Wednesday, October 21, 2009

J Street From Israel

Jeffrey Goldberg, always a valuable blog to visit, has been dealing a lot recently with the pros and cons of J Street and it's approaching big conference. The Big Question is if J Street is pro Israel, as it professes, or not, as many observers think (Goldberg isn't sure either way).

I'm confident that 99% of Israelis have never heard of J Street. This is an American issue, in spite of purportedly being about Israel. Still, one Menachem Pritzker, a reader of the Goldblog, has a comment which sums it up neatly, to my mind:
Are there any other examples of a Washington lobby that knows "better" than
the party they're lobbying for? Would it be possible, say, for a group to
lobby for raising the minimum age for buying cigarettes to 25, and doubling
tobacco taxes, and still get away with calling themselves a "pro-tobacco
lobby?" Why would they even want to?It seems ridiculous to me that a group
with positions farther to the left than Meretz could position itself as lobbying on
behalf of us. From an Israeli perspective, this whole J-Street episode has
been insulting, upsetting, and very confusing.


Folderol said...

Hello Yaccov,

I've spent a long time researching how many Palestinians have died since 1881. I have the results here:

I hope you find it useful. Footnotes are avilable at the bottom of the post.

Avigdor said...


A statement by KFJ at Jewschool may be helpful:

Only the pursuit now of policies which actively make progress towards Palestinian demands can be considered pro-peace.

That statement encapsulates, for me, JStreet’s approach and direction in which to influence American policy. If you support this statement, support JStreet. If you don’t, join the tens of thousands of American Jews who passionately support AIPAC’s efforts, building on a half century of success, to further strengthen and advance the American-Israeli relationship.

Independent Observer said...

The most disturbing aspect of J-Street is the contemptuous and contemptible way in which it circumvents Israeli democracy.

Whatever arguments J Street has to make about Israeli policy should be made, not to Congress in English in Washington, but to the Israeli electorate in Hebrew in Israel.

I suspect the J-Street crowd has failed to convince Israelis, and so (reprehensibly) tries to circumvent Israeli democracy.

AKUS said...

An excellent article by Chuck Freilich that appears in today's "Washington Jewish Week":

My beef is not over the issues (on some, I agree with J Street). It is about the best ways of ensuring the long-term vitality of the U.S.-Israeli relationship and the security and well-being of Israel.

It is presumptuous of our brethren in the U.S., and frankly offensive, for them to believe that they "know better" what is right for Israel. The Jewish state is a vibrant, pluralistic democracy. Only Israel's citizens, who endure the consequences, bear the responsibility for its policies. The place to change Israel's policies is in Israel, not Washington. A corollary of sovereignty is the right to err. We waited for that right for 2,000 years.

J Street's stated position, that it "supports political solutions over military ones" regarding the Palestinians and "strongly opposes the use of force by Israel or the U.S." against Iran, is the height of presumption and chutzpah. So was its position earlier this year, during the Gaza operation, when it opined that "escalation will prove counterproductive" and called for an immediate cease-fire.