Based in San Francisco, Jews For a Free Palestine (JFFP) is an organization of nominally Jewish activists who support what they call “Palestine liberation solidarity efforts.” In conjunction with its partner organization, Renounce Aliyah, JFFP says: “[W]e denounce the continued racist and inhumane policies of the Israeli government. There can be no safety for Jews internationally as the Israeli government continues in the role of occupier and oppressor, while falsely claiming to represent us all.”
JFFP’s preferred modus operandi is to stage disruptive protests in a variety of public venues. On the eve of Passover in April 2003, for example, the organization led a group of 50 protestors in taking over the lobby of the building that housed the Israeli Consulate of San Francisco. Twelve JFFP demonstrators who were blocking the flow of traffic into and out of the building were arrested for trespassing.
In a March 2003 anti-war rally, JFFP protested side-by-side with such groups as Al-Awda, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, If Americans Knew, International ANSWER, the International Solidarity Movement, the Muslim Students’ Association of the U.S. and Canada, and United For Peace and Justice.
Jews for a Free Palestine calls on Jews to actively oppose U.S. economic aid to Israel, and to “affirm the Palestinian Right of Return.” JFFP places the number of Arabs who ought to be granted this “Right of Return” to Israel at 5 million. This is more than ten times the number of Arabs who actually left the Jewish portions of the British Mandate in 1948, most of whom are now deceased.
JFFP also condemns the Israeli government’s destruction of many Palestinian dwellings, making no mention of the fact that these demolitions are targeted specifically at the homes of terrorists and their collaborators. Similarly, the organization denounces the Israeli security fence that was erected in the West Bank to stem the tide of suicide bombing attacks aimed at Israeli civilians, calling it an “Apartheid Wall” whose existence has consigned Palestinians to “a radical form of exclusion.” Again, no mention is made of the waves of terrorism that necessitated the barrier’s construction. Consistent with the foregoing positions, JFFP condemns the Israeli government’s targeted assassinations of known Palestinian terrorist leaders and their operatives.
When the Israeli Action Committee, in an effort to raise American public awareness of the horrors of Arab terrorism, acquired and displayed in Berkeley, California a bus that had been blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Jerusalem, JFFP President Susan Green complained: “It’s meant to demonize Palestinians and deflect the American people away from the fact that millions of our tax dollars are spent daily to support the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.”
In July 2006, JFFP co-sponsored (along with Break the Silence and Jewish Voice for Peace) a rally where more than 400 people demonstrated in front of the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco to protest Israel’s ongoing military campaigns against Hamas in Gaza, and against Hezbollah in Lebanon. During this event, more than a dozen Jewish activists blocked Montgomery Street (in front of the Israeli Consulate) “in solidarity with the people of Palestine and to call for an and to the siege of Gaza, to the bombing of Lebanon, and to the occupation of Palestine.” After they had shut down the street for over an hour, they were all arrested.