Hyperbole about J Street

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the response I’m hearing to my story  and my blog about J Street and the controversy over a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.

For starters:  talk about over-the-top Holocaust analogies – not that most Holocaust analogies aren’t over the top.

J Streeters are the “kapos” of the 21st Century, some readers inform me. They’re the “Judenrat” of modern times. Their goal is nothing less than the eradication of the Jewish state, just like Hitler tried to destroy Europe’s Jews.

None of this “they’re wrong, and here’s why” stuff for J Street haters, no siree; they’re genocidal maniacs, self-hating Jews, Jewish anti-Semites, haters of Israel. They’re part of George Soros’ plot to bring down Israel and America.

Tell me why you think J Street is wrong and we can have a discussion;  I’ll probably agree with you on some points. Tell me that they’re a bunch of Jewish Nazis, and there’s not much to talk about.

I continue to marvel that J Street – which, in my view, probably reflects the views of a majority of American Jews on Middle East peace but a minority of those who are actively involved in pro-Israel activism and which has committed some big blunders in its short existence – moves people to  such fits of hyperbole. (I hear the same thing from some on the left about AIPAC – a conspiratorial organization if ever there was one, they say, warmongers, underminers of democracy, the secret allies of Israeli extremists. That’s just as counterproductive as the J Street invective, just as much a sure-fire discussion ender.)

What are people so scared of? Last I looked, J Street was still a small blip compared to the established pro-Israel lobby in all its manifestations.

This isn’t a defense of J Street; it’s a defense of rational debate and discussion. Which I don’t hear when it comes to J Street.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.