J Street: Building the great constituency of naivety

J Street’s latest marketing push positions itself as building “The Great Constituency for Peace.” This is a big claim, and after examining this statement, it is clear J Street is actually building something very different.

J Street is building the “Great Constituency of Naivety.”

​By ignoring and twisting key facts on the ground, J Street is building a constituency that stands clueless on some of the most important issues in the Middle East. Furthermore, as a result of this, J Street’s clueless constituency is pushing for solutions to conflicts based off false realities, which can lead to dangerous results.

Naive on Palestinian Hatred

The largest and perhaps most important fact J Street ignores while pursuing its agenda is the fact that Palestinian incitement exists and is a huge problem in the Palestinian Authority.

The reality on the ground is that the Palestinian Authority incites its people to hate and want to kill Jews. The PA spreads anti-Semitic propaganda through the media, mosques, schools, and more to relay the message that Jews and Zionists are enemies that must be killed. The PA names schools and summer camps after the terrorists who have killed the most Jews. The PA continuously calls for Israel’s destruction in the Arabic media and has the destruction of Israel its ruling party’s charter. The list of ways the PA incites its people to hate and kill is endless.

As a result of ignoring this incitement, J Street has convinced its followers that the PA is not only a legitimate peace partner, but that it actually wants to live in peace. It has even convinced its followers that PA President Mahmoud Abbas — the man who just recently welcomed home convicted terrorists with kisses, a parade, and high-paying government jobs; the man who publicly proclaimed that these terrorists are “heroes”; the man who recently applauded a call for holy war against Jerusalem — is a real peace partner.

Furthermore, by ignoring the large scale corruption and human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority, J Street has implanted the image into its followers’ minds that the PA is a peace-loving organization that will lead to a thriving Palestinian state. J Street claims that a Palestinian state created right now under the PA is the best thing to do in the name of Palestinian rights.

Did you know that in late 2013, the EU conducted an investigation into aid money given to the PA and found that nearly $3 billion were missing? Did you know that the PA still uses aid money to pay full-time employees in Gaza who have not been able to work since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007? Did you know that Mahmoud Abbas is entering the tenth year of his four-year term as president? Did you know that a high-ranking PA official and close advisor to President Abbas went on Syrian TV last month and said the two-state solution is just the next step in destroying all of Israel? Did you know that the PA is a dictatorship with no voting rights, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom to criticize the government? Did you know that not only has the PA repeatedly called for the destruction of all of Israel in its media, but it has never once in its own media (which is what its people see) endorsed the idea of living peacefully next to Israel?

J Street activists will answer “no” to every question listed above because J Street ignores these critical issues while educating its followers. J Street has created a base of followers who simply do not know what is really happening in the Palestinian Authority.

Pushing for a two-state solution is one thing, but J Street has implanted a false image in the minds of its constituency that the PA is fighting for freedom and wants peace with Israel. J Street’s naive followers have no idea that the PA is racist, corrupt, undemocratic, freedom-denying, terrorist-supporting, and bent on Israel’s destruction.

Naive on the Two-State Solution

By ignoring this incitement and other key facts on the ground, J Street has implanted in its followers’ minds the idea that a two-state solution will end the conflict; J Street has even endorsed this idea publicly. As a result of this, the organization’s naive followers believe this is actually true.

Pushing for a two-state solution is one thing, but to suggest that the creation of a Palestinian state today will “end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” as J Street has claimed publicly on Facebook, is false and only helps perpetuate the naivety of its constituency.

J Street spreads this idea despite the fact that Palestinian leaders have continuously called for Israel’s destruction since the Jewish state’s inception; despite the fact that the PA has never once endorsed a two-state solution in its own media; despite the fact that other Palestinian terrorist organizations (such as Hamas in Gaza) have openly stated they will not accept a two-state solution and will keep attacking Israel; and despite the fact that a top PA official recently told the Arab World that the two-state solution is the next step in destroying all of Israel.

Again, arguing that the two-state solution will improve the situation on the ground is one thing, but to say it will solve the entire conflict just helps build a constituency of naivety.

Naive on the Iranian Interim Nuclear Deal

As if driving its followers into naivety regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not enough, J Street has led its constituency into naivety with regards to Iran as well.

J Street recently put out a press release explaining to its blog’s readers why the interim agreement with Iran benefits the world. However, this press release was full of falsehoods and misrepresentations of the facts. The following are examples:

  • J Street claimed that “the economic relief Iran will get totals only around $6 to $7 billion.” However, reports surfaced after the signing of the deal that Iran would in fact receive up to $20 to $25 billion in sanctions relief.
  • The organization also said that “Iran’s most dangerous stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium will be diluted or converted into a form which cannot be weaponized.” While this is true, it ismisleading. The fact is that while the 20 percent enriched uranium (which is dangerously close to weapons grade) will be diluted, Iran will still be allowed to enrich to 5 percent. Enriching to 5 percent is the difficult and timely process of enrichment. However, enriching to 20 percent from 5 percent is easy and can be done quickly. This means that Iran will build up its 5 percent enriched stockpile and will be able to drop out of the deal and enrich it to 20 percent in less than a day, according to the Iranian Foreign Minister, thus giving it more 20 percent enriched uranium than it had before the deal. J Street ignores this crucial fact in this case and leads its followers to believe that this aspect of the deal is advantageous for the West.
  • J Street announced that “Iran will continue to lose $30 billion in oil revenues over the next six months” as a result of the interim deal. However, the fact is that as a result of the ease of sanctions, Iran is now selling 100,000 more barrels of oil every day.
  • J Street also claimed that the sanctions “can easily be reversed if Iran does not live up to the terms of the agreement.” However, the reality on the ground is that as soon as the deal was signed, countries started lining up to sign business deals with Iran. If Iran backs out of the deal, it will be very difficult  – and most importantly, timely – to reinstate the sanctions.
  • J Street said that “the agreement freezes the most important aspects of the Iranian program,” which based off the above information, is also false because Iran will still be able to enrich to 5 percent. Furthermore, Iranian leaders have publicly stated that their nuclear program is still advancing.

In addition to misleading the public and sometimes outright lying, J Street published a list of experts who support the interim deal. It labeled the list “What the Experts Say,” implying this is what all of the experts say about the deal.

However, this is misleading because many experts, including former Mossad Director Meir Dagan, current Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu, dozens of US senators, and many more oppose the interim deal. J Street, instead of saying “some” experts support the deal (which is true), claimed that all the experts support it, which is false.

It is also worth noting that J Street signed a petition warning senators against passing new sanctions on Iran after the interim deal was signed. Every Israel-related group that signed the petition has anti-Israel views, some even crossing the line into anti-Semitism. Other signatories included Jewish Voice for Peace (a Jewish group that supports the anti-Semitic BDS movement and consistently delegitimizes Israel), CODEPINK (another BDS-supporting group that believes Israel commits human rights violations), and the Islamic Society of North America (a group started by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the umbrella organization for the US-designated terrorist group Hamas).

Additionally, the interim deal never addressed Iran’s ballistic missile program, where Iran is developing missiles geared specifically toward carrying nuclear weapons. J Street fails to relay this key message to its followers.

Moreover, the deal prohibits Iran from cooperating with North Korea on its nuclear program; but Iran continues its cooperation with North Korea to this day. J Street has not issued a condemnation.


Overall, a “great constituency of peace” must know the crucial facts because confronting the facts is the only way to bring a lasting peace. Because J Street does not recognize the reality on the ground and continues to ignore key facts, it is building the “Great Constituency of Naivety,” which is especially dangerous when dealing with the Middle East.

For more on J Street’s naivety and misrepresentation of the facts, please visit www.jstreetwatch.org

About the Author
Zach is the Managing Director of ZOA Campus, the campus branch of the Zionist Organization of America. Before working for the ZOA, he worked in Israel advocacy in Tel Aviv. Zach is a graduate of the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism.