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‘Commentary’ accuses ‘J Street’ of trying to ‘insinuate’ itself between American Jews and foreign policymaking

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There's a long piece on J Street by Noah Pollak in the forthcoming Commentary. I just read it. It's a smart piece. Its essence is the claim that Jews are on the neocons' side, and just look at Gaza. Barney Frank is a hawk. The Congress stuck with the lobby (though Pollack doesn't call it the lobby). All true, and valid. But Commentary is deeply worried, and knows that J Street is important culturally/historically and the lobby is in for a fight for the soul of the Jewish community, and the fight includes leftleaning bloggers like Richard Silverstein and Bernard Avishai. The simple test of the piece is Pollak's claim that J Street will vanish because its ideas about Israel and Palestine and "the obligations of American power are driven by ideological fantasy." I doubt most Americans agree with this. We have seen what Commentary thinks are the obligations of American power, and it's permanent war.

Still, Commentary knows that the earth is moving. Pollak concedes that a clash between Israel and the Obama administration is "inevitable."

[T]he president’s popularity and the fatigue that decades of having to
stand up for Israel’s right of self-defense has engendered among
American Jews may give new life to a group that can brand itself as
being more “pro-peace” than those that see their primary obligation as
backing the judgments of the Jewish state’s democratically elected
government. It is only under these circumstances that we will see
whether J Street’s hope to gain ground as the “anti-AIPAC” will prove
as quixotic as it appeared to be during the Gaza fighting.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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