In a development that is not sending shockwaves through the pro-Israel community, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” advocacy group J Street has declared its support for the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
In a statement posted on the group’s website, executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami says that to “keep moving forward, both [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] now need to give a little.”
Netanyahu, he says, must drop his insistence that Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish State because “it is simply unrealistic and unreasonable to expect any Palestinian leader to consent” to such a demand.
Ben-Ami never goes on to say what Abbas “needs to give.”
J Street’s advocacy for the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state follows a nearly unbroken period of advocacy for Palestinian and Iranian interests since the group’s founding in 2008. J Street took the Hamas position on Israel during Operation Cast Lead later that year, accusing the IDF of war crimes and promoting the discredited Goldstone Report. It lobbied for the Iranian regime’s position against Iran sanctions. It defended the terrorists who attacked IDF soldiers on the 2010 Gaza flotilla. J Street also took the Palestinian and Arab League position on a UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in 2011.
Making no substantive demands on the Arabs, J Street blames Israel alone for the breakdown in negotiations between Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority. Claiming to support Israel’s right to self-defense, J Street since its founding has opposed every measure Israel has taken to defend its citizens. It is against the security barrier that has kept suicide bombers at bay. It opposed military action to stop Hamas’s bombardment of the Negev. It abandoned Israel in the face of the Turkish flotilla frenzy. And it had to be dragged kicking and screaming to embrace even mild congressional sanctions against Iran.
J Street professes to oppose the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. In practice, it has partnered with BDS proponents and shown no scruples about aligning itself with the vociferously anti-Zionist U.S. Council of Churches. Far from repudiating Judge Richard Goldstone’s lawfare campaign to enfeeble Israel’s right to self-defense, J Street staffers actively promoted Goldstone’s appearances in Congress. The organization has even provided cover for the crusade to delegitimize Israel by the UN’s so-called “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.”
In fact, one is hard put to discern any policy differences whatsoever between the stated positions of J Street and the Palestinian Authority or the PLO. Both J Street and the PLO oppose any and all Jewish presence beyond the pre-June 1967 borders; like the PLO, moreover, J Street brazenly prodded the Obama administration not to veto the recent UN Security Council resolution branding as illegal any Jewish presence whatsoever over the Green Line—metropolitan Jerusalem included. Both the PLO and J Street (through its partner, the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement) want to abolish the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund. Both oppose Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
These positions—they are only a representative sample—may help explain why J Street advocates that the U.S. impose a solution in the Middle East. How else, after all, are the demands of the PLO concerning boundaries and the return of all Palestinian refugees to be met? The same positions may also explain why the PLO ambassador in Washington was glad to address J Street’s just-concluded conference while Israel’s ambassador declined.
In this hour long exposé, executive producer, director and writer Avi Goldwasser and his colleagues lined up everything J Street says, who runs it, who funds it, and reveals the organization to be nearly the inverse of what it claims to be. The film is worth it just to see acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas say the exact opposite of what Jeremy Ben-Ami describes him as saying. Or to have another leader of the Fatah Central Committee refute entirely what J Street fellow traveler Naomi Chazan claims the Fatah leadership says. Or any of at least another half dozen blatant misrepresentations made by J Street to sell its version of reality. But the most significant achievement of the film is that it explains what J Street, at its core, is trying to do. As Ben-Ami himself explains in one chilling segment, J Street is about redefining the meaning of pro-Israel. Rather than accepting that the definition of being pro-Israel should be “unquestioning support for the government of Israel,”(can you hear the sneer come through as you read this? It comes through in the movie), here, in Ben-Ami’s own words, is the J Street re-definition of being “pro-Israel”: We define it as the active, urgent action to facilitate the Two State Solution. “Pro-Israel,” in J Street-speak, means pro-Two State Solution. And that’s all it means. To be perfectly blunt: for J Street, “pro-Israel” simply means “Palestine Now.” That 3 seconds of the movie makes it well worth your time to find out where the movie is playing and then going to watch it. And bring with you every parent, grandparent and college and high school student you know. Because they all need to see this film.
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/film-expose-of-j-street-reveals-decaying-core-of-moral-narcissism/2014/02/21/0/
In my opinion, based on the new film, “J Street Challenge”, which was premiered last night in Miami, Jeremy Ben-Ami may be a far more dangerous and morally problematic traitor to his people than were any of the Judenrat leaders during the Shoah. I say this because no one is threatening Ben-Ami with imminent death (each kapo and judenrat leader was death threatened while in captivity). Ben Ami lives in the United States and is a free man.
Yet, in classic Orwellian style, he presents his organization as both “pro-peace” and “pro-Israel” when he is neither. He condemns Israel at every turn and he does so in an era when Israel is under existential siege and a Second Holocaust is fully underway in slow motion. Jews are being blamed for and physically attacked outside of Israel because of Israel’s alleged “apartheid” and “occupation” policies. Israeli civilians are also being attacked—blown up, knifed—inside Israel proper.
-Ben-Ami is up front. He wishes to dismantle organized Jewry entirely and replace all structures with J Street. And J Street wants America to dictate to Israel the terms of surrender. Ben-Ami comforts the cowardly and the assimilated, he supports liberalism as if it were orthodox Judaism; cleverly, he says “we make a mistake when we tell (our) children that they have to check their Jewish values at the door of Zionism”—as if Zionism is not a Jewish value or as if it opposes Jewish values.
The Hillel chapter at Swarthmore College recently rejected the guidelines of Hillel International which state, in part:“Hillel will not partner with, house or host organizations, groups or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice: Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders.”
Based on that controversy, Hillel’s CEO and President Eric Fingerhut has called for a review of how his organization’s national 2010 guidelines will be applied to Hillels on college campuses around the country and talked about welcoming other points of view such as those of the faux pro-Israel organization, J-Street.
In 2010, J Street received tens of thousands of dollars in donations from Arab- and Muslim-Americans, according to the Federal Election Commission filings cited by the Jerusalem Post, as well as money from individuals connected to Palestinian and pro-Iranian advocacy groups.
In the same year, J Street sent out a mass e-mail opposing a bipartisan push in Congress for tougher sanctions on Iran: “On Iran, the President is promoting tough, direct diplomacy to address concerns over their nuclear program, support for Hamas and Hezbollah, and threats against Israel. The President has made clear that the diplomatic road ahead will be tough — but the chances of success won’t be helped by Congress imposing tight time lines or a new round of sanctions at this moment.”
In 2012, J Street hosted the book launch of Peter Beinart who had just published an op-ed in the New York Times calling for a “Zionist BDS” campaign that would seek to economically suffocate all Israeli Jews who live beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Also addressing this conference was Mustafa Barghouti, a leading figure in the BDS (Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment) campaign.
During the most recent congressional campaign cycle, J Street solicited funds for congressional candidates who are openly hostile to Israel or failed repeatedly to support Israel (Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Lois Capps, George Miller, David Price and Peter Welch). And at the same time, they targeted for defeat explicitly pro-Israel lawmakers who don’t agree with its anti-Israel agenda (Charlie Bass, Judy Biggert, Frank Guinta and Joe Walsh).
While I applaud Eric Fingerhut for taking a stand against the Strathmore College Hillel position of working with groups who wish to destroy Israel, his stance on J-Street is horribly naïve. And prospective Hillel donors should understand that stance before they send their checks to Hillel International.
J-Street is not a pro-Israel group with a different perspective; it is an Arab-funded anti-Israel “wolf” in “sheep’s clothing.” For Hillel to tolerate it is an outrage.
At this week’s meeting of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), J Street’s regional director said that in the event that war broke out involving Israel, J Street would not necessarily support the Jewish state.
In an open letter published in the Boston Jewish Advocate, Paul Sassieni, treasurer of the JCRC, states that J Street’s Regional Director, Melanie Harris, “reiterated proudly that J Street would not necessarily support Israel in a conflict, but would weigh the circumstances.”
Sassieni asserts that, “[I]f, heaven forbid, war breaks out, the wise sages of J Street (and supposed military experts) will decide whether or not Israel merits our support. And this is an organization which claims to be “pro-Israel”! With friends like that, who needs enemies?”
“While there is a plurality of views in our community on many issues, there is a broad consensus that if attacked, we put our differences to one side and stand by the people of Israel unambiguously. J Street has put itself beyond that consensus,” the letter reads.
“It’s one thing to question the likelihood of success of military action against Iran - and we certainly hope and pray that sanctions and diplomacy will work - but quite something else to say that if a conflict breaks out, we would not unambiguously stand with Israel.”
“Shame on them, but at least the pro-Israel community understands where they stand. In Israel’s hour of need, J Street cannot be counted on,” concludes the letter.
J Street then refuted the accusation stating that the organization would support Israel in the event that that it would “end up in an ill-advised military conflict with Iran.”
These posts, about J Street conference speakers who advocate anti-Israel boycotts and sanctions, are becoming an annual tradition. Last year the ostensibly pro-Israel group hosted BDS advocates from fringe left-wing Jewish groups, raising questions as to why J Street’s commitment to “expanding the debate” over Israel only seems to involve stretching the spectrum to include the anti-Israel side.
This year J Street is hosting the book launch of Peter Beinart who — will wonders never cease — just published an op-ed in the New York Times calling for a “Zionist BDS” campaign that would seek to economically suffocate all Israeli Jews who live beyond the 1948 armistice lines.
IN COMPARISON to Schiffer’s double whammy, Barnea’s article on Friday was nothing special. But it was a representative sample of Israel’s most esteemed political commentator’s consistent moves to distort current events in a manner that adheres to his radical politics.
Barnea opened his essay with a sympathetic depiction of a delegation of five anti-Israel US Congressmen organized by the anti-Israel lobby J Street. Barnea then attacked Netanyahu and his ministers for refusing to meet with the delegation.
From reading his column, you’d never guess that the members of the delegation were among Israel’s most outspoken opponents on Capitol Hill. And from reading Barnea, you wouldn’t know that J Street is an anti-Israel lobby, which among other things, has urged Obama not to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for allowing Jews to build on their property in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria; lobbied Congress not to pass a resolution condemning Palestinian anti-Jewish incitement following the massacre of the Fogel family; and lobbied Congress not to pass sanctions against Iran.
What you would learn from reading Barnea’s article is that Israelis shouldn’t take heart from the overwhelming support we receive from Congress because the thirty-odd standing ovations Netanyahu received were nothing more than political theater.
The underlying message of Barnea’s piece was clear. Israel’s supporters in Congress are not really supporters, they’re just afraid of angering the all-powerful AIPAC. And obviously, if we have no real friends, then anyone telling us to stand strong is a liar and an enemy and what we really need to do is learn to love J Street and its anti-Israel Congressmen who share Barnea’s agenda.
It doesn’t matter to Schiffer and Barnea that the majority of the public opposes their views. It doesn’t matter that the government’s policies more or less loyally represent the positions of the public that democratically elected it.