Friday, August 7th, 2009
Their opponents claim they’re having absolutely no impact in Congress, but a NORPAC action alert today says differently.
The “they” is J Street, the year-old pro-peace process lobby and political action committee.
Recently J Street, along with Americans for Peace Now (cool new Web site!), started lobbying against a congressional letter by Sen Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Sen. James Risch (R-ID) currently circulating in the Senate.
Backers say the letter (read it here) merely commends President Obama’s pressure on Arab states to normalize relations with Israel and asks for more; the dovish groups say the letter undercuts the President’s policy by ignoring Israel’s obligations.
Today NORPAC, the big New Jersey-based pro-Israel political action committee, sent out an action alert that said “unfortunately, there are quiet a few familiar names missing on the list” of signers – including Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Sen. Robert Menendez, both New Jersey Democrats and pro-Israel stalwarts.
Then there’s this line: “As you all are familiar with other ‘Pro-Israel’ organizations such as J St, APN, and others; their pressure on Congress is being felt and is making these signatures harder for us to get.”
‘nuf said. How long do you suppose it will take J Street to put that in a fundraising letter?
Note to commenters: no, I’m not saying J Street is the equivalent of AIPAC in power. No, I’m not endorsing J Street’s position. Frankly, I tend to think these battles over nonbinding congressional letters and resolutions interest only a small handful of insiders, with almost no impact on policy.
Yes, I’m saying folks who claim the group is having no impact at all are full of hot air.