J Street and ‘the Jewish collective’

Israel/Palestine
on 13 Comments

On the one hand, J Street has stopped playing their coy game about how Zionist or non-Zionist they are, and now speak openly not merely of "the Jewish people" but even come close to using Commentary’s dark phrase "the Jewish collective". On the other hand, the Israelis are more hysterical about them than ever, and therefore J Street is in no position to formally join said collective.

Not that this is a shocking outcome or even an altogether original observation, but what this adds up to is that Jeremy Ben-Ami is the Alexander Dubcek of "the Jewish collective"–the leader of Prague Spring who was forced out of office by Soviet tanks in ’68–and its "status-quo" leadership in his felicitous phrase is treating him and J Street accordingly. I still think it possible that some of the more disillusioned money men behind J Street like Victor Kovner or perhaps even George Soros might at some point force a change in the organization, but whether it will have any effect on Palestinian freedom is an open question.

About Jack Ross

Other posts by .


Posted In:

13 Responses

  1. potsherd
    February 21, 2010, 12:30 pm

    Think of a rubber band. You can only stretch it so far until it snaps. The Israelis are pulling the rubber band so far to the right that it’s bound to snap when more and more people in the US, Jewish and otherwise, open their eyes to realize, “These people don’t share any values with me.”

    Israel keeps trying to paint over the reality, but they fail to realize that lipstick on a pig just makes the pig look more ugly, more conspicuously wrong.

    • Citizen
      February 21, 2010, 12:44 pm

      Who will survive, the leeches or the host body? The real question for Israel is where is its next host body? the poodle has been done awhile; Uncle Sam is next. China, India? Looks doubtful, neither harboring any manipulated historical guilt, nor even any common European or American genes. The quest for Israel will begin in earnest
      in the aftermath of its attack on Iran, or the USA’s, or both simultaneously.

      • Citizen
        February 21, 2010, 12:45 pm

        Israel can’t look to Russia; the die has already been cast there, and it does not favor Israel.

      • Bruce
        February 21, 2010, 2:06 pm

        Citizen, what does Israel being a leech in your mind have to Jack’s insights on J Streets struggle to be a playa?

        You sound just like Rafael Eytan when he talks about Palestinians.

      • Keith
        February 21, 2010, 7:59 pm

        CITIZEN You raise an important question. What happens to this outpost of Empire when the Empire collapses? No doubt the Zionists, particularly the U.S. Zionist power-seekers, have given this considerable thought, hence, U.S./Israeli actions need to be evaluated within this framework.

        Two thoughts. First, the occupation/control of Iran serves both U.S. and Israel’s objectives insofar as absolute control of all of the middle-east oil reserves would likely forestall Imperial collapse, hence, the Empire would sponsor Israel for a while longer. U.S. failure, however, while catastrophic for the Empire, might, nonetheless, leave Israel in a strong position to control a significant portion of middle-east oil reserves themselves. For Israel, it’s a geo-strategic win/win situation, which is why they appear so hot for it. God knows, living in peace with their Arab neighbors is a low priority for the Israeli elites (and a negative priority for U.S. Zionist elites).

        Second, and possibly more significant, is the extent to which globalization creates a matrix of trade dependent nations linked by the global financial system for their very survival. Need I mention the prominence of Jewish financial power? In my view, the American Empire is morphing into the transnational corporate/financial empire. Power without borders. Israel would become the regional enforcer for the corporations. Something to think about.

      • Avi
        February 22, 2010, 4:24 pm

        Two thoughts. First, the occupation/control of Iran serves both U.S. and Israel’s objectives insofar as absolute control of all of the middle-east oil reserves would likely forestall Imperial collapse, hence, the Empire would sponsor Israel for a while longer.

        I disagree with your characterization. Your argument does not take into account how the US might take control of said oil reserves.

        It is not in America’s interest to control Iran or occupy it. In fact, should the US invade Iran in the same manner it had invaded Iraq, that single act could very well spell the collapse of the American empire.

        And Israel could not sustain controlling any oil reserves beyond the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. There are too many factors and powers at play here for Israel to even dream of doing what you propose. Turkey is emerging as a regional power, both economically and politically.

        One of America’s key allies, Turkey will not allow the US to reshape the Middle East as you describe, not in the current political climate. The US needs Turkey more than it needs Israel right now.

        This does not take into account China’s and Russia’s interests in the region, especially in regard to Iran. Should the US make the mistake of actually invading Iran, Israel would be in no position to control, let alone dictate to anyone in the region what to do.

    • Dan Kelly
      February 21, 2010, 3:12 pm

      The Israelis are pulling the rubber band so far to the right that it’s bound to snap when more and more people in the US, Jewish and otherwise, open their eyes to realize, “These people don’t share any values with me.”

      People in America have their eyes open. They’re open and watching reality TV and sports, and Fox and CNN.

  2. Oscar
    February 21, 2010, 8:04 pm

    In the war of ideas, the concept of a “Jewish collective” is meant to counteract the “not in my name” momentum of Jews of conscience. Monolithic, monotheocratic and a smash-mouth tactic we expect from the likes of Foxman and The Dersh.

  3. RoHa
    February 22, 2010, 6:24 am

    The SHIT list is back up. (And Goldstone is on it)

    link to masada2000.org

    How well are J Street represented there?

    • potsherd
      February 22, 2010, 4:18 pm

      Yonira’s been busy!

      • Chaos4700
        February 22, 2010, 4:20 pm

        I suppose that does explain why the the profanity content of Mondoweiss has gone down in recent days. Yonira has been occupied elsewhere on the internet.

      • RoHa
        February 23, 2010, 7:11 am

        “I suppose that does explain why the the profanity content of Mondoweiss has gone down in recent days”

        And yet, as I have said elsewhere, the list writers can’t bring themselves to write “arsehole” (“asshole” for Americans) but instead use “a-hole”.

        For all their tough attitude, this shows them up as a bunch of feeble tossers.

  4. Avi
    February 22, 2010, 4:12 pm

    I don’t think Israelis, or at least the Israeli government, are panicked because of what J-Street represent or what they stand for.

    I think Israel is scared of the fact that J-Street will turn the debate over Israel’s actions and the relationship between American Jews and Israel or the United States and Israel into a legitimate, mainstream debate.

    If the discourse is no longer taboo, if those who debate such matters openly cannot be silenced by mere accusations of “Anti-Semitic”, then the truth about Israel will be revealed. Israel will have to work exponentially harder to maintain whatever favorable image it currently enjoys in the US.

Leave a Reply