The Pogromists at Stand With Us
(Tikun Olam) -- by Richard Silverstein --
The bullies who stand with Stand With Us are developing ever more belligerent, assaultive behavior in their jihad against the pro-peace movement. Last week at one of its regular meetings, members of Jewish Voice for Peace were confronted with a number of hecklers who were also attempting to videotape the meeting against the express wishes of JVP. I’m going to let JVP explain what happened:
…Up to a dozen members of San Francisco Voice for Israel/StandWithUs, a right-wing Israeli advocacy group with a documented track record of aggressively taunting and intimidating grassroots peace activists, attended a Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace community meeting at a South Berkeley Senior Center....Americans for Peace Now and Meretz USA have denounced this attack. No word yet on when JVP will hear from the ADL or even J Street. Yes, yes, I know naysayers will say that these assaults are the acts of aberrant personalities who don’t represent the mainstream Jewish community or even Stand With Us. But look, Stand With Us is a deliberately confrontational organization. Perhaps Roz Rothstein or Rob Jacobs won’t douse anyone with pepper spray but clearly a significant number of their members will. And they either cannot or will not control them.
…Wrapped in an Israeli flag, San Francisco Voice for Israel/StandWithUs (SFVI/SWU) member Robin Dubner, an Oakland based attorney, pepper-sprayed two JVP members in the eyes and face after they attempted to nonviolently block her ability to aggressively videotape the faces of JVP meeting attendees against their will. The members, Alexei Folger and Glen Hauer, were careful to make no physical contact with her or her camera prior to the attack.
Folger said, “I did not see it coming and all of a sudden there was gooey stuff all over my head and hand. I have never been pepper-sprayed before, my whole head felt like it was on fire.”
[At an earlier JVP street protest last June]…Caught on a widely seen videotape was a SFVI/SWU supporter pointing his camera to the faces of silent peace vigil participants while saying “You’re all being identified, every last one of you…we will find out where you live. We’re going to make your lives difficult. We will disrupt your families…”
For that reason, JVP members were particularly concerned about protecting the safety of meeting attendees and preventing the videotaping...
This behavior is not exclusive to the Bay Area either. Here in Seattle, SWU board member David Brumer (he was even on the board of my shul at the time) wrote in an e mail to me that I should be spanked for my views. Brumer works as the geriatric social worker at the Kline-Galland Home, Seattle’s Jewish home for the aged. Neither the leadership of the Jewish community nor his employer finds anything untoward with Brumer’s verbally assaultive behavior.
Stand With Us plays an honored role in the Israel discourse in Seattle. At the Operation Cast Lead local community meeting, SWU’s Nevet Basker made the main presentation. Included on the Jewish federation’s Israel committee is Stand With Us. This is the same committee that organized the anti-Iran program last October at which the Israeli consul general and an Aipac flack with no experience dealing with Iran, spoke. They bring their dog and pony shows to Hebrew schools, synagogues, Hillels and universities with IDF veterans telling American Jews that Palestinians force them to kill them against their will. Stand With Us organizes gay tours to Israel to promote the notion that Israel is a paradise for gays–all this in order to juxtapose the supposed homophobia of Muslim countries...MORE...LINK