The JVP San Diego Leadership Committee is responsible for overall policy and direction of JVP San Diego. It delegates responsibility to committees for different areas of our work.

Gila Peled

I grew up in Israel/Palestine, in a small Kibbutz called Zikim, bordering Gaza, on the coast. My parents emigrated from England to Zikim in the late 40s, fulfilling the Zionist dream of Jews settling the land of Israel. Even though I grew up 2 miles north of Gaza, the only interaction I had with Palestinians, which I would not categorize as interaction, was seeing them from afar, working in construction in the Kibbutz or in the factory. Thus, I grew up similar to many Israelis, suspicious and fearful of the Palestinian people, wondering why do they all hate us so, and will not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. Learning that Palestinian’s textbooks incite hatred towards Jews, that they do not want peace, and convinced that each one is a terrorist until proven otherwise.The transformation of my views in regards to the Palestinian Israeli conflict and people has been a long and painful journey. The process of self-reflection and reexamining everything I believed and know about the conflict has been difficult. Arriving at views that opposed my friends, family, and community is painful and scary. It took me a long time to be brave enough to express my views and even longer to act on them. In 2013 I was excited to help start the new JVP-SD chapter. It felt good to sit in a room full of people that share the same values and passion in regards to I/P. I am proud of all the work our chapter has done so far and looking forward to growing our chapter and continuing the struggle for equality, preservation of human rights, respect for international law, and to end the brutal occupation in I/P.

David Deutsch

I grew up in largely Jewish suburb of the North Shore of Chicago in the 50’s and early 60’s. I did study and synagogue under the auspices of a reform congregation. However, things “Jewish” were not central to me despite a Jewish wife, a son graduated from the San Diego Jewish Academy and a tour of Israel as a guest of the state in 1992. Retired from a career in public finance, I found the time to do the reading that life had put on hold. With an amateur’s enthusiasm, I read all the various “takes” on Zionism and Israel. Yet, no matter how deep I went into this history, I found it difficult to piece together a single consistent narrative of Israel and Palestine. One day, however, I very suddenly understood the basic truth of the matter. In a moment of both personal liberation and insight, it was clear that Zionist narrative, the one I had been taught, was disingenuous and false. I realized fully that an organized effort of the Jewish people had dispossessed an innocent people of their patrimony, their lives, businesses and jobs, pushed them into camps to languish while they (my people!) destroyed their villages and homes and occupied their land. Everything else in the Middle East was clearly a consequence of this ethnic aggression. Changed utterly by a moment’s insight, I joined JVP national. Eventually I got in touch with local people and we formed the SD chapter of JVP. For the first time, I was both linked with other sympathetic Jews in San Diego and provided a means for pursuing what justice and human dignity require. The thriving local chapter proves that I am not crazy despite what my siblings think.

Ed Sweed

Merry Maisel