New publication: The “Jewish Voice for Just Peace” association [in German]

The association ‘Jüdische Stimme für einen gerechten Frieden in Nahost – EJJP Deutschland e.V.’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘Jüdische Stimme’ or ‘Jewish Voice’) attempts to present itself in the media as the voice of numerous Jews who are supposedly only interested in peace between Israel and the Palestinians. However, a look at their demonstrations, statements and social media appearances reveals a different picture. There is ample evidence that this association demonizes and delegitimizes the Israeli state in particular.

This document shows:

  • The ‘Jewish Voice’ association is trying to force a shift in discourse regarding Israel, antisemitism and the memory of the Shoah.
  • It supports the antisemitic BDS campaign.
  • The terrorists of the Islamist Hamas, who carried out the massacre on October 7, 2023, are described as “guerrilla fighters” who “broke out of their ghetto”.
  • In the past, the PFLP’s front organization Samidoun, which has been banned in Germany since 2023, was supported several times in campaigns and events.
  • By proclaiming a Jewish place to speak, they lend weight to their position in the discourse and thus fulfill the function of Jewish key witnesses for many antisemites, Islamists and Israel haters. This supposedly immunizes oneself against the criticism that one’s own actions are antisemitic, since Jews are involved, and refers to the ‘Jewish Voice’ as a counterweight to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, for example, which completely distorts the situation within the Jewish community. The truth is that the ‘Jewish Voice’ is a small fringe group of anti-Zionists who repeatedly support each other in their own network of groups such as the ‘International League for Human Rights’ (ILMR) and ‘Bundestag 3 for Palestine’ (BT3P). This creates the impression of a broader movement, whereas only a few and always the same individuals are active in several groups.
    When asked whether there were other members of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, of which he was a member until a few years ago, who shared his opinion on Gaza and Israel, the former chairman of the ‘Jewish Voice’ association, Rolf Verleger, replied: “I am clearly in the minority. That is absolutely clear.”[1]

The ‘Jewish Voice’ presents itself as an advocate for peace and understanding – but in reality it is almost exclusively agitating against Israel.

Statements on the “Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East”

Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany: “The ‘Jewish Voice’ association wanders between hatred of Israel and trivialization of terrorism. No constructive contribution to the pacification of social conflicts can be expected from it. Not only since October 7 has the association stood alongside antisemitic rioters in Germany and participated in their demonstrations.

Petra Pau, MP (Die Linke), Vice-President of the German Bundestag: “The current activities of the ‘Jewish Voice’ have reached a new level of Holocaust relativization. With its call for a demonstration on Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2024 under the motto ‘Never again is now – never again for all’, it is dangerously distorting history. The group is not only trying to recast the days of remembrance themselves, but is also attempting to hijack concepts of remembrance of Nazi victims and replace them with antisemitic propaganda.”

Tahera Ameer, Program Director of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation: “‘Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East’ sounds like balance and reconciliation. But what sounds good is deceptive: Israel-related antisemitism is repeatedly spread at their demonstrations, but above all via social media. The ‘Jewish Voice’ brings together Jewish, anti-Israeli positions and works together with actors from the BDS spectrum. Due to its narrator position, it has an important exculpatory function in the antisemitic discourse and thus serves well as a justification for the spread of Israel-related and post-Shoah antisemitism. This allows others to refer to them as a Jewish group and thus try to immunize themselves against the accusation of antisemitism – which in this country is generally considered worse than antisemitism itself.”

Dr. Dietmar Bartsch, MP, former parliamentary group leader of Die Linke: “Israel has been a threatened state since its founding. October 7, 2023, was a cruel reminder to the world of how fragile Israel’s security is. The terrorists, above all Hamas, did not and do not care whether they are right-wing, left-wing, secular or orthodox Jews – they want to slaughter Jews. Campaigns such as ‘BDS’ or the ‘Jewish Voice’, which claim to campaign against injustice against Palestinians and for reconciliation between Israel and Palestine, essentially contribute neither to the one nor to the other and fail to provide answers to the serious problems of both societies. BDS wants a boycott of Israel. ‘Don’t buy from Jews’ was the motto of Nazi Germany in 1933. Our historical responsibility is incompatible with the BDS campaign. The questionable means BDS is prepared to use were demonstrated by its activists when they ambushed Gregor Gysi in the Bundestag in 2014 for the purpose of self-promotion. Anyone who questions Israel’s right to exist is shaking up the right to life of Jews.”

Hanna Veiler, Chairwoman of the Jewish Student Union Germany (JSUD): “The ‘Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East’ is causing enormous damage to the Jewish community in Germany. The organization cooperates with known antisemites and equates the Jewish self-determination movement of Zionism with fascism. It is not an official representation of the Jewish community in Germany, but a small and radical fringe group.”

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