Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

J Street – The Masquerade Laid Bare

It’s been reported that plans are afoot to set up a British organisation comparable to J Street, involving such leftwing Jews as Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland (and presumably, though this is just speculation, with assistance from the New Israel Fund). I look on such a development with a jaundiced gaze; there are enough Israel-demonising groups in Britain today without adding to their number with a (yet another leftist) Jewish communal initiative. J Street’s plausible dishonesty has duped many well-meaning people into assuming that it has Israel’s welfare uppermost in its heart, and can achieve that aim more readily than AIPAC.

It’s hard to dispute Alan Dershowitz’s contention, made last March during its conference in Washington when he buttonholed one of its officials giving a press interview, that J Street has sown discord within the American Jewish community; it is a divisive force and damaging to Israel. "I reject J Street because it spends more time criticizing Israel than supporting it," Dershowitz declared. "They shouldn't call themselves pro-Israel.” He added that although he too opposes settlements, he makes “the 80 percent case for Israel”. The fact that J Street invited former U.S. Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski – no great fan of Israel – to its March conference was an indication, he maintained, that J Street is “not pro-Israel". J Street has supported the odious slur on Israel that comprises the Goldstone Report, which prompted Colette Avital MK to quit as J Street’s conduit in Israel.

The revelation this week that – despite the earlier denials of J Street’s director Jeremy Ben-Ami (who now admits to making “misleading” statements), the far-left billionaire George Soros is one of J Street’s major donors (the other being mysterious Hong Kong-based “Consolacion Esdicul”) has really damaged J Street’s credibility. Soros has boasted that he is not a professing Jew; he has given to Arab groups but never to Israel; and he has advocated a Palestinian Authority ruled jointly by Fatah and Hamas. A Republican legislator from Virginia, Eric Cantor, is quoted as saying that J Street’s financial sources prove that the organisation is “not reflecting the mainstream position of the pro-Israel community in America” and that it does not “benefit the U.S.-Israel relationship”.

Hear, hear! Although J Street is unlikely to be reduced to rubble through these revelations, it is likely to become a no-go zone for all but the stalwarts who already tread its path.

Nobody has blogged about this grubby state of affairs surrounding J Street's funding more trenchantly than Isi Leibler, who in an absolute corker of a piece entitled “J-Street Unmasked” says, inter alia:
‘Soros and J-Street make a perfect match. Soros has proudly proclaimed "I am not a Zionist, nor am I a practising Jew." He believes that Israel is largely responsible for anti-Semitism.... Only last month ago, he contributed a record $100 million towards Human Rights Watch, the purportedly human rights watchdog, which no longer bothers to disguise its blatant bias and hostility towards Israel.
For its part, J-Street condemned Israel for its Gaza offensive against Hamas, describing it as "a disproportionate response." It refused to identify "who was right and who was wrong" proclaiming that "we recognize that neither Israelis nor Palestinians have a monopoly of right and wrong." It not only refused to condemn the Goldstone Report, but facilitated meetings between members of Congress and Judge Goldstone. It even resurrected the anti-Semitic charge of dual loyalties, warning Jews that by "one sided support of Israel," they "risked alienating the American public and would be condemned for displaying greater loyalties towards Israel than the US." It repeatedly slandered AIPAC depicting it as an extremist right-wing body ignoring the fact that it had backed the policies of all Israeli governments, including dovish administrations preceding Netanyahu.
To top it off, J-Street was also exposed for having received donations and support from Arab and pro-Arab individuals and organizations.The donors include Genevieve Lynch a former participant of the US Iranian National Council who also serves on the J-Street finance committee; Judith Barnett a former registered agent for Saudi Arabia who also serves on the J-Street Advisory Council; and Nancy Dutton a former attorney for the Saudi Arabian embassy who donates to J-Street's political action committee which finances anti-Israeli congressional candidates.’
Read all of Leibler’s marvellous exposé here: http://wordfromjerusalem.com/?p=2450

4 comments:

  1. This from Jerusalem Post today - David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, said on Friday that J Street’s contact with Goldstone, coupled with last week's revelation that it received funds from billionaire George Soros, an outspoken critic of Israeli policies on a number of occasions, undermined its stated mission of supporting the Jewish state.“J Street has every right, of course, to express its viewpoint and lobby in Washington,” Harris wrote in an email. “But it arrogates to itself the right, from thousands of miles away, to determine what’s best for democratic Israel.“In doing so, it espouses positions – e.g., ambiguity on the toxic Goldstone Report or prolonged hesitation to support legislative sanctions against a nuclear-aspiring Iran which seeks a world without Israel – that can only make one wonder what exactly it means, beyond the glib tag line, to be ‘pro- Israel.’” Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, an influential commentator on Israeli and Jewish affairs for The Atlantic, was even more critical of J Street in his blog.“Ben-Ami, its president, might have felt the need to cover up the involvement of George Soros, because liberal supporters of Israel know that Soros is unfriendly to the Jewish state, and some, presumably, would not want to be part of a group that counted Soros as a prominent supporter,” he wrote. “But on another level, what is going on here is inexplicable, and terribly dispiriting to people who thought that J Street was going to make a useful contribution to the debate over the future of Israel.”

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  2. Not on this topic, but I don't know how else to contact you - some positive news:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/8038848/Methodist-preacher-to-sue-his-own-church-over-claim-of-anti-Israel-bias.html

    http://www.methodistpreacher.blogspot.com/

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  3. I certainly hope that all this takes the wind out of J Street's sails!

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  4. Thank you, Ian - I will take a look!

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