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Rep. Baird: ‘J Street’ threatened to end support for Rep. Edwards over meeting with ‘New Policy’ group

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Wow. The fat is in the fire; and the litmus tests of the American Jewish community are being publicly scrutinized.

Here is a video on C-Span of Congressman Brian Baird yesterday, criticizing J Street for reportedly assailing Congresswoman Donna Edwards’s decision to meet with New Policy PAC. Start listening about 3:30. He was speaking at a conference at the Capitol Auditorium hosted by the New America Foundation and the University of Chicago. The conference is called “Cutting the Fuse: Beyond the War on Terror”.

Steve Clemons of New America Foundation introduces Baird, the great congressman from Washington State. And Baird says:

“A funny thing happened on my way here, it really did. I bumped into my dear friend Donna Edwards, from Maryland, a fantastic member of Congress… Donna and I… traveled to Gaza along with New America… Donna shared with me the following story… She’s been asked to speak to a group that has a policy that supports the two-state solution but that has also said, if two states don’t work out, maybe we look at the viability of the one state solution. She then gets a flurry of emails saying, No you can’t talk to those people. If you talk to those people, then we may not be able to support you any more. She then says, Wait a second, the other group in town, AIPAC, does that; what is J Street doing saying I can’t talk to people.

I may be talking out of school here. This was a conversation in front of Starbuck’s. Literally ten minutes ago. But it is indicative of the kind of problem we face. It’s a town that imposes Groupthink with a ferocity that Irving Janis could not have imagined… It imposes it through financial contributions… a host of ways that limit how we think. And I want to challenge that a little bit today.


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