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J Street sells its soul, completes evolution to AIPAC lite

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It was inevitable. Constantly under pressure from the Jewish center-right (Reform rabbis, for instance), J Street has thrown in the towel. Read its document of surrender. 

In response to the letter from Christian denominations urging that aid to Israel be compliant with U.S. law, J Street has joined Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation league and the half-million a year hacks that run the other Jewish organizations to blast the Christians. (See Foxman letter).

J Street agrees with them that aid to Israel is an entitlement. It must never be questioned unless you also add ” criticism of Israel’s behavior with appropriate criticism of, for instance, rocket fire from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas.” You must also  ”put the present situation into a historical or political context that might provide a fuller appreciation for the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over many decades. “

Blah, blah, AIPAC, blah. The church letter is about the $2.5 billion aid package to Israel. As far as I know, the U.S. does  not provide the rockets fired from Gaza. As for putting the current situation in a context that “ might provide a fuller appreciation for the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over many decades,” I say tell that to the people of Gaza, including the 1400 civilians (300 kids) who heard all about that context in 2009-2010.

I have no doubt that the people who run J Street fought the rabbis and donors to avoid having to put out this statement. They always fight. They always give in. (I hear that Rabbi David Saperstein of the Reform movement threatens to pull “my rabbis” out if J Street strays too far from AIPAC. He’s the lobby’s enforcer)

So I feel sorry for J Street. But I do not see any reason to support it. It is, at the end of the day — in fact, long before the end of the day — just another Jewish organization that lacks the courage of its supposed convictions.

If Israel attacks Iran, I am sure Saperstein will demand that J Street will go along with that too. It will only stand tall when it has permission.

J Street: Epic Fail.

M.J. Rosenberg

M.J. Rosenberg served as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network, and prior to that worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. You can follow his work at mjayrosenberg.com.

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115 Responses

  1. chinese box on October 14, 2012, 9:47 am

    No reason to feel sad for J Street. Their main prescription–another multi-year trip down the road to nowhere, BKA Oslo peace process–would have been disastrous for the Palestinians.

  2. Les on October 14, 2012, 10:01 am

    “Liberal Zionist” remains an oxymoron. How long will it be before “Reform Judaism” becomes an oxymoron?

    • seanmcbride on October 14, 2012, 11:59 am

      Les,

      “Liberal Zionist” remains an oxymoron. How long will it be before “Reform Judaism” becomes an oxymoron?

      Hasn’t “Reform Judaism” already fully morphed into straightforward religious Zionism?

      The Enlightenment tradition in the modern Jewish religious tradition has been dissolving before our eyes for several decades now — it has been fully hijacked by Zionism and messianic Jewish ethnic nationalism.

      When is the last time the Reform Jewish establishment vigorously challenged the Likud-controlled Israeli government or AIPAC and the Israel lobby?

      Most Reform Jewish leaders appear to be “liberal Zionists,” with all that phrase connotes in the way of bizarre ideological self-contradictions.

      • Dr.Bill on October 15, 2012, 5:26 am

        This past week a study came out showing the increase in the numbers of people in the US who classify themselves as the “nones” when it comes to religious affiliation. The highest percentage of those listing themselves as “none” comes from those of Jewish backgrounds who no longer affiliate with any synagogue or Jewish denomination. Much handwringing was done by all clergy when this report was made.

        As with the Christian clergy, the Jewish clergy seemed to have missed the point that there are simply less believers in a diety these days, and that lack of belief increases the higher the level of ones education. Aside from that, the elephant in the room as far as Jewish affliation in religious institutions goes, that they simply won’t address (out of ignorance or fear) is the continuing uncritical support for the State of Israel from these institutions and their pulpits.

        The reform movement, to which we once belonged, lost its independence beginning in 1967 and has been completely co-opted by the Zionists since then. One need only to read their official platforms and their devolution into this zionist servitude over time. My contention is that so long as they maintain this position they will continue to lose membership among the ranks of the younger generation.

      • marc b. on October 15, 2012, 9:34 am

        dr.B, i believe that religion still has a role to play in people’s lives, however the churchs (catholic in my case) don’t realize apparently that without moral authority, they are less than nothing. my final break came after the child abuse scandal, the absolute moral inverse of the brave work done by liberation theologists in c. and s. america.

      • Mooser on October 15, 2012, 1:06 pm

        less believers in a diety these days

        You’re right, Dr.Bill, seems like everybody thinks they can just take a pill to achieve weight reduction.

      • hophmi on October 15, 2012, 12:06 pm

        “Hasn’t “Reform Judaism” already fully morphed into straightforward religious Zionism?”

        Um, no. Not even remotely. Do you understand what religious Zionism is?

        “When is the last time the Reform Jewish establishment vigorously challenged the Likud-controlled Israeli government or AIPAC and the Israel lobby?”

        So, your definition of religious Zionism is anyone who does not “vigorously challenge” the people you say it should?

      • seanmcbride on October 15, 2012, 12:44 pm

        hophmi,
        You didn’t respond to my last comment to you:

        I think many Americans practice a measure of ethnic and religio-nationalism in their politics.

        Really. Then it should be easy for you to name some non-Jewish ethnic nationalists in American public life who are aggressive proponents of German nationalism, French nationalism, Italian nationalism, Irish nationalism, white Christian nationalism, etc. Who are they?

        I can quickly come up with the names of a few hundred prominent Jewish nationalists and pro-Israel activists in American public life — people like Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Goldberg, Douglas Feith, Charles Krauthammer, Abraham Foxman, Daniel Pipes, etc. Who are their equivalents for other ethnic groups?

        David Duke comes to mind. Louis Farrakhan. Who else?

      • seanmcbride on October 15, 2012, 12:59 pm

        hophmi,

        Do you understand what religious Zionism is?

        I probably know as much about religious Zionism as anyone on the planet. Would you care to compare bibliographies on the subject?

        Reform Judaism stopped drawing any clear lines between Judaism and Zionism quite some time ago. It is now fully an arm of the Israel lobby. Its brand of Judaism has completely merged with Zionism and Jewish ethnic nationalism. Reform Judaism is now one of many forms of religious Zionism, none of which are facing a promising future.

        But these distinctions are losing their importance. Either you are a Zionist or not. If you are a Zionist, you own all the apartheid policies of the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and Jewish settlers in the occupied territories. Zionists have ruined their own brand, which is now associated in the minds of most people around the world (especially those who read the Israeli press with close attention) with:

        1. agitation for an Iran War
        2. AIPAC
        3. Alan Dershowitz
        4. anti-Arab racism
        5. anti-black racism
        6. anti-Christian bigotry
        7. anti-European racism
        8. anti-white racism
        9. assassinations
        10. Benjamin Netanyahu
        11. Christian Zionists
        12. Dan Senor
        13. Eric Cantor
        14. Glenn Beck
        15. Haim Saban
        16. house demolitions
        17. Iraq War
        18. Islamophobia
        19. Jewish settlers
        20. Joe Lieberman
        21. John Hagee
        22. Likud
        23. neoconservatives
        24. olive tree arson
        25. olive trip uprootings
        26. Pamela Geller
        27. price tag attacks
        28. religious extremism
        29. shady billionaires
        30. Sheldon Adelson
        31. spitting on Christians
        32. spitting on women
        33. state terrorism
        34. torture

        etc., etc.

        In other words, a sinking ship. No doubt you will be one of the last people to jump ship — you’re a cult true believer. It has never occurred to you to question your cultural programming.

      • hophmi on October 15, 2012, 1:05 pm

        “Really. Then it should be easy for you to name some non-Jewish ethnic nationalists in American public life who are aggressive proponents of German nationalism, French nationalism, Italian nationalism, Irish nationalism, white Christian nationalism, etc. Who are they?”

        I didn’t respond because I don’t think it’s a good argument. There were certainly plenty of Irish nationalists (Congressman Peter King, for example) when the issue of Northern Ireland was a hot-button issue. As long as Israel is a hot-button issue, people are going to publicly advocate for it. If France were under attack militarily or diplomatically as a country, you would see the ex-pat French community in the United States advocating for France.

      • annie on October 15, 2012, 1:17 pm

        If France were under attack militarily or diplomatically as a country, you would see the ex-pat French community in the United States advocating for France.

        well, they were..in algeria. so perhaps there’s some evidence of your theory you can link to.

      • hophmi on October 15, 2012, 1:24 pm

        “well, they were..in algeria. so perhaps there’s some evidence of your theory you can link to.”

        I don’t think it’s really a theory. But the idea Sean is promoting is that Jews in this country who care about Israel care about little else. That’s simply not true, and public polling, which finds that around 5% of Jews place Israel first on their list of issues, and about the same percentage second and third, bears this out.

        Sean, again, seems to think that by publishing lists of high-profile Jews who are pro-Israel, he is proving something. He is not. And as usual, he’s using red herring to advance a non-argument. Pro-Israel Jews, in Sean’s world, are the equivalent of white-identity bigots like David Duke. It’s not clear why.

        But if Sean is looking for manifestations of white nationalist politics in the United States, he really need look no further than the anti-immigrant movement and the voter-fraud zealots which comprise most of the Republican party today. Both of these movements are about reducing the influence of people of color in America, one through keeping them out and the other through disenfrancising them.

      • seanmcbride on October 15, 2012, 1:40 pm

        hophmi,

        You can’t name any non-Jewish ethnic nationalists who are prominent in American politics, in the mainstream media, on the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post, etc., because there are none. The vast majority of Americans have rejected ethnic nationalism as an organizing principle in their politics. They are witting and willing members of a modern Western democratic polity. They are Americanists and universalists.

        On the other hand, we are awash and overwhelmed with Jewish nationalists and Zionists in American politics, like yourself. They stick out like a sore thumb. They are obsessed with the interests of a foreign government. They are radically out of step with the values, agenda and interests of most Americans. They spend much of their time *attacking* their fellow Americans on behalf of a foreign government, just as you attack and abuse so many members of this forum.

        And that is your whole problem, hophmi: you are a member of that group. The more you lobby for your narrow ethnic nationalist cause, the more you turn the world against it. You lack any understanding of basic human nature in these matters.

        Deprogram yourself, dude, if you can.

      • Taxi on October 15, 2012, 1:50 pm

        Sean,
        Nice long list of uglies you got yourself there old pal.

      • seanmcbride on October 15, 2012, 1:55 pm

        hophmi,

        I don’t think it’s really a theory. But the idea Sean is promoting is that Jews in this country who care about Israel care about little else. That’s simply not true, and public polling, which finds that around 5% of Jews place Israel first on their list of issues, and about the same percentage second and third, bears this out.

        Your reading skills (and thinking and writing skills) are at the level of a mediocre high school student — I mean that literally. How did you ever manage to find your way to Mondoweiss or to make the assumption that your comments belong here?

        That doesn’t come close to summarizing my clearly expressed views. Summarize my real views and perhaps we can discuss this.

        But if Sean is looking for manifestations of white nationalist politics in the United States, he really need look no further than the anti-immigrant movement and the voter-fraud zealots which comprise most of the Republican party today. Both of these movements are about reducing the influence of people of color in America, one through keeping them out and the other through disenfrancising them.

        Once again a Zionist ludicrously hoists himself on his own petard. Yes, these American nativists (white nationalists) bear a close resemblance to Zionists (Jewish nationalists), but their behavior has not come close to reaching the criminality of Zionists.

        So, yeah, you are beginning to grasp the truth here: Jewish nationalists are precisely the same as white nationalists in their cultural/political orientation. But Jewish nationalists are guilty of much more serious human rights violations than white nationalists in contemporary politics. Benjamin Netanyahu is a much more dangerous extremist in the realm of ethnic nationalism than David Duke. David Duke’s rhetoric is relatively mild compared to that of Pamela Geller, Ovadia Yosef, Danny Danon or Avigdor Lieberman.

      • seanmcbride on October 15, 2012, 2:00 pm

        hophmi,

        Who are the Irish, German, English or French equivalents of Charles Krauthammer at the Washington Post in terms of expressing obsessive ethnic nationalism and a passionate attachment to a foreign nation?

        Name even one.

      • hophmi on October 15, 2012, 2:01 pm

        “I probably know as much about religious Zionism as anyone on the planet.”

        Apparently not, if you think that the Reform movement practices religious Zionism. You know Sean, usually, when people make unequivocal statements like this, it’s a sign that they are completely full of sh*t.

        “Reform Judaism stopped drawing any clear lines between Judaism and Zionism quite some time ago. ”

        No. Religious Zionism requires adherents to be religiously observant. It is not simply a matter of expressing a political opinion one way or the other. It is an amalgamation of orthodox religious thought and Zionist thought, not simply support for Zionism. There are religious Zionists across the political spectrum in Israel and they have in common the fact that they are practitioners of orthodox Judaism.

        “Its brand of Judaism has completely merged with Zionism and Jewish ethnic nationalism. Reform Judaism is now one of many forms of religious Zionism, ”

        Again, simply completely incorrect. If this were a college class, you would get an F for a statement like that. You really seem to know very little about this subject past your own political biases.

        “If you are a Zionist, you own all the apartheid policies of the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and Jewish settlers in the occupied territories. ”

        Sean, really, you’re entitled to say whatever nonsense you want, but again, this is just BS. It’s like saying anyone who is an American owns the Iraq War or that anyone who is Swedish owns discrimination against Jews in Malmo, or that anyone who is critical of Zionism owns the antisemitism in the pro-Palestinian community. It’s a way of finding people guilty by association rather than evaluating them as individual human beings.

      • hophmi on October 15, 2012, 2:08 pm

        “Your reading skills (and thinking and writing skills) are at the level of a mediocre high school student — I mean that literally.”

        And, true to form, when challenged, use ad hominem to criticize the other person’s intellect. This is getting tiresome, Sean.

        “Once again a Zionist ludicrously hoists himself on his own petard. Yes, these American nativists (white nationalists) bear a close resemblance to Zionists (Jewish nationalists), but their behavior has not come close to reaching the criminality of Zionists.”

        Once again, Sean, you asked for examples; I gave them to you. True to form, you exercised your obvious bad faith by saying I was hoisting myself on my own petard. I’m not accepting your formulation of things. But again, you’re just wrong on the facts and wrong on the argument.

        “So, yeah, you are beginning to grasp the truth here: Jewish nationalists are precisely the same as white nationalists in their cultural/political orientation. ”

        No, they’re not the same. Jews in Israel are actually threatened, militarily and rhetorically, by their neighbors. There have been endless attacks on Israeli civilians, and endless rhetoric around the Muslim world pillorizing Jews and Israel. The anti-immigrant crowd in the US is not threatened in any meaningful way by immigrants from Latin America and the voter fraud crowd is based around a complete mistruth.

      • hophmi on October 15, 2012, 2:17 pm

        “You can’t name any non-Jewish ethnic nationalists who are prominent in American politics, in the mainstream media, on the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post, etc., because there are none. ”

        I named you an Irish nationalist who is a powerful member of Congress, and I decimated the premise of your argument, which is that it is somehow unusual for people to advocate on an issue of controversy. In addition, I showed that even by your ridiculous standards, the newspapers are in fact filled with conservative writers who hold essentially white nationalist views.

        “The vast majority of Americans have rejected ethnic nationalism as an organizing principle in their politics. ”

        WHO CARES? No one has asserted that every country must be the same as America. You keep missing that point. America is unique; we all recognize that. It is not the norm. Israel has no responsibility to be “like America.” As I’ve pointed out time and again, many small countries are organized as ethnic states, including most Arab Muslim countries, most countries in the former Soviet Union, and most European countries as well.

        “On the other hand, we are awash and overwhelmed with Jewish nationalists and Zionists in American politics, like yourself. ”

        YOU are overwhelmed. YOU. Not most. Most American SUPPORT the state of Israel and its existence as a Jewish state.

        “They stick out like a sore thumb.”

        YOU stick out like a sore thumb. Not them. YOU. It is your view that is in the tiny minority.

        “They are obsessed with the interests of a foreign government.”

        YOU are obsessed with Israel. Not most Americans. Not even most Jews, who, when asked where they rank Israel as an issue of importance when deciding how to vote, do not even rank it in the top three.

        “They spend much of their time *attacking* their fellow Americans on behalf of a foreign government, just as you attack and abuse so many members of this forum.”

        They do not. YOU spend most of your time railing against Jewry in the United States.

        “You lack any understanding of basic human nature in these matters.”

        When you can claim even a 25% share of support for your anti-Zionist vision in this country, then you can make alternate reality statements like this. Until then, you’re really not much more than a crackpot.

      • Mooser on October 15, 2012, 2:21 pm

        “well, they were..in algeria. so perhaps there’s some evidence of your theory you can link to.”

        That was wicked, Annie, wicked! Good work.

      • Cliff on October 15, 2012, 2:27 pm

        Zionist Jews in our government who care about being Zionist Jews need not care about anything else.

        That they do or do not is IRRELEVANT. The point is that they are thoroughly ZIONIST and Zionism is a colonial ideology. The Jewish State requires lies, PR, tons or money, brute force and the coalescing of American and Israeli values, interests and hatreds to survive. Insofar as it is a colonial ideology – Zionism is bad enough on its own. When factoring in the other shit that drags us (further) down along with it – it’s imperative that every Amercan patriot (to me this means standing up for the values we hope to inspire and live up to) fight against it.

        Agent provacateurs of the fanatical ethno-religious nationalistic persuasion like hoppy are constantly trying to do damage control because Zionism is pure bullshit.

        Sean’s point is missing the point and hoppy jumps at the chance to focus on it because its a quibble he can easily slippery-slope into the antisemitism diversion/canard.

        Who cares if Dershowtiz gets rapists and murderers off in his free time? He is a Zionist first and foremost. No one needs to pay attention to his hobbies.

      • American on October 15, 2012, 2:54 pm

        “But the idea Sean is promoting is that Jews in this country who care about Israel care about little else. That’s simply not true, and public polling, which finds that around 5% of Jews place Israel first on their list of issues, and about the same percentage second and third, bears this out. “..hoppie

        And as usual you’re not being very through or analytical hoppie.
        I posted a poll survey done on voting among religious groups on here some time ago which included Jewish voting issues.
        In the Jewish polling it did show that only 5% ‘base’ their ‘entire vote’ on Israel policy. But in the same polling on the question of Jewish voting regarding Iran issue it showed 80% of US Jews would be in favor of the US attacking Iran for Israel.
        It’s not a simple matter of Jews voting for either liberal or conservative values or platforms strictly because of Israel.
        The contradiction in that polling to me shows that most Jews ‘assume’ after 65 years that no matter which party they vote for on what other issues they care about –that the US, regardless of which party is elected, will continue to support Israel.

        So frankly because of the assumption among Jews that US support is ‘bipartisan’ and will never end there is no way to accurately say how they would vote if a party or candidate offered all the programs they wanted except support for Israel.

        If for instance the Dem party were to not include support for Israel or opposes it in their position and Jews switched their usual liberal votes because of that…..then you would know how important Israel is to them…but until they are confronted with that choice there is no way to guage with accuracy how important Israel is to them as a voting issue.

      • Chu on October 15, 2012, 3:22 pm

        “And that is your whole problem, hophmi: you are a member of that group. The more you lobby for your narrow ethnic nationalist cause, the more you turn the world against it. You lack any understanding of basic human nature in these matters.”

        I don’t think he wants to be part of the greater idea of human nature. He is special and he’s always been told that he is among a minority that are incompatible with the world. And events throughout history have provided him with enough proof for him to believe so. Deprogramming is not a successful option for the hardcore. It would be like getting a fundamentalist Christian believe that abortion is a choice of the woman.

      • Chu on October 15, 2012, 3:46 pm

        greater world (not greater idea of human nature)

      • seanmcbride on October 15, 2012, 8:16 pm

        hophmi wrote:

        Do you understand what religious Zionism is?

        You are a religious Zionist if:

        1. You mix up ancient biblical Israel and ancient biblical mystical Jewish peoplehood with contemporary Israel and contemporary mystical Jewish peoplehood.

        2. You use Judaism or Jewish religious myths, symbols, legends and beliefs to rationalize and justify the ideology of Zionism and the behavior of the Israeli government.

        3. You fly the Israeli flag in your place of worship.

        Reform Judaism is as much mired down in religious Zionism and Jewish ethnic nationalism as Orthodox Judaism and Christian Zionism. One now wonders if Reform Judaism ever truly understood the Enlightenment — doubtful. The most interesting Jewish minds seemed to have escaped the orbit of ethnocentric religiosity and religious ethnocentrism altogether (like Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt).

      • RoHa on October 15, 2012, 9:08 pm

        “you would see the ex-pat French community in the United States advocating for France.”

        The ex-pat French community in the United States consists of French citizens resident in the U.S.
        Sean is talking about US citizens born and brought up as US citizens in the USA .

      • seanmcbride on October 16, 2012, 9:37 am

        hophmi,

        I named you an Irish nationalist who is a powerful member of Congress….

        You have managed to come up with the name of only a single non-Jewish ethnic nationalist in American politics who supposedly provides some balance to the *hundreds* of prominent Jewish nationalists we all know so well: William Kristol, Joe Lieberman, Alan Dershowitz, Eric Cantor, Charles Krauthammer, Haim Saban, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mort Zuckerman, Elliott Abrams, Jennifer Rubin, Jeffrey Goldberg, etc.

        So Peter King is the only name that comes to mind? In what way has King been lobbying for Irish nationalism and Ireland? What are his views on Irish nationalism? What is the Irish equivalent to AIPAC in American politics? Does one see Irish-Americans getting into ugly arguments with non-Irish Americans over Ireland and Irish politics on a regular basis? Are the op-ed pages of the New York Times and Washington Post flooded with Irish nationalist articles? I have never seen a single one.

        When is the last time that Irish Americans harangued their fellow Americans to spend trillions of dollars on wars on behalf of Ireland? Is Ireland trying to oppress any people or steal their land?

        So far you haven’t come to terms with the issue here: Jewish Zionists are far out of touch with the values and agenda of the vast majority of Americans. Nothing could be more un-American than ethnic and religious nationalism organized around the interests of a foreign government. Americanism is all about *overcoming* ethnic and religious nationalism and ancient tribal conflicts in foreign lands, not wallowing in them. Americanism is not about what ethnic or religious group you belong to but what you can do as an individual.

        The closest analogue to Jewish nationalists like Eric Cantor, Jennifer Rubin and other leading members of the Israel lobby are white nationalists like David Duke and black nationalists like Louis Farrakhan. And this is why “liberal Zionism” is an absurd self-contradiction.

      • seanmcbride on October 16, 2012, 10:54 am

        hophmi,

        I can’t recall a single incident in which I’ve witnessed an Irish American attack a non-Irish American over Irish nationalist issues or Irish politics.

        In other other words, I can’t think of a single Irish American who resembles *YOU* — or thousands of other people like you.

        Nor can I ever recall an Irish American claiming to speak for “the Irish people” — all of them, the entire ethnic group. All the Irish Americans I know would find that notion to be laughable.

        From which one must conclude that your cultural conditioning and programming were very different from that experienced by Irish Americans, by nearly all American ethnic groups and certainly by most Americans. I suspect the critical factor in play is that most American ethnic groups do not mix up their ethnicity and ethnic identity with a messianic religious mandate or mission grounded in a conviction of mystical peoplehood and nationalism. And most of them encourage assimilation and individualism — which is the American way (and the Enlightenment and modern Western democratic way).

        You really don’t get American culture. You would probably be much happier living full-time in Israel, don’t you think? Ethic and religious nationalism — Zionism — is the norm in Israel. If that’s your thing, do it. But leave Americans out of it.

      • hophmi on October 16, 2012, 11:07 am

        “You have managed to come up with the name of only a single non-Jewish ethnic nationalist . . . ”

        No, Sean. Once again, you’re too hung up with making lists and you’re missing the general point. If Israel were not a controversial issue around the world, there would be no need for people to be active on the issue. There are certainly many other people in the United States like Peter King.

        “Are the op-ed pages of the New York Times and Washington Post flooded with Irish nationalist articles? I have never seen a single one.”

        Really?

        Go back to the 1980s and 1990s, and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of articles on the issue.

        “When is the last time that Irish Americans harangued their fellow Americans to spend trillions of dollars on wars on behalf of Ireland?

        Most of the IRA’s money came from the United States.

        http://books.google.com/books?id=MhiwYwlKhG8C&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=irish+republican+army+funding&source=bl&ots=i1bhQW-D2n&sig=5xfSxwfJZ3A5eF6OfdFwbb0ENTU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gXV9UNmAFsuy0AHKrICYBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=irish%20republican%20army%20funding&f=false

        “So far you haven’t come to terms with the issue here: Jewish Zionists are far out of touch with the values and agenda of the vast majority of Americans. ”

        So far, you haven’t admitted what poll after poll has shown – most Americans support Israel as a Jewish state. You also haven’t come to grips with what even a cursory look at the world will tell you – most countries, including the democratic ones, are not melting pot countries like America.

        “Nothing could be more un-American than ethnic and religious nationalism organized around the interests of a foreign government. ”

        Nothing could be more un-American than a bigot accusing anyone who advocates for a strong US relationship with another country of dual loyalty.

        “Americanism is all about *overcoming* ethnic and religious nationalism and ancient tribal conflicts in foreign lands, not wallowing in them. ”

        That’s great for America. It is not the norm anywhere else. Israel has no obligation to mimic everything America does, just as France, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Slovenia don’t either.

        “Americanism is not about what ethnic or religious group you belong to but what you can do as an individual.”

        That’s great for America.

        “*hundreds* of prominent Jewish nationalists we all know so well: William Kristol, Joe Lieberman, Alan Dershowitz, Eric Cantor, Charles Krauthammer, Haim Saban, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mort Zuckerman, Elliott Abrams, Jennifer Rubin, Jeffrey Goldberg, etc.”

        And again, these people are not all focused around Israel. They deal with many, many issues, of which Israel is one.

        People take positions on controversial issues in this society. When Israel ceases to be a front-page issue, there will cease to be prominent personalities taking stands on it.

      • seanmcbride on October 16, 2012, 11:54 am

        hophmi,

        There are certainly many other people in the United States like Peter King.

        So name them. And point us to any Irish nationalist pundits in the mainstream media. I don’t know of any.

        I have never in my life found myself in a conversation with an Irish nationalist — the subject has never come up. Irish nationalism ranks very low with regard to American policy issues — it’s barely on the radar.

        Every Irish American I know is forward-looking and focused on the American interest. They left the ghetto a long time ago.

      • seanmcbride on October 16, 2012, 11:54 am

        hophmi,

        Are you emotionally engaged by Peter King’s Irish nationalism? Have you contributed one penny to his narrow ethnic nationalist cause? Do you think the American government should have contributed billions of dollars to the IRA (Irish Republican Army)? Has any Irish American promoted an IRA agenda in the American mainstream media?

        No doubt you catch the drift of my questions here….

        Irish nationalism plays a minuscule role in American politics. There is no Irish AIPAC. Ditto for most other ethnic groups in American culture and politics. Most Americans consider strident ethnocentrism to be unappetizing and shameful — a sign of ignorance and backwardness.

      • hophmi on October 16, 2012, 12:07 pm

        “I can’t recall a single incident in which I’ve witnessed an Irish American attack a non-Irish American over Irish nationalist issues or Irish politics.”

        Well, if you said to an American IRA supporter in the 1980s that the British ought to continue to rule Northern Ireland, you might get an argument. But again, the Irish issue is not front and center, so it’s apples and oranges.

        “Nor can I ever recall an Irish American claiming to speak for “the Irish people” — all of them, the entire ethnic group.”

        I’ve never claimed to speak for Jews. Nor have most Zionists I know. But I can claim that my belief in a Jewish state is shared by most Jews.

        “From which one must conclude that your cultural conditioning and programming were very different from that experienced by Irish Americans, by nearly all American ethnic groups and certainly by most Americans. ”

        My “cultural conditioning and programming?” Why don’t you speak plain English, instead of using euphemisms as masks for your bigotry? You’re simply saying that most Jews in this country are unAmerican and different because they support a Jewish state. Stop hiding behind loaded political language. Say it in plain English. You believe Jews are different and special in a bad way.

        “And most of them encourage assimilation and individualism — which is the American way”

        Most Jews are assimilated into American culture, including most Zionists.

        ” which is the American way (and the Enlightenment and modern Western democratic way).”

        Assimilation of the kind you speak about is almost uniquely America. See the Muslims in Europe. They are not assimilating.

        “You really don’t get American culture. ”

        No, Sean, it is you who does not understand American culture. American culture allows people to be different and to sympathize with other cultures and countries without charging them with dual loyalty, or any of the other charges common to narrow-minded bigots.

      • seanmcbride on October 16, 2012, 3:13 pm

        hophmi,

        Why don’t you speak plain English, instead of using euphemisms as masks for your bigotry? You’re simply saying that most Jews in this country are unAmerican and different because they support a Jewish state. Stop hiding behind loaded political language. Say it in plain English. You believe Jews are different and special in a bad way.

        I think most Jews are as fully integrated into American society as every other mainstream American ethnic group. I do think, however, that the Jewish *establishment* is in the grip of some of the most extreme forms of ethnic and religious nationalism and pro-Israel militancy. And many pro-Israel activists and pro-Israel militants (Jewish neoconservatives especially) do in fact claim to speak for “the Jews” and “the Jewish people” in a conspicuous, repetitive and strident way — the documentary trail of their writings over several decades tells the tale. Google it. They are getting into dangerous territory from the standpoint of mainstream American culture, values and conventions and they don’t seem to realize it. You, for example, are completely oblivious of the consequences of attacking and abusing your fellow Americans over Israeli politics. Awake from your slumber. Deprogram yourself before you get in any deeper.

        Give up on ethnic and religious nationalism. Stop obsessing about your ethnic and religious nationalist enemies. Try it. I think you’ll like it. Your spirits should improve immensely.

      • hophmi on October 16, 2012, 3:48 pm

        “Every Irish American I know is forward-looking and focused on the American interest.”

        What a coincidence. That’s true of every Jewish American I know.

      • hophmi on October 16, 2012, 4:08 pm

        I’m not really interested in continuing this discussion with you, Sean. It’s a waste of my time. As I’ve told you many times before, at the base of every question you ask is a set of false assumptions.

        One is that Israel is nothing more than an ethnic cause. It isn’t. Most Americans support Israel because it is the only stable democracy in the Middle East, because it is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, because it is the most reliable US ally in the Middle East, and because the alternative is to support people who evince open hatred of the United States.

        The second is that supporting Israel as a Jewish state is un-American or anti-American. Every poll taken on the issue proves you wrong. Every poll shows Americans overwhelmingly support Israel’s right to exist and that more Americans support the Israeli than they do the Palestinians. There is no poll showing that Americans reject the concept of a Jewish state. There isn’t a poll that I’ve seen showing that Americans reject the concept of an state with a predominant ethnicity as a prescription for all of the countries of the world. None. No matter how many times you repeat it, it’s not going to be true.

        The third is that all the Jews you keep mentioning care about Israel and nothing else. They don’t. Just about every pundit on that list talks more about domestic issues than they do about Israel.

        The fourth is that Israel has some responsibility to act like or be like America. It doesn’t. There are, in fact, no states in the world quite like America. In the Middle East particularly, the culture is based around ethnicity, tribe, and religion. In Europe, those ideas have receded somewhat, on the surface, but they are far from exhausted, as we see today with Europe’s treatment of its Muslims and the inability of the Europeans to integrate Muslims into their societies.

        No country but this one has a First Amendment. Of the countries in the Middle East, there is only one that bears any resemblance to America in terms of racial diversity and the protection of civil liberties and what some call individual rights for its citizens. That country is Israel.

      • chinese box on October 16, 2012, 4:28 pm

        And did people who opposed Irish nationalism have their careers destroyed, blacklisted? Did the media routinely self-censor and omit to appease the Irish supporters?

      • hophmi on October 16, 2012, 5:12 pm

        I have first-hand knowledge of the “establishment.” It is not “in the grip” of pro-Israel militancy or extreme religious nationalism.

        My spirits are fine, Sean. I’m a happy guy.

      • Donald on October 16, 2012, 5:46 pm

        ” Most Americans support Israel because it is the only stable democracy in the Middle East, because it is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, because it is the most reliable US ally in the Middle East, and because the alternative is to support people who evince open hatred of the United States.”

        Possibly, but if so it’s safe to say that most Americans who feel that way have a rather starry-eyed view of Israel. It’s also safe to say that when you ask Americans questions dealing with foreign policy, you are likely to hear all kinds of nonsense. I have or have had friends who were pro-Israel and basically they have heard some absurdly one-sided accounts, the sort of things that used to be commonly believed before the revisionist Israeli historians got to work. I’ve heard non-Jewish Americans say they feel sorry for the Palestinians, but they should move elsewhere since there are so many Arab countries. I heard a friend say that knocking down houses is bad, but killing people is much worse (as though Israel doesn’t kill people.) During the 2006 Lebanon war, another friend told me that Israel was “fighting for its life”. No concern at all for what Israel was doing to civilians. Fortunately, I also know a few who are disgusted by Israel’s behavior.

        But for better or worse, most Americans have other things to do with their time besides thinking about Israel or trying to check out what they hear from the mainstream press, to see if it is true. Years go by without me hearing anyone talk about Israel unless I bring it up, or unless I’m with my Christian Zionist friend (who thought Israel was fighting for its life.) If most Americans hear that Israel is good and is our noble ally and are doing their best in a tough neighborhood, there’s no particular reason why they would doubt it.

      • hophmi on October 16, 2012, 6:08 pm

        “Possibly, but if so it’s safe to say that most Americans who feel that way have a rather starry-eyed view of Israel. ”

        That may well be true. In fact, most Americans think most Israelis are deeply religious and that Israel is a deeply religious state, even though the truth is that most Israelis are secular, as are most members of Knesset. That only further suggests that Sean is incorrect about how Americans think about states like Israel and what they focus on.

        “No concern at all for what Israel was doing to civilians. Fortunately, I also know a few who are disgusted by Israel’s behavior.”

        The problem is that you fail to engage the complexity of how people think about these issues. For too many here, the issue is a black-and-white thing, where the average Israeli or American Jewish leader does not care about Palestinians, the cost of conflict to civilians on both sides, and the behavior of the Israelis. The reality is more complex than this cartoon character sketch.

        “But for better or worse, most Americans have other things to do with their time besides thinking about Israel or trying to check out what they hear from the mainstream press, to see if it is true.”

        Obviously, and that is reflected in the fact that outside of about 20 or 25% of Americans who are pro-Israel and maybe 5 or 10% who are pro-Palestinians, the rest are not engaged on the issue.

        Therein lies a lesson for any political partisan. The lesson is that Americans in the silent majority do not care for partisan bickering on this kind of issue. They want to hear a positive story, and there is simply more that is positive about Israel than there is about Palestine. Israel is a dynamic society, and Americans see the parallels. They want to see what is good about Palestinian society rather than hearing endless complaining about the occupation. I’m not saying that as a partisan. I say that as a political observer. Because of the hyperpartisan atmosphere in this country, non-partisan Americans have been trained, in a sense, to tune out political bickering, and this conflict is no exception to that rule. Most Americans simply hear Jews and Arabs bickering, and since Israel is an American ally and Israelis look like Americans more than Palestinians do, they will choose the Israelis. It helps that Israel is a developed democratic society, albeit flawed. No amount of humanitarian pleading, particularly in a conflict where Palestinian hands are not clean, is going to take the place of Palestinians and their advocates making the simple case that Palestinians are like them and strive to live in peace with the Israelis, and are working to build their own society. That case is subsumed in the politics of the conflict.

      • eljay on October 16, 2012, 6:35 pm

        >> Most Americans support Israel because it is the only stable democracy in the Middle East, because it is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, because it is the most reliable US ally in the Middle East, and because the alternative is to support people who evince open hatred of the United States.

        Funny how it’s all black and white – sorry, Arab and Jew – for Zio-supremacists. There is another alternative: Don’t support any state in the Middle East. Or support only the states that offer complete equality to all their citizens.

        Israel isn’t as good as the best (there’s no doubt about that), it’s just not as bad as the worst…and that’s hardly anything worth cheering for. Well, unless you’re a Zio-supremacist or an uninformed non-Jew who hasn’t a clue about anything happening outside of his town/county/state/country.

      • annie on October 16, 2012, 7:52 pm

        there is simply more that is positive about Israel than there is about Palestine

        there are definitely more resources available to promote israel, that’s for sure.

        Most Americans simply hear Jews and Arabs bickering, and since Israel is an American ally and Israelis look like Americans more than Palestinians do, they will choose the Israelis.

        zzzzzzzz

      • chinese box on October 16, 2012, 9:24 pm

        Uh huh. Thanks for setting us straight hophmi.

      • hophmi on October 17, 2012, 10:53 am

        “Uh huh. Thanks for setting us straight hophmi.”

        You can be as sarcastic as you want, chinese box and Annie. As usual, you’re more interested in being activists than in achieving something. Palestinians will continue to suffer. That’s always the problem with Western activists. They’re more interested in themselves than they are in the people they’re supposedly advocating on behalf of. It’s no difference on my side.

        ” There is another alternative: Don’t support any state in the Middle East. ”

        That’s not a realistic option for a country like the United States.

      • marc b. on October 17, 2012, 11:43 am

        Israelis look like Americans more than Palestinians do, they will choose the Israelis.

        ha. what a stupid, racist comment. so if there is a dispute between canada and israel, americans will naturally throw our lot in with canada because we look more like them? you really have no mental filter do you, the stuff that comes out of your mouth. i’m american and unless they are wearing a hijab or IDF uniform, i really can’t for the life of me see much of a difference between your standard issue jewish man on the street and a palestinian, and i certainly don’t make choices based on ‘racial’ or sartorial similarity. netanyahu wears a suit to work and is losing his hair; i wear a suit to work and am losing my hair. hmmm. no. i’m sorry. i’m not feeling any empathy here.

      • annie on October 17, 2012, 2:30 pm

        As usual, you’re more interested in being activists than in achieving something. That’s always the problem with Western activists. They’re more interested in themselves than they are in the people they’re supposedly advocating on behalf of.

        ha! at 10:53 you launch into an ad hominem and 2 minutes later deflect http://mondoweiss.net/2012/09/stoking-fear-of-genocide-an-academic-pushes-israel-to-war.html/comment-page-1#comment-508896

        fyi, this is not about jews and arabs “bickering” hophmi and clearly israelis and their supporters have a gargantuan crevasse between their access to promote themselves in comparison to palestinians and their supporters. and then making some claim wrt what americans look like? as if ‘americans’ and ‘israeli’ is code for white? don’t give us this ‘simply‘ jargon. and your insult is not worth a response. it has no relation to my comment whatsoever.

      • hophmi on October 17, 2012, 2:39 pm

        “ha! at 10:53 you launch into an ad hominem and 2 minutes later deflect”

        Yes. I didn’t call you a jerk.

        “fyi, this is not about jews and arabs “bickering” hophmi ”

        True to form, you mistake political analysis for a personal criticism. I can assure you that for most Americans, this is very much about two sides bickering.

        “nd then making some claim wrt what americans look like? as if ‘americans’ and ‘israeli’ is code for white? ”

        It’s just amazing how you personalize stuff like this. It’s not my racist comment. You people have said similar things many times. It’s a political analysis, not a partisan one. Do you deny that Americans favor a society with closer ties to the West over a society with less close ties?

        “as if ‘americans’ and ‘israeli’ is code for white?”

        You said that, not me. And Israel is far from being a white country, stupid Shas political comments aside.

        ” and your insult is not worth a response. it has no relation to my comment whatsoever.”

        That’s because you know it’s true. I’d prefer talking to an actual Palestinian any day over a Western activist.

      • eljay on October 17, 2012, 2:41 pm

        >> That’s not a realistic option for a country like the United States.

        No, of course not. That would mean the United States would have to stop supporting the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state of Israel.

        Of course, the U.S. could support only the states that offer complete equality to all their citizens.

        Oh, that’s right, the “Jewish State” would lose out again. :-(

      • hophmi on October 17, 2012, 3:18 pm

        “No, of course not. That would mean the United States would have to stop supporting the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state of Israel.”

        Or the oppressive, non-stable Arab states. My point it that it’s very difficult to be involved in the Middle East without taking sides, because whatever you say and do, regardless of your intentions, the parties will take sides for you.

        If you look at this question from a realpolitik standpoint, Israel is only reliable state in the region. What are the other choices? Syria? Civil War and currently a brutal dictatorship. Egypt? Weak President and governed by a reformed terrorist organization. Iran? Openly hostile to the US. Iraq? Sure, but not stable enough. Jordan? King could fall in the next five years, though he’s basically pro-US. Lebanon? Divided country and too small to make a big difference. Saudi Arabia? Pro-US leadership but a closed totalitarian society and base of fundamentalist Islam.

        Israel is both the moral choice and the realist choice.

      • Mooser on October 17, 2012, 7:31 pm

        Ah, you guys are working Hophmi too hard, and he’s twisting himself in circles. Second para:

        Americans support Israel because it is the only stable democracy in the Middle East, because it is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, because it is the most reliable US ally in the Middle East”

        But then we get down to para. 5:

        “fourth is that Israel has some responsibility to act like or be like America. It doesn’t. There are, in fact, no states in the world quite like America. In the Middle East particularly, the culture is based around ethnicity, tribe, and religion”

        Hophmi, why not just save everybody a lot of grief and just say “Give Israel the money they want, and don’t ask any questions, or else!”

      • hophmi on October 18, 2012, 12:01 pm

        “Hophmi, why not just save everybody a lot of grief and just say “Give Israel the money they want, and don’t ask any questions, or else!””

        I’m sorry you have difficulty comprehending. The point is that America supports Israel for cultural reasons, social reasons, realpolitik reasons, and because the alternative has less to offer.

  3. Jeff Klein on October 14, 2012, 10:09 am

    We should also examine whether our $3.5 billion in military aid to the Palestinians passes US legal muster. We can only be even-handed only if we stop our gifts of F-16 fighter planes to Hamas as well as Israel.

  4. traintosiberia on October 14, 2012, 10:25 am

    J Street is the face that AIPAC wants to hide from right wings and AIPAC is the face that J street wants to hide from corporate approved liberal blah blah feel good party .

  5. yourstruly on October 14, 2012, 11:17 am

    “put the present situation in a historical and political context that might provide a fuller appreciation of the complexity of the Israel-Palestinian conflict over many decades?”

    Yeah, and before accusing european settlers in the “new world” of genocide, consider the complexity of the settler-indian conflict ever since 1492

    and before accusing the Turks of genocide, consider the complexity of Turkish-Armenian relations in the early 20th century

    also, before accusing the nazis of genocide, consider the complexity of christian-jewish antagonism over the ages

  6. pabelmont on October 14, 2012, 11:22 am

    “The church letter is about the $2.5 billion aid package to Israel. As far as I know, the U.S. does not provide the rockets fired from Gaza.” Well, yes.

    Those (like J-Street and ADL) who (sometimes deny that there is any moral equivalency between Israel and Palestineians) surprisingly seek to assert moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas (especially in regard to USA’s support of lawlessness)! They are barking mad — to say nothing of being inconsistent, arguing out of both sides of their mouths, unprincipled, and — need I say? — inhumane.

    To say nothing of not “prophetic”. After all, we are talking here about Jews who seem not to know what the Jewish prophets were going on about.

    But also Israel has been violating international law and agreements (including its undertakings when seeking admission to the UN) for 45 years (since 1967). The much-too-long-occupation with all its road and wall building and settlements building is as clear an indication as could be that Israel regards that territory as its own, practically speaking (“de facto” as it is said). This contradicts the UN Charter and UNSC 242, which declare “inadmissible” the acquisition of territory by war. Fourth Geneva Convention (of which Israel is a signatory) declares settlement a violation. This history has been going on since 1967 and MUCH PRECEEDS Hamas and its rockets (which it says it has forsworn).

  7. stopaipac on October 14, 2012, 11:26 am

    J Street has not changed since its inception. It has always supported massive, unconditional US military aid to Israel. MJ Rosenberg just seems a bit slow to catch on, but I’m glad he has done so.

  8. annie on October 14, 2012, 11:42 am

    kudos to Rachel Lerner for writing a well versed explanation of jstreets position. i’ve distilled the article with all the main criticisms for your edification including the positive aspect of the christian leader’s letter (mentioned twice, bolded):

    lack of nuance..raises important issues…appropriate criticism…complex situation ..appreciation for the complexity …sensitive issue..raises important issues..

    lerner also articulates jstreet’s alternate solution including the most effective process by which success can be achieved:

    bold effort led by the United States and the international community … work together …press Congress and the next president… through… diplomacy that only a good friend can leverage.

    bold diplomatic effort leveraged by good friend! go jstreet!

    • American on October 14, 2012, 1:20 pm

      You are smarter than that annie….you know that as long as the US continues aid to Israel it won’t change.
      And that is what JStreet has always been about…continuing the aid that empowers Israel’s …..and by extension, it’s occupation.
      Supporting, demanding continued US *unconditional* aid for Israel while wringing hands and whinning for Israel to change and for the US to do something about peace they haven’t done for 65 years is totally laughable.
      I have never supported them and never will because it’s been clear to me since day one that JStreet is a Israeli lobby, period.

      • annie on October 14, 2012, 1:50 pm

        it was a snark american. couldn’t you tell by the blockquotes, especially: “i’ve distilled the article”

      • American on October 14, 2012, 2:30 pm

        ”it was a snark””…annie

        whew, for a minute there I thought you had been taken over by a alien.

    • ColinWright on October 14, 2012, 3:53 pm

      It’s all about feeling good about the outcome…without actually altering the outcome.

      There’s to be an Israel — but we have to say how she’s to be good, and she has to agree she’s to be good. Come on — please, please agree. Stop showing us what’s in the sausage. We don’t want to know. A nice little Indian reservation, and we’ll all agree to call it a country, and we’ll pay some Palestinians enough so that they’ll agree too, and everyone will be happy…

      Come on, please…it’s all we’re asking.

      • Mooser on October 15, 2012, 1:09 pm

        “It’s all about feeling good about the outcome…without actually altering the outcome.”

        You’ve defeated me, Colin. I’ve been looking for something to replace “the war of ideas in the Middle East” ever since that moronic tag-line went up, but you got there first. Good work!

      • Chu on October 15, 2012, 1:34 pm

        -We don’t want to know what’s in the sausage. true indeed.

        As the occupation marches ahead full steam. Well, it’s little micro battles that are robbing Palestinians of their property and rights. It’s full steam with a silencer attached.
        I think that Israelis knows and feel how rotten their empire is at a deep psychological level (i.e. Waltz w Bashir), and therefore they want to eradicate any remnant of a viable state for the people that have lived their for centuries.
        So the push to create a few Palestinian reservations encampments, eventually declaring their security has been finally intact. It’s obvious that this occupation has years ahead of it. J-Street was always a front for a false choice.

      • Eva Smagacz on October 19, 2012, 8:40 pm

        Colin, I am sorry you comments are not getting through.

  9. chinese box on October 14, 2012, 11:50 am

    J Street always seemed more about image management than about actually doing anything substantive…

    I’m sure there are well-meaning J Streeters. Maybe they’ll wake up soon and realize you can’t be a little bit pregnant.

    • American on October 14, 2012, 2:40 pm

      ‘I’m sure there are well-meaning J Streeters’..chinabox

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Which is the kindest thing I am prepared to say about the I-Firsters have their cake and eat it too pretense.

  10. marc b. on October 14, 2012, 2:19 pm

    really, thanks for nothing. j-street never had a soul to sell. it’s purpose was clear from the beginning. how could it not be clear since its spokespersons never stopped explaining it publicly. and why would anyone ever take the opinion of a j-street supporter, erstwhile or otherwise, seriously? how steamingly, pathologically credulous do you have to be to fall for such crap to begin with? but now if you’ll excuse me, i have some more emails from greta berlin to analyze.

    • Andre on October 14, 2012, 10:11 pm

      @ marc.b : I could not agree more with you. It was indeed painfully obvious from the start that J Street was AIPAC lite at best.

    • Chu on October 15, 2012, 1:47 pm

      You didn’t even need be a cynic to realize it was a front from the beginning. But it kept those that wanted to believe for a few more years that peace might be possible. That allowed for about another 3400 settler housing units to be constructed in the OT since 2008.
      So Ben Ami was really a useful ally for the State of Israel. He should be knighted for his efforts. Awarded the highest honor – the golden calf of real estate.

  11. David Doppler on October 14, 2012, 2:21 pm

    J Street should respond to the Rabbis, “you want us to toe the line on Christian organizations criticizing Israel? Well, give us a new regime in Israel that isn’t so embarrassing, so impossible to defend.”

  12. Sin Nombre on October 14, 2012, 4:14 pm

    This isn’t new I don’t think. I believe that since its inception J-Street rejected any cutting of the subsidy to Israel.

    (Including even what it repeated here which is that it’s not only against cutting any subsidies to Israel, but even against putting any “condition” on same—categorically, and with no exceptions whatsoever.)

    The question then is what evidence exists that the organization ever was anything *but* a front organization, designed or supported from the start to blunt criticism of Israel and AIPAC and etc. for being extreme via pretending to agree with same and hopefully fooling those with such criticisms to join its fold, but then invariably use its institutional existence and strength to block or blunt the doing of anything to moderate Israel’s behavior.

    After all, here you have an ostensibly *American* organization, saying it would be wrong for the U.S. to put *any* conditions whatsoever on its handing over billions upon billions or our money to a foreign power, knowing of course that the only kind of conditions likely to be considered would be those protecting American interests.

    And yet we are supposed to give Mr. ben Ami or whoever else is affiliated with J-Steet’s founding and management the benefit of the doubt that … they don’t really *mean* that? That … they’re ever really been concerned with U.S. interests at all?

    And even if they were, there are such things as dupes. After all there are also such things as people who live by the idea that “By way of deception thou shall do war.”

  13. radii on October 14, 2012, 4:17 pm

    the only surprise is that they dropped the act so quickly

  14. talknic on October 14, 2012, 6:03 pm

    Have people been asleep or suffering the effects of ziocaine fumes? It was bloody obvious from the outset JStreet was never anything but AIPAC light. December 24, 2009

  15. Les on October 14, 2012, 6:48 pm

    With the implosion of J Street, one wonders where its fellow travelers such as Peter Beinart and David Remnick will now go.

  16. Les on October 14, 2012, 7:26 pm

    [With persistent people like this constantly nipping at your heels, we can better understand J Street, et. al.]

    America, guess who’s coming to visit

    Israeli leaders hold the record for the most official visits to the United States since 1874. Benjamin Netanyahu alone stopped by more than all of China’s leaders in the past 138 years.
    By Chaim Levinson | Oct.14, 2012 | 2:06 PM

    It’s an established ritual: Immediately after being elected to office, a new Israeli prime minister flies “for the first time” to the United States for an introductory meeting, or a meeting to deepen cooperation, or to establish the basis for the new relationship. Three to six months later he’s on the plane again. And then, of course, there’s the annual AIPAC conference, then the UN General Assembly. And then another work session or summit meeting. Small wonder that the American president eventually tires of meeting his Israeli counterpart.

    According to U.S. State Department data covering the period from 1874 to the end of 2011, Israeli leaders – meaning prime ministers and presidents only – hold the record for official visits to the U.S. Eighteen of our leaders have landed in the U.S. a mind-boggling 106 times. Israeli leaders have overtaken the British leaders, who visited the new continent 103 times, including Winston Churchill’s visits to coordinate the war effort against the Nazis.

    The first official international visit to the U.S. was by the king of Hawaii, who toured the country for three months in November 1874. Foreign leaders have visited the U.S. every year since 1929. In 1948 a small state, Israel, was established. The beginning was actually rather slow. At first, Israel’s foreign policy was more oriented towards Britain and France, than the U.S.

    Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president, paid two visits; David Ben-Gurion who was prime minister for 13 years, visited three times. Zalman Shazar, the third president, came over three times — once for the funeral of President Truman, once for President Kennedy’s funeral and once just for fun. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol visited the U.S. twice and Moshe Sharett didn’t visit even once during his two-year stint as PM.

    The Six-Day War and the French embargo on arms sales to Israel brought about the change, which began after Eshkol’s death, in the era of Golda Meir. Golda managed six visits, an average of more than one a year. Yitzhak Rabin paid three visits in his first term as prime minister, 11 more in his second. Menachem Begin came over 13 times and Yitzhak Shamir – even though he was despised in Washington — seven. Shimon Peres managed four visits in his first term, two in his second and two more as president.

    Netanyahu flew in seven times in his first term and nine more this term, up to the end of 2011, giving him the Israeli record with 16 prime ministerial visits. Ehud Barak, who made the trip seven times, holds the visits-per-day-in-office mark: He flew to the U.S. once every 85 days. Ariel Sharon had 11 official visits, one of them to President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. Ehud Olmert went to the U.S. eight times as prime minister.

    It may come as a surprise to learn that other states have managed to secure a deep and fruitful relationship with the United States without dropping by every three months or so. In 138 the leaders of Canada and Mexico, who happen to share borders with the U.S., came to call only 91 and 54 times respectively. Germany, with Europe’s strongest economy, has 84 visits, Japan 73 and Ireland 45.

    South Korean leaders, who were dependent on the U.S. during their war with North Korea paid 34 visits, as did Egyptian leaders. Russian leaders came to Washington 29 times, twice more than their colleagues from India. Interestingly Jordan, by no means an important world player, has a surprisingly large number of visits – 67.

    It’s interesting to note that Netanyahu, all on his own, visited the United States more than the combined leaders of 120 other nations. His U.S. visits also exceed the total of the leaders of China, Hungary, Ireland, Vietnam, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/america-guess-who-s-coming-to-visit-1.469926

    • Philip Munger on October 14, 2012, 10:02 pm

      I think Sen. Mark Begich, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, Alaska’s congressional delegation, fly back and forth between their constituency and DC less than does Netanyahu.

    • Sin Nombre on October 14, 2012, 11:59 pm

      Les wrote:

      “America, guess who’s coming to visit”

      Well, it’s only stupid to not constantly attend to your milch cow, isn’t it?

      After awhile though you’d think the Israelis get at least a bit ashamed of it, but no, not a trace that I’ve ever detected. Just ever more sentiment along the lines of we *owe* them it for whatever reason. (Including, of course “the Holocaust!,” however the hell that thinking works.)

      Somewhat advanced rationalization then, and a two-fer: relieves ’em from the burden of being grateful too, which is yet another thing I perceive them to be in short supply of.

      Boy the American people ever wake up and Israel is gonna find itself about as much hated here as it is in its own neighborhood.

  17. RoHa on October 14, 2012, 10:33 pm

    J Street had a soul?

  18. PeaceThroughJustice on October 14, 2012, 10:54 pm

    Off topic:
    Gilad Atzmon was interviewd last night on (surprise of surprises) the BBC World Service.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yxrs8
    BBC World Service “Weekend” 14/10/2012 8:35 GMT (He comes on around the 30:15 mark.)

    The context is a new film about him and his music showing this month in London. It’s only a brief section and to be honest, not much of any real signficiance is said, but it was still nice to hear the announcer use the word “Zionism” as if it’s something people are allowed to hold opinions on.

    I haven’t looked into the film yet. Here’s a link to the trailer–

    • marc b. on October 15, 2012, 9:21 am

      PTJ, i don’t want to turn this into a gildag osmond thread, but with all due respect, nothing good ever comes of him. i have my suspicions as to why that is, but he says nothing of consequence that hasn’t been said more authoritatively elsewhere, and he can’t help but pepper nearly every conversation or comment (of the relatively few that i’ve read) with some provocative, anti-semitic, ahistorical clap trap. people who care about palestine should dump his ass in the river and fish greta berlin back into the boat.

  19. Taxi on October 15, 2012, 12:42 am

    I don’t wanna even think about JStreet – so frigging B.O.R.I.N.G!

  20. ToivoS on October 15, 2012, 1:40 am

    The first year J street had that convention was very important. I remember the incredible disconnect between the J street organizers and the participants at that convention. I recall vividly one of the attendees standing in the hall way indignantly stating “what is this, I don’t love Israel”. She was obviously a middle aged Jewish woman who supported Israel but was obviously appalled at j street’s agenda. It looks like they have served their role.

  21. Dr.Bill on October 15, 2012, 5:33 am

    In the early sixties, Phil Ochs had a song that went “So love, LOVE ME , love me, I’m a LI-BER-AL!!” , which pointed out the hypocrisy of some of those who claimed to be such. La plusque ca change, la plusque le meme chose. Pardon my French as my mom used to say.

  22. Xpat on October 15, 2012, 8:07 am

    Rabbi David Saperstein of the Reform movement threatens to pull “my rabbis” out if J Street strays too far from AIPAC. He’s the lobby’s enforcer

    Rabbi Saperstein bears the mantle of Jewish ethics. He is the Jewish voice of conscience, the much acclaimed heir to the great Jewish activists of the 50s and 60s. He is the epitome of Jewish liberal values: separation of church and state, pro-choice ans so on. Rabbi Saperstein is the rabbis’ rabbi. Our man in Washington. He cajoles and inspires, forges alliances and makes things happen.

    Rabbi Saperstein is the gatekeeper of Jewish morals. He certainly is the enforcer for the wealthy Jewish powerbrokers who claim to speak for all Jews. And the rabbi commands an authority that he has no right to. All issues are fair game for Saperstein – except for Jewish power. The one area where a distinct moral, Jewish voice is needed is off limits to Jewish leaders, per Saperstein and the clique he represents.

    Bravo to M.J. Rosenberg for outing Rabbi David Saperstein.

  23. Kathleen on October 15, 2012, 9:36 am

    If you put the present situation in a “historical” perspective as J Street suggest then you have to really wonder what took these so called Christian groups so long to link endless welfare to Israel and their persistent and decades long defiance of international laws and UN resolutions. What took these groups so long to take this stand?

    Folks should be contacting their Reps about the I/P issue as much as possible

  24. jd65 on October 15, 2012, 9:47 am

    Decent article by Rosenberg. Except this:

    “…I say tell that to the people of Gaza, including the 1400 civilians (300 kids) who heard all about that context in 2009-2010.”

    This seems to be referencing Operation Cast Lead (OCL), right? With the numbers that are used, the dual-year date marker “2009-2010,” and the specification of Gaza – Rosenberg must be referencing OCL, right? What else could he possibly be referring to? I agree w/ his point about “contextualizing,” but with an event this historic, he’s got to get his facts right. And since Mondoweiss put this article up on their site (presumably having read it through), they need to get it right as well. It wasn’t 1,400 civilians killed in OCL, it was approximately 700. 1,400 is the number of total palestinians killed (I use the word massacred). And it wasn’t 2009-2010. It was 2008-2009.

    Sure, some people could say that parsing numbers and details like these is unimportant. I’m not among them. Get it right.

    • seafoid on October 15, 2012, 11:27 am

      Nice try

      The police grads murdered on the parade ground by Israel were not soldiers or combatants.

      • jd65 on October 15, 2012, 12:39 pm

        Hey seafoid. I assume the “Nice try” was for me? That reads to me like some kind of accusation of me trying to justify Israeli actions (ie: Operation Cast Lead) or of my trying to play down the war crime that was OCL. You have no idea how offensive that is to me.

        From my understanding the generally accepted/agreed upon number of Palestinian civilian casualties during OCL is approximately 700-800. This means, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, etc… While I understand the argument that the number may be higher depending upon differing classifications of “civilian” vs. “combatant” (police, etc…), making a blanket statement like “All 1,400 were civilians…” is not useful. Why is it not useful? Because it gives Israel apologists something to point to and say crap like, “Look! The Israel haters lie w/ their statistics to justify their hatred of Israel. Why do they hate us?!” You’re giving them ammunition. And so is Rosenberg by putting it in “print.” Don’t give them the chance to say that shit. Isn’t the conservative estimate of 700 civilians killed, 300 of them children, horrific enough? Of course it is. And since it’s accepted, it can’t be argued against. It was a massacre even by the conservative estimate. I say stick w/ that for now and don’t give the apologists a chance to evade the truth of the crime by giving them the chance to focus on some other detail.

      • Donald on October 15, 2012, 2:42 pm

        jd65– I see your point. Stick to what is undeniable. Still, seafoid is also right. Anyone not actually carrying a weapon should count as a civilian. I’ve seen people cite the Hamas official who claimed that X number killed were Hamas members. He might be lying, but accepting his numbers at face value, it still doesn’t mean that they weren’t civilians. Israeli apologists tend to think that identifying someone as Hamas makes them a legitimate target, which is like saying that anyone who is a Likud member is a legitimate target.

      • Shingo on October 15, 2012, 6:17 pm

        Very good point Donald,

        Are members of Likud not civilians and is it OK to kill them?

      • seafoid on October 16, 2012, 3:06 am

        Sorry JD65

        I presumed you were a bot with that number.
        The police graduates were not combatants so the number is a dud.

        The “estimate of 700 dead” is wrong. What Israel did to Gaza should never be minimised.

        They abandoned the rules of war and killed whenever they felt like it.

  25. hophmi on October 15, 2012, 12:04 pm

    I don’t understand what MJ is upset about. J Street has been against efforts like these from the beginning of its existence.

    “The church letter is about the $2.5 billion aid package to Israel. As far as I know, the U.S. does not provide the rockets fired from Gaza”

    Quit the holier-than-thou crap, MJ. The letter was purportedly written on behalf of Palestinian Christians. It failed to acknowledge any threat faced by the Israelis, such as the Gaza rockets.

    “I have no doubt that the people who run J Street fought the rabbis and donors to avoid having to put out this statement. They always fight.”

    I disagree with you. I do not think the statement was especially difficult for them to put out because they have never seriously argued for an end to aid in the first place, and unlike you, MJ, they actually care about remaining at least somewhat in the mainstream of the Jewish community, which overwhelmingly supports the aid. J Street’s main issue has always been more robust US involvement, not the aid.

    • Donald on October 15, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Well, some of that aid is used to commit war crimes. The cluster munitions used in Lebanon in 2006 were made in the USA, so it shouldn’t upset anyone (who cares about human rights) to demand that we stop supplying weapons when we know some will be misused.

      HRW report on Israeli use of cluster munitions in Lebanon 2006

      • marc b. on October 15, 2012, 4:18 pm

        donald, you missed the memo: israeli use of cluster bombs, ‘good’; alleged syrian use of cluster bombs, ‘bad’.

    • Betsy on October 16, 2012, 12:51 pm

      @Hophmi — read the actual letter —

      http://www.pcusa.org/news/2012/10/5/religious-leaders-ask-congress-condition-israel-mi/

      it explicitly *does* talk about Gaza rockets & is empathic about the fears of Israelis & threats against them. It also is *not* written only on behalf of Palestinian Christians. You are repeating gross distortions made by Lerner & JTA & other mainline Jewish organizations —

      • hophmi on October 16, 2012, 3:47 pm

        Thanks for sending it through. Why aren’t rockets aimed at civilians referred to as a human rights violation?

      • Betsy on October 16, 2012, 5:04 pm

        the questions re/ human rights violations — have specifically to do with actions which are being funded by US military aid — it is a request to our elected leaders to follow the laws of our land. I am not aware of US funding of rockets coming from Gaza to Israel. The general violence on both sides is not framed in terms of human rights, because it is a separate issue — it is addressed on moral not legal grounds, as follows “We recognize that each party—Israeli and Palestinian—bears responsibilities for its actions and we therefore continue to stand against all violence regardless of its source. Our stand against violence is complemented by our commitment to the rights of all Israelis, as well as all Palestinians, to live in peace and security. “

      • Woody Tanaka on October 16, 2012, 5:07 pm

        “Why aren’t rockets aimed at civilians referred to as a human rights violation?”

        Because human rights violations are relevant here only to the extent that the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act affects the US’s actions where such human rights violations exist. Since the Gazans defenders who are firing these rockets (that are incapable of being aimed yet you believe are somehow miraculously aimed [and aimed with such precision as to know whether the alleged target is a civilian or a state worker]) are not being supplied by the US, the question of whether their acts are or are not human rights violations are irrelevant, but the question of whether the israelis are committing human rights violations is relevant.

      • chinese box on October 16, 2012, 4:21 pm

        You are repeating gross distortions made by Lerner & JTA & other mainline Jewish organizations –

        hophmi was shooting from the hip? I’m shocked, just shocked.

  26. Mooser on October 15, 2012, 1:23 pm

    “unlike you, MJ, they actually care about remaining at least somewhat in the mainstream of the Jewish community”

    Gosh, hophmi, you could have saved so many characters by using the word “panders”.

  27. chinese box on October 15, 2012, 1:26 pm

    and unlike you, MJ, they actually care about remaining at least somewhat in the mainstream of the Jewish community, which overwhelmingly supports the aid.

    With this argument, you just painted them as conformists and cowards….at least you are being honest for once.

    • hophmi on October 15, 2012, 1:48 pm

      “With this argument, you just painted them as conformists and cowards….at least you are being honest for once.”

      No, they’re not cowards. They just engage the political reality, rather than running away from it like some of you guys do.

      • Mooser on October 15, 2012, 2:07 pm

        “They just engage the political reality”

        Yes, so they’re “Zionism’s Willing Executioners”, Hophmi?

      • Cliff on October 15, 2012, 2:40 pm

        They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by linking up with Likud Zionism. That means more land for the Jewish State and more misery for the Palestinians.

        The Palestinians have no bargaining chips because they have no viable army. They aren’t a credible threat. They most they can do is join a book club and cause psychopaths like yourself to froth at the mouth slightly more than usual.

        The reality is that Israelis and American Jews who support the Jewish colonial project with total disregard for the INDIGENOUS non-Jewish population that it constantly supplants, is destroying any semblance of a ‘just peace’.

        You simply frame the rapist pinning down his victim as ‘political reality’.

        The Palestinians aren’t rejecting reality – they are fighting against it. They are fighting against their constant victimization and dispossession.

        Thieves like you simply want to keep stealing from them and then inflict an entire lexicon of useless verbiage about supposed political realities as if they – the Palestinians – are being irrational for resisting Zionism.

      • Mooser on October 17, 2012, 7:40 pm

        “Thieves like you simply want to keep stealing…”

        Harsh, man, that’s harsh. Wouldn’t it be a little fairer to say that Hophmi leaves the actual stealing to others, and simply earns a commission from thieves?

      • chinese box on October 15, 2012, 3:01 pm

        No, they’re not cowards. They just engage the political reality, rather than running away from it like some of you guys do.

        It sounds like passivity and fear to me, rather than engagement.

        And explain this “political reality” to me please. I’m guessing the “mainstream of the Jewish community” comprises maybe 1.5% of the US population, if that. But instead of doing something positive to change attitudes in within this tiny group of people, where they might actually have an impact, they choose to do nothing, for fear of rocking the boat. That’s the definition of cowardice.

      • Mooser on October 17, 2012, 7:43 pm

        “That’s the definition of cowardice.”

        Damn it! I knew there was a catch to all that all-encompassing moral and ethical tradition.

  28. Mooser on October 15, 2012, 1:27 pm

    “unlike you, MJ, they actually care about remaining at least somewhat in the mainstream of the Jewish community”

    Yeah, think about it, MJ! No more stale bagels, regullah and coffee for you, moser! And those tips on the ponies which keep you in pinchback suits and Stetson hats are over, Rosenberg. You’re washed up in this town. You’ll never eat a blintz at Lindy’s again!

  29. eljay on October 15, 2012, 1:48 pm

    >> The gravest threat to the long-term security and survival of a democratic and Jewish Israel comes not from a letter like this, but from the underlying situation that prompted it in the first place.

    1. The gravest threat to the long-term security and survival of Israel is its status as a supremacist “Jewish State”.

    2. The underlying situation is the creation – by means of terrorism and ethnic cleansing – of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine, and that state’s 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder.

    It’s nice of J Street to give credit where credit is due…

    • seanmcbride on October 15, 2012, 2:11 pm

      eljay,

      The gravest threat to the long-term security and survival of Israel, in my opinion:

      1. attacks by pro-Israel activists on Americans and Europeans (the gravest threat by far)

      2. the crude meddling of pro-Israel billionaires and oligarchs in American politics

      3. Jewish religious Zionism and Greater Israelism

      4. the passivity and failure of most American Jews to recognize and respond effectively to these threats

  30. Rusty Pipes on October 15, 2012, 2:03 pm
  31. Betsy on October 16, 2012, 10:45 am

    There is a pervasive bias in Rachel Lerner’s piece — which results in distortion of what the Oct 5 letter said. She leaves out the parts of the letter that contradict her main arguments. Perhaps that is why she does not link to the actual letter? (Here’s a link to full document http://www.pcusa.org/news/2012/10/5/religious-leaders-ask-congress-condition-israel-mi/)

    Instead she links to the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) Oct 9 piece http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/10/09/3108806/religious-leaders-call-on-congress-to-reevaulate-military-aid-to-israelwhich grossly & inaccurately edits out the parts of the Oct 5 Protestant leaders’ letter — that would undercut Lerner’s main points. Did Lerner read the original letter? The JTA piece ends with several paragraphs of citation of mainline Jewish organizations negative assessments of churches involved, ending w/ American Jewish Committee spokesperson’s description of the letter as an outrage and a “a polemic against Israel”. I urge folks to compare the tone of all of these documents — and ask which documents open up space for multiple voices & perspectives, in a reasoned, non-inflammatory way?

    HERE ARE LERNER’S MAIN CRITICISMS OF THE OCT 5 letter, followed by excerpts of the actual letter
    1) Lerner said: ” the letter fails to weigh criticism of Israel’s behavior with appropriate criticism of, for instance, rocket fire from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas,”
    HERE’S WHAT THE LETTER SAID (in its third paragraph) “Through this direct experience we have witnessed the pain and suffering of Israelis as a result of Palestinian actions and of Palestinians as a result of Israeli actions. In addition to the horror and loss of life from rocket attacks from Gaza and past suicide bombings, we have witnessed the broad impact that a sense of insecurity and fear has had on Israeli society.”
    2) Lerner said ” it fails to put the present situation into a historical or political context that might provide a fuller appreciation for the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over many decades. ”
    HERE’S WHAT THE LETTER ACTUALLY SAID: “We write to you as Christian leaders representing U.S. churches and religious organizations committed to seeking a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Our organizations have been deeply involved in this pursuit for decades, inspired by the call and promise of Jesus Christ who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

    In response to our Christian call to be peacemakers, we have worked for decades to support both Israelis and Palestinians in their desire to live in peace and well-being. We have worked alongside our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers to help build a peaceful and resilient Palestinian civil society by supporting hospitals, schools, clinics, and social service agencies. These ministries include cooperative efforts with Israelis and Palestinians as well as with Jews, Muslims, and other neighbors here in the United States. Through our presence in the region, and regular visits to our partners there, we see first-hand the impacts of the conflict on both Palestinians and Israelis and hear from them directly about the reality of their lives…. [here is the part quoted in #1 above]

    We have also witnessed widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinians, including killing of civilians, home demolitions and forced displacement, and restrictions on Palestinian movement, among others. We recognize that each party—Israeli and Palestinian—bears responsibilities for its actions and we therefore continue to stand against all violence regardless of its source. Our stand against violence is complemented by our commitment to the rights of all Israelis, as well as all Palestinians, to live in peace and security.

    It is this experience and these commitments that lead us to write to you today to express our grave concern about the deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories which threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace. ”

    I OBJECT TO LERNER’S LACK OF ENGAGEMENT W/ THE SUBSTANCE & TONE OF THIS LETTER, which was an attempt by American citizens to engage with their own govt to ask it to give aid under conditions that adhere to international human rights & US law. The motivation for the letter came from the central moral imperative within Christianity — which is to make peace. Her final criticism was that the letter was poorly timed (JTA also cites timing — for different reasons). This argument has been used against us ‘liberal’ Christians for over 60 years of our efforts to engage constructively in the Middle East — it is becoming stale —

    in short, her article lacks nuance.

    @ M.J.Rosenberg — I can’t find any indication on the J Street website that they have taken an official stand or responded officially to the Oct 5 letter. I’ve just scoured the “blog” http://jstreet.org/blog, the newsroom http://jstreet.org/news, and the policy http://jstreet.org/policy. If Lerner’s piece in Daily Beast is functioning as a response to the Oct 5 letter, that doesn’t seem to be an example of constructive dialogue by JStreet w/ these very senior & respected leaders of major faith communities.

    • Betsy on October 16, 2012, 12:42 pm

      here’s the link to Oct 5 letter — don’t know why it doesn’t work in my comment above

      http://www.pcusa.org/news/2012/10/5/religious-leaders-ask-congress-condition-israel-mi/

    • Rusty Pipes on October 16, 2012, 1:17 pm

      If JStreet doesn’t even bother to post Lerner’s piece on its website, you do have to wonder whether she speaks on behalf of JStreet, even if she is “the Vice President of the J Street Education Fund.”. Then again, maybe JStreet isn’t really responding to the church leaders or to the general public; since this piece is posted at Open Zion and includes more references to what the major Jewish organizations claim about church leaders than what the church leaders actually said, maybe this is just a conversation among the many varieties of Zionism — which is where discussions about our Middle East policy should be contained.

      How dare the church leaders presume to speak directly to their elected representatives without at least submitting a draft to Open Zion first?

  32. wondering jew on October 17, 2012, 5:03 pm

    If Mitt Romney wins, J street will wither away, for its purpose is supporting Obama in negotiating a peace (or borders) between israel and Palestine.

    All other issues are secondary to J Street, meaning specifically, they will be as close to AIPAC on all issues, so as they can still be standing when the big battle of Camp David (1978) style negotiations are ongoing and then after the white smoke rises, they will be the ones to represent the settlement in a positive light to the Jewish community.

    There is one battle to be fought and that is the battle for borders (or peace, but borders would be easier) and all else is secondary to J Street and thus they are willing to appear like AIPAC light until that time. MJ Rosenberg is not the constituency they need in order to still be standing on the day of the battle for borders.

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