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.