The Jewish LGBT student organization B’nai Keshet was kicked out of the Ohio State Hillel for co-sponsoring an event with Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), The Lantern reported Wednesday.
OSU Hillel issued a statement saying, “In keeping with the mission and values of Ohio State Hillel and Hillel International, our affiliation with B’nai Keshet (formally Jewish Queers & Allies) has unfortunately ended, as B’nai Keshet has chosen to act outside of our programming guidelines,” the statement read, though there is no action being taken against specific members of B’nai Keshet regarding their participation in the OSU Hillel community, or using OSU Hillel’s building on East 16th Avenue or its resources.
“OSU Hillel made every effort to seek alternative ways to engage with B’nai Keshet on the LGBTQ refugee issue, including sponsoring its own programming, but B’nai Keshet rebuked these efforts.”
According to NGO Monitor, JVP’s strategy is to create a wedge within the American Jewish community, while working toward eliminating US economic, military, and political aid to Israel. JVP also supports anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions.
In January 2017, JVP San Diego endorsed a campaign lobbying for the release of Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.
In December 2016, JVP was presented the “Defender of Liberty” award from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In 2015, JVP was a “National campaign partner” for a campaign exploiting children for political warfare against Israel, initiated by a PFLP affiliate.
Beginning September 2015, JVP co-sponsored a speaking tour in the US for Bassem Tamimi. In 2012, Tamimi was convicted of encouraging Palestinian youths to throw stones at Israeli soldiers. He also announced that Israel detains Palestinian children to harvest their organs.
According to The Lantern, on March 3, B’nai Keshet and 15 other student and community organizations collaborated with OSU’s chapter of JVP to put on a Purim Drag show fundraiser for LGBT refugees.
The LGBT group had been warned by the local Hillel their participation in the JVP event would result in its expulsion. Hillel International affiliates are banned from cooperating with groups supporting the BDS.
Elaine Cleary, vice president of B’Nai Keshet and president of Jewish Voice for Peace, denied the Hillel claim that they were open to organizing fundraisers for LGBT refugees, but she neglected to acknowledge the conflict between the two hats she wears.
“The issue here is a lot of groups support BDS against Israel, which means that Jewish student organizations affiliated with Hillel are effectively prevented from working with most marginalized student groups and other faith-based groups in an organized way, which to me is un-Jewish as well as unjust,” Cleary told The Lantern.