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

By Daniel Treiman

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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.

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...???

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