not truly opposed to Zionism. From what I have learned during my brief membership in the organization, the JVP purpose is to enable Jews who are appalled by Zionist violence against Palestinians to feel good about themselves--even self-righteous--by engaging in activities that seem to--but do not really--challenge the power of Zionism.

----------------------------

Fast forward to December 8, 2021, when a friend of mine who is a member of the JVP chapter forwarded to me the JVP announcement he received of JVP-Boston's Dec. 9 zoom meeting featuring as a guest speaker Stanley Heller, author of "Zionist Betrayal of Jews." Using my friend's forwarded email that had a link in it to register for this zoom meeting, I registered for the meeting. I did not, however, attend this zoom meeting. But because I registered for it, my email address was automatically inserted into Nicole Cohen's email list, which is why I received the email (see it below) from Nicole following up Heller's zoom talk. Below is my reply to this email.

----------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

Date: 12/10/2021 6:18 PM

Subject: Re: JVP Boston December MM *follow-up*

 

 

Hi Nicole,

 

In light of the email exchanges I had with Marc Gurvitch and Samantha Brotman (see them at https://www.pdrboston.org/jvp-email-exchange ) I am asking you if I am a member in good standing of the Boston chapter of JVP or not. I have not received email messages that were sent to the chapter members; for example I did not receive the email about the zoom call with Stanley Heller. Not receiving these email messages made me think I was no longer a member of the chapter, but then I received the one below from you, which makes me wonder.

 

Please clarify my membership status.

 

Thank you.

 

John

On 12/09/2021 9:22 PM Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com> wrote:

 

 

Greetings and thanks so much to those who made it to JVP Boston's December monthly meeting! I'm Nicole, one of the four newsletter writers, and I just wanted to make sure people had access to the links, events, movie/book recommendations, and more shared at the meeting tonight.

 

A special thanks to Stanley Heller for his illuminating presentation on the harms of Zionism for Jews and very articulate answers to our many questions. We appreciate your time and expertise!

Check out his TV program, The Struggle (and upcoming events), and an article he wrote about anti-Zionist Jewish representation.

 

Additional thanks goes to the Chapter Organizing Team — Susan, Jill, Mocha, Lauren, Marc — for their work coordinating and facilitating this wonderful gathering.

 

Here's what we shared — please read through it all!

  1. Watch the livestream of the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians action on Nov 29, 2021.

  2. Protest at PUMA this Saturday: 342 Artisan Way, Somerville, MA 02145 (look for the giant PUMA logo off the highway). Read about why we're boycotting.

  3. Donate at 1for3.org to support the students at Zahrat Al-Yasmeen Kindergarten.

  4. Donate to No Way to Treat a Child, an incredible Palestinian org working to create safe homes for children by exposing the violence of the Israeli military toward kids in detention.

  5. Sign on here to endorse the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda. Live our JVP values!

  6. Buy olive oil from Susan (in Brookline) or Jill (in Newtown) to benefit the Tree of Life Educational Fund. To purchase, email Susan at setscovitz@yahoo.com or Jill at jillcharney1@gmail.com with the number of bottles you'd like. Each bottle is $25. It's delicious!!

  7. To learn what native land you're living on, visit https://native-land.ca/

  8. Watch the 2007 Israeli film "Ashkenaz," which explores the way Israel has changed Jewish identity, including the denigration of the eastern European traditions many of us come from. Available for $1.95 on Vimeo. (thanks for the rec, Alan)

  9. Book resource on the relationship between Israel and South Africa: The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa (Polakow-Suransky, 2010) (thanks for the rec, Marsha)

  10. Required reading: The Hundred Years' War on Palestine (Khalidi, 2020)

Feel free to reach out with questions, and thanks for being a part of this community. See you next month!

– Nicole

-----------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

To: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

Date: 12/10/2021 6:30 PM

Subject: Re: JVP Boston December MM *follow-up*

 

 

Hi John, I removed you from the newsletter list because I was uncomfortable receiving your responses. I felt backed into a corner with each of them. As I primarily run the JVP Boston newsletter email, this was my decision. If you agree to send only respectful responses that do not repeat what you’ve already shared, I can add you back to the mailing list if you wish.

 

You received this follow-up email because you must have registered for the monthly meeting. I sent it to all registrants.

 

I don’t think there was any official decision made that you’re no longer a member, and it seems like Marc and Samantha have said their piece and there’s nothing else to say. Feel free to read over their thoughtful responses to you again.

-------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

Date: 12/10/2021 6:36 PM

Subject: Re: JVP Boston December MM *follow-up*

 

 

Hi Nicole,

 

I registered for the zoom meeting featuring Stanley Heller because another person forwarded me the email with the Zoom registration link; I never received the email that that other person received with the Zoom registration link. Why did I not receive it? Am I a member in good standing of the Boston JVP chapter or not?

 

John

--------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

To: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

Date: 12/10/2021 6:37 PM

Subject: Re: JVP Boston December MM *follow-up*

 

 

I explained the answers to your questions. Please reread my email.

--------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

To: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

Date: 12/10/2021 6:41 PM

Subject: Re: JVP Boston December MM *follow-up*

 

 

The monthly meeting notification goes out to that same newsletter mailing list.

---------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

Date: 12/10/2021 7:14 PM

Subject: Re: JVP Boston December MM *follow-up*

 

 

Hi Nicole,

 

Based on your previous replies, it seems that I was not receiving chapter emails about chapter zoom meetings because you removed me from the relevant email list because, as you put it, "I [Nicole] was uncomfortable receiving your [John's] responses. I felt backed into a corner with each of them." And you will add me back to that email list if I "agree to send only respectful responses that do not repeat what you’ve already shared."

 

What I "already shared" was a polite (not dis-respectful) request that the JVP Boston newsletter inform people about my article titled "ISRAEL'S GOVERNMENT ATTACKS ORDINARY JEWS AS WELL AS PALESTINIANS."

 

Marc Gurvitch said my article was unacceptable for discussion in the JVP Boston chapter; he expressed that view with these words:

 

"It is apparent that you have fundamental political differences with JVP. The position of JVP is that the path to the end of Political Zionism requires the support of all progressive forces for justice and liberation of the Palestinian people. Only through this support can Jewish anti-zionist organizations build an effective coalition of all people, including Jews. If we build support by only addressing the impact of Zionism on Jews rather than the primary victims, the Palestinians, then we have simply built a chauvinistic(racist) movement."

 

But the Boston JVP chapter warmly welcomed Stanley Heller to discuss views in his article titled "Zionist Betrayal of Jews: from Herzl to Netanyahu."

 

Why is my article about how Zionism betrays Jews unacceptable but Stanley Heller's article about how Zionism betrays Jews acceptable and even praiseworthy? 

 

Is it "not respectful" for me to ask this question?

 

You say that I was not being respectful when I asked you to explain why you would not share my article with the chapter membership; that the question made you "uncomfortable" and "backed into a corner." Why? Is your definition of respectful "saying only things that you agree with"? Is this what I must promise to do in order to stay on your email list for the chapter's events?

 

Your phrase "backed into a corner" can only mean that you didn't know how to reply to my question. Is that my fault? You could have said, "I don't know how to reply to your question." Had you said that I would have responded appropriately, perhaps by asking somebody with more authority than you to reply to my question. That's how respectful people do things, right?

 

John

--------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Marc G <marcovitch43@gmail.com>

Cc: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

Date: 12/10/2021 7:27 PM

Subject: A question re Stanley Heller's talk

 

 

Marc,

 

You said my article, "ISRAEL'S GOVERNMENT ATTACKS ORDINARY JEWS AS WELL AS PALESTINIANS," was unacceptable for discussion in the JVP Boston chapter; you expressed that view with these words:

 

“It is apparent that you have fundamental political differences with JVP. The position of JVP is that the path to the end of Political Zionism requires the support of all progressive forces for justice and liberation of the Palestinian people. Only through this support can Jewish anti-zionist organizations build an effective coalition of all people, including Jews. If we build support by only addressing the impact of Zionism on Jews rather than the primary victims, the Palestinians, then we have simply built a chauvinistic(racist) movement.” [your email to me with these words is at https://www.pdrboston.org/jvp-email-exchange ]

 

But the Boston JVP chapter warmly welcomed Stanley Heller to discuss views in his article titled "Zionist Betrayal of Jews: from Herzl to Netanyahu."

 

Why is my article about how Zionism betrays Jews unacceptable but Stanley Heller's article about how Zionism betrays Jews acceptable and even praiseworthy? 

 

Nicole told me that when I asked her why she would not mention my article in her newsletter that the question made her feel "uncomfortable" and like she was "backed into a corner." So I am asking you to explain why my article is unwelcome while Stanley Heller's is very welcome. Please do so.

 

Thank you.

 

John

----------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

To: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

Date: 12/10/2021 7:35 PM

Subject: Re: JVP Boston December MM *follow-up*

 

 

John, this is my last email to you at this time. I think you know this response, and your follow up to Marc, is inappropriate. I felt backed into a corner because you continued pushing your point after I gave you a definitive response. You also tried to call us out on your website in an attacking manner. It would be easier to give you a satisfactory response if your emails were succinct, appropriate, and non-accusatory (e.g. "that's how respectful people do things, right?" seems accusatory).

 

Hope you find some time to recharge this weekend,

Nicole

-----------------------------

---------- Original Message ----------

From: JOHN SPRITZLER <spritzler@comcast.net>

To: Nicole Cohen <nicolecohen124@gmail.com>

Date: 12/10/2021 9:50 PM

Subject: Re: JVP Boston December MM *follow-up*

 

 

Nicole,

 

Regarding your "I gave you a definitive response":

 

When somebody asks you, as I did, WHY you won't share their extremely persuasive (to pro-Israel people) anti-Zionist article in your anti-Zionist JVP newsletter, it is NOT a "definitive response" to simply say (even repeatedly) that you will not share it, as you did say. A definitive response would be a principled and logical explanation for WHY you will not share it.

 

Frankly, I suspect that the reason you don't say WHY you don't share my article in your JVP newsletter is because the actual reason is one that would make you and the JVP leadership look bad. Since you dare not say what the real reason is, it annoys you greatly when I keep asking for it; it makes you feel "uncomfortable" and "backed into a corner" as you say. Well, if I were in your shoes I would feel the same way; but I would, unlike you, tell what the actual reason is and then let the chips fall where they may. 

 

Note that the only way you can prove that what I suspect is false, is to state the real reason why you won't share my article. Throwing around words like "disrespectful" and "inappropriate" and "backed into a corner," etc., only make it more evident that what I suspect is in fact the case.

 

Regarding your "You also tried to call us out on your website in an attacking manner."

 

Well, Nicole, what do you think people should do when a supposedly anti-Zionist organization censors their extremely persuasive (to pro-Israel people) anti-Zionist article? Obviously, the right thing, the moral thing, the anti-Zionist thing to do is to alert as many people as possible that an organization that purports to be anti-Zionist is suppressing a powerful anti-Zionist article without giving a single principled and logical reason for doing it. This strengthens the anti-Zionist movement by exposing those who try to keep the anti-Zionist movement weak.

 

Nicole, I don't know if you realize it or not, but your replies to me (which I will add to my website with your earlier emails) are digging the hole that you are in deeper and deeper. Are you sure you want to stay in that hole? To get out of it, all you need to do is to tell me the REAL reason you won't share my article on your JVP newsletter. (Obviously to the others who are following my exchanges with you and Marc Gurvitch as blind cc'd folks or readers of my website, Marc Gurvitch's "explanation"--that my article is racist against Palestinians--is neither principled nor logical and is simply absurd, as is evident--if any evidence were even required--from the fact that Palestine TV invited me to be a featured guest to express my views to a huge Palestinian audience; his "explanation" is clearly a cover-up of the real reason.)  If you don't reply to me now with the real reason why you are censoring my article, the hole you're in will become even deeper.

 

John

--------------------------

As of Dec. 11, 2021 I have received no replies from either Nicole or Marc.

As of January 3, 2022 I have still received no replies from either Nicole or Marc.