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J Street asks: ‘What if Israel Ceases to be a Democracy?’ (Pssst…it never was)

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Another J Street fundraising pitch lands in my inbox:

Matthew —

“What If Israel Ceases to Be a Democracy?” was the provocative headline of a must-read Monday blog post by the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg imagining the unthinkable in Israel…

His concern? What if Israel’s citizens, in the face of failing peace efforts, the march of settlements, growing anti-democratic trends and religious extremism, choose its Jewish character over its democratic values?

But Israel is not now, and never has been, anything other than a pretend democracy. Apparently J Street is worried that the pretense will come to an end (and for some reason wants me to give them money, to help stave off the impending public relations disaster). But it’s too late: Haaretz reports that only 17% of the Israeli public prioritizes “democracy” over “Jewish state.”

Oh, and J Street opposes free speech calls to cut off Israel’s taxpayer-funded supplies of U.S. guns:

J Street Seattle calls on the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign to reconsider its advertising campaign that will run later this month. The ads accuse Israel of utilizing U.S. aid to commit war crimes. This only serves to inflame tensions and promote division and confusion, rather than to point the way towards a productive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But it’s true! Israel does use U.S. aid to commit war crimes!

These guys are like the annoying family member who says, “Oh, yeah, we really should get Uncle Larry into rehab, he’s drinking too much,” and then hands Uncle Larry a blank check to go get drunk at the bar. Instead of insisting on rehab! And then blocks the rest of the family’s efforts to cut off Joe’s supplies!

Dear Jeremy Ben-Ami: The day you start saying we should end Israel’s supply of land confiscation-enabling armaments is the day you have my support. Until then, your emails go to “spam.”

Matthew Taylor

Matthew A. Taylor is co-founder of PeacePower magazine, and author of "The Road to Nonviolent Coexistence in Palestine/Israel," a chapter in the book Nonviolent Coexistence.

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