The Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) drew together a small coalition of groups that marched on the Israeli consulate on Saturday.

The Bulletin interviewed the JVP spokesperson in Philadelphia, Susan Rouda. Ms. Rouda is also active in an organization known as the Refuser Solidarity Network, which supports Israeli troops who desert their units if they would be deployed in any area acquired by Israel after 1967 in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

The Bulletin: In your press release, why did your coalition make no mention of the fact that the Gazans have pummeled the Israeli communities of Sderot and the Western Negev with more than 500 missiles alone in the past week?

Rouda: We are also concerned about that. Firing missiles is not going to lead to peace.

TB: Do you condemn the Arabs in Gaza for firing missiles at Sderot?

Rouda: No.

TB: Why not?

Rouda: Because these people live under occupation.

TB: Do you take into consideration that Israel has completely withdrawn its troops and citizens from Gaza?

Rouda: So long as Israel keeps its borders closed, that is occupation and a violation of international law. … Anyway, they are under terror.

TB: Is it not an act of terror to fire at Sderot and thereby expose an entire region to the terror of Kassam rockets?

Rouda: Sonic booms of Israeli aircraft have been terrifying Gaza.

TB: Are you comparing sonic booms to missiles?

Rouda: They are one and the same.

TB: Is it not logical to close border crossings to prevent the flow of terrorists?

Rouda: This is collective punishment, as was Israel’s firing into Gaza, which causes civilian deaths.

TB: How do you respond to the fact that Gaza terrorists use human shields and that the Gazans fire rockets from civilian areas, which is bound to cause civilian casualties if the IDF fired in the direction of the missiles?

Rouda: Israel does that, too. Israel uses civilian shields.

TB: Aren’t all Israeli targets purely civilian targets?

[No response.]

TB: How can you justify the Palestinians using schools and housing projects as sites for missile launchers?

Rouda: There are no open spaces in Gaza.

The Bulletin asked Ms. Rouda when the last time it was that she viewed a topographical map of Gaza. Had she done so, she would find plenty of open area from which the Palestinian shooters could fire their missiles. Ms. Rouda did not respond to this point.

Asked about her religious affiliation, Ms. Rouda indicated that she was Jewish.

David Bedein can be reached at His Web site is

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.