The J Street facade is crumbling… and a new cartoon
This has not been a good month for J-Street, the anti-Israel disguised as a pro-Israel lobbying organization. When J-Street first burst onto the scene back in 2008, many in the Jewish establishment did not know what to make of the upstart group with the deep pockets. Whatever concerns there were, and there were many, most; out of a sense of “big tent” fairness or noblesse oblige took a wait and see attitude.
Even after their much denied sketchy funding sources could no longer be hidden the group still expanded within the liberal leaning American Jewish community.
With the release of a new documentary, “The J Street Challenge” along with the groups association with prominent BDS supporters and a full court press advocacy for Iranian interests, former J Street supporters are now beginning to publicly reject the organization.
As JNS reporter Ben Cohen writes:
When you examine J Street’s record, it becomes very hard to dispute Professor Alan Dershowitz’s assertion that the organization—despite its much-vaunted tagline—is “neither pro-Israel nor pro-peace.”
To begin with, there are J Street’s funders. As the film documents, ferocious critics of Israel like the hedge-fund billionaire George Soros and Genevieve Lynch, a board member of the pro-Iranian regime National Iranian-American Council, have donated significant sums to the organization. And although it says it is opposed to the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, J Street maintains close ties with those who advocate collaboration with the BDS movement in targeting West Bank settlements, like the writer Peter Beinart and the corporate lawyer Kathleen Peratis. This milieu is hardly conducive to J Street’s “pro-Israel” self-image
When it comes to carving land out of Israel, J Street’s Ben-Ami out-Obamas Obama. “It is up to us to get Israel back to the 1967 lines, and we must push our leaders to do what is right. We do support the president’s vision for two states, but we do think he could be pushing harder. That’s part of our call to action.”
As Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse says, “So we can’t convince the Israeli electorate, but we can circumvent them to pressure the Israeli government from the United States?” Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, calls J Street’s position “imperialistic”: “They know they can’t sell their ideas in Israel, so they sell them in Washington, pushing the government to pressure Israel.” It is not as if they don’t realize, according to Richard Landes, professor of history at Boston University, that “this pressure on Israel amounts to, literally, a genocidal threat.”
Professor Wisse goes on to note the difficulty in J Street’s assertion that the occupation is the cause of the conflict.
Since that so-called “occupation” was the consequence of the war against Israel, it cannot retroactively have become its cause. So anyone who claims the “occupation” of those territories is the reason for Arab aggression against Israel is simply inverting historical reality.
Rabbi Daniel Gordis of the Shalem Institute questions J Street’s assertion that the surrender of territory could bring Israel the peace and security for which it so much longs. “J Street advocates a complete exit from the West Bank without alerting anyone to what the real dangers are.”
The moment Israel withdrew from the [Gaza] Strip entirely, the rocket fire didn’t abate; it expanded. The Palestinians didn’t take the greenhouses so generously left by the Israeli settlers. They trashed them. The Gaza Strip did not become a showcase for Palestinian moderates to prove what they might do with a state — turn Gaza into a little Hong Kong or Singapore, or Dubai even. They turned it into a giant terrorist entrepot.
Prominent progressive blogger Jon Segall is creator of the blog The Progressive Zionist, and until recently was an enthusiastic supporter of J Street. Segall created a stir in his Times of Israel piece published last week. In his article Segall expressed his disgust at the parade of hostile anti-Zionists that are a staple of J Street events. referring to J Street, Segall concludes;
Why would I support an organization that gives a platform (and is proud of that) to a person [David Harris Gershon] who espouses both anti-Zionism and in my opinion borderline anti-Semitic memes?
Indeed. And yet there remain prominent community and religious leaders that continue to cast their lot on that dead end street of broken dreams. How many will they drag down with them?
- Goodbye J Street, you lost me (Times of Israel)
- Lies, Damn Lies and J Street (The American Thinker)
- J Street Falling (Israellycool)
- Responding to the J Street challenge (JNS)