Meretz USA president, Moises Salinas, has issued this statement on behalf of Meretz USA:
Meretz USA is deeply concerned by the violent incident that took place between rival Jewish groups this week, in which two activists of Jewish Voice for Peace were pepper-sprayed by a member of StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice For Israel.
Meretz USA, a pro-two-states and pro-human rights Zionist organization, has sharp differences with both groups: We regret JVP’s unwillingness to stand squarely behind the Jewish people’s legitimate right to self-determination and to a sovereign national home within the Green Line. And we dismiss SWU’s black-and-white “Israel can do no wrong” approach to the Mideast.
We do, however, believe in democracy and the right to free assembly, and in the benefits of open communal discourse, which includes even those voices we find discordant. Because of this, Meretz USA has endorsed the Jewish Council for Public Affairs’ Statement on Civility, and we call on other organizations to do the same.
We also urge the StandWithUs organization to look into the actions of its activists carefully, together with law enforcement authorities, and, if the claims of unprovoked assault prove accurate, to sever all ties with the activists complicit in it.