Bintel Blog

Jewish Voice for Peace vs. Susan Sarandon (and Alan Dershowitz)

By Daniel Treiman

  • Print
  • Share Share

The New York Post’s Page Six reports:

Susan Sarandon outraged the Jewish Voice for Peace group when she crossed its picket line to attend a cocktail party last month in the new Madison Avenue jewelry store of Lev Leviev, a diamond-dealing real-estate mogul who owns the former New York Times building and the Apthorp building on the Upper West Side.

Now the California-based grass-roots organization has sent the star a letter asking her to “publicly sever ties” with the jeweler, whom the group is boycotting because he supports Jewish settlements in the West Bank. But Sarandon’s rep denies she’s allied with the high-end gem dealer.

The picketers, who were there for the Leviev store launch in mid-November, stood on the sidewalk with Palestinian flags, shouting, “You’re glitz, you’re glam, you’re building on Palestinian land,” and, “Occupation is a drag, just say no to your gift bag.” A source told Page Six that Sarandon marched in and “tried not to notice the yells outside.”

Page Six got a reply from Sarandon’s rep:

…Sarandon’s representative questioned whether the actress attending one Leviev event amounted to “ties,” and added, “She has no ties to any jewelry company.”

I can understand JVP’s doggedness on the Sarandon front. When you’re a far-left group, and you’ve lost Susan Sarandon, you know you’re in trouble.

But Sarandon isn’t the only celeb who’s tangled up with this issue. Ubiquitous pro-Israel pugilist Alan Dershowitz suddenly appeared on the scene of another protest outside the Leviev store, strode inside and emerged with a shopping bag with which he proceeded to taunt the demonstrators. The scene was captured on video:

The snarky Hollywood gossip blog Defamer has an amusing take on the Sarandon brouhaha. Citing the Page Six piece, Defamer offered up the following analysis:

You read right: the Jews opposing “settlements” weren’t lawyers, they were pro-Palestinian protesters. These “Jews,” whose payos were suspiciously affixed with duct tape, chanted “Sorry ‘bout those charging tanks! Sorry that we run all banks!” and “What do want? Pogroms! When do we want them? Now!” at the Bull Durham star in an effort to bring peace to the Hamas-led region.

In addition to the issue of Israeli settlements (which are the central complaint of the protesters), the anti-Leviev camp has raised a number of other issues about the company’s ethics, which are noted in the Post article.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Lev Leviev, Susan Sarandon, Alan Dershowitz, Jewish Voice for Peace

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Sephardiman Tue. Dec 25, 2007

Dershowitz is a scoundrel, so his behaviour should surprise anyone!

Sephardiman Tue. Dec 25, 2007

That should read-Dershowitz is a scoundrel, so his behaviour shouldn't surprise anyone. I will make a contribution to JVP in his honour!

Alex Wed. Dec 26, 2007

New song videos from Dec 22 protest at LEVIEV New York: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a>

Richard Silverstein Wed. Dec 26, 2007

The Defamer's take on this is only "amusing" if you believe that some Jews are merely "Jews" in quotation marks because they oppose the Occupation, but they're not REAL Jews.

Lionel Wed. Dec 26, 2007

Take a look at this -- "Sarandon's rep said 'We received the information you sent. Ms. Sarandon will do her own exploration on this topic before drawing any conclusions.'" I'm not sure why you're calling JVP "far-left" for wanting a settlement mogul boycotted. It's not like Leviev is an Israeli academic.

Lev and Alan fan Thu. Dec 27, 2007

The name should be "Phony Jews for the destruction of Israel." These idiots have nothing to do with Judaism or with peace. Thank God for Lev and Alan who are proud Jews and great defenders of our homeland.

Dave Thu. Dec 27, 2007

I saw the entire video from 'AdallahNYC'. There are no sign showing what the group is and there's no evidence that any of the protestors are Jewish (No Hebrew, Ladino, or Yiddish spoken, no garments specifically Jewish shown)

drbcohn Thu. Dec 27, 2007

So what if the jeweler supports settlements and the liberals Jews don't. It is halachically forbidden to interfer with someone's livlihood via a "boycot" without unbaised examination of facts. It is upon know shoddy workmanship? All of this is extremely harmless and basically constitues baseless hatred, and is major loshen hora! Or, haven't the liberals Jews bother to have read the the Torah. Whta standars do they hold themselves to? What if they were boycotted because they didn't support settlemtns? If you disagree with someone's politcs your are going to boycott? Are they kidding? Such entitlement. If there are accurate known questions about ethics in a business, they should be based upon first hand knowledge and not vague allegations. They should be brought to the owner's attention so they can be given a chance to have a hearing or the owner given a chance address them if they are found at fault.

Lionel Sun. Dec 30, 2007

drb cohen: as far as Leviev's business ethics are concerned, they've been brought to attention, and he has basically brushed them aside: “A security company contracted by Leviev was accused this year by a local human-rights monitor of participating in practices of 'humiliation, whipping, torture, sexual abuse, and, in some cases, assassinations.' Leviev's formal response to the report did not directly address the abuses but touted his charitable activities in Angola."

Lisa Fri. Dec 28, 2007

...uuummmm...last I heard, Sarandon was sorta pro-"palestinian" and not all that friendly to Israel....??? Unless she's changed her views, isn't that the fun part of the story...???

Find us on Facebook!
  •'s Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight":
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.