Of course, given that I only have 32 hours each day, and some of them need to be utilized for non-blogging activities, I'm not quite certain how to fit this new task in if I'm to address it seriously. So I've hopefully launched a new series, "J Street Round-up", and we'll see how long it turns out to be.
This first installment brings to you a video of an entire meeting that took place at the conference. I don't know who the moderator is. The panelists, however, are Jonathan Chiat from The New Republic, and Matt Yglesias, the popular blogger. Two intelligent and articulate men, Chiat probably center-left in American politics, Yglesias firmly left. Their topic was the meaning of "pro-Israel".
In spite of the difference between them, they are both pro-Israel. What stuck me was the degree of their disconnect (both) from the Israeli reality. Certainly Yglesias, and probably also Chiat, would fit into the Meretz part of the Israeli political spectrum - yet there's a reason Meretz hovers on the edge of political extinction these days. I'm not saying the Meretz position is illegitimate - but it does have to deal with a whole set of facts known to every Israeli; most deal by abandoning the Meretz positions, and a small number deal and manage to maintain their positions. These two fine young men - I'm not being facetious - are engaged in a conversation about Israel that doesn't relate to the world Israelis live in.
This may be a broader problem.
Update: Yglesias has written about this event on his blog, here. His post is quite reasonable; his readers, on the other hand, the dozens of them commenting, are, well, silly.