Telegraph quotes fringe Jewish anti-Zionist group on Yad Vashem row

Earlier today, we complained to Telegraph editors over the decision by their Beirut-based Middle East correspondent Campbell MacDiarmid to quote the anti-Zionist Jewish group ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ (JVP) in an article about Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem.

The article (Israel nominates controversial right-wing figure to head Holocaust memorial, Nov. 29) focused on the row concerning the nomination of Effie Eitam to lead the venerable institution.

Though the MacDiarmid correctly reports that the nomination of Eitam, a retired brigadier general and former politician who once called for the expulsion of Palestinians, has sparked outrage in Israel and the wider Jewish world, the introduction of JVP – the sole Jewish organisation mentioned – in the following sentences is, we argued, extraordinarily misleading and highly inappropriate:

Jewish Voice for Peace, an American activist organisation, called his nomination “sickening”.

“We are appalled at the repeated desecration, distortion, and instrumentalisation of Holocaust memory to support the violent actions and words of people like Effie Eitam,” the group wrote.

As CAMERA has demonstrated, JVP is an extremely marginal, US-based anti-Zionist group which promotes BDS, praises terrorists who’ve carried out deadly attacks, employs antisemitic tropes and even blamed Israel and American Jewish groups for racism and police brutality in the US.

Moreover, JVP, quoted in the Telegraph article expressing concern over preserving Holocaust memory, itself “instrumentalised” the murder of six million Jews when, in 2015, its NY branch joined other antisemitic groups to disrupt a vote on commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz.  JVP has also has used slogans during protests evoking comparisons between  Nazi Germany and the Jewish state.

In our complaint, we objected on two grounds: the decision to cite JVP – and only JVP – in the first place, misleadingly suggesting that they’re a representative voice within the Jewish community, and the journalist’s obfuscation of JVP’s radicalism by vaguely characterising them as an “American activist group”.

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