Around the world, hundreds of Jews and friends of the Jewish community are waking up and seeing the true colors of J Street, an anti-Israel front group masquerading as a pro-Israel organization. On at least two college campuses, both home to a sizable Jewish student population, J Street’s on-campus affiliates are actively organizing campaigns to end U.S. aid to Israel. If these radicals get their way, not only will the Jews of Israel fall victim, J Street will break its decade-old promise to all Jews who naively supported them. J Street’s leader, Jeremy Ben-Ami, must take action to control anti-Israel fervor within his organization and do it quickly.
J Street claims many labels, including “pro-Israel progressive” and “pro-Israel, pro-peace”. Nobody should ever confuse J Street for a Zionist organization. Since its inception in 2007, J Street has made its stance clear: they value politics over Jewish lives. When J Street first emerged, roughly ⅓ of its funding came from anti-Israel crusader George Soros. Worse still, Ben-Ami lied about it and told the world that Soros had no involvement until he was embarrassingly caught red-handed when the group’s IRS forms appeared on a government website. J Street was first in line to support the disastrous Iran nuclear deal and help President Obama overcome the objections of every major American Jewish organization. J Street also makes a habit of honoring notorious Holocaust denier and would-be Palestinian dictator Mahmoud Abbas at its annual conference.
In recent weeks, at least two chapters of J Street U, the organization’s campus faction, have begun to advertise campaigns to demand that the United States “end aid to the occupation”. At both American University in Washington, D.C. and Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, J Street U has announced “End the Occupation” campaigns on social media. The very premise of these events constitutes disinformation and spreads fake news about U.S. taxpayers supposedly funding “human rights abuses”. One of the events was met with applause from Jonah Karsh, a member of J Street U’s national board. This presents an alarmingly inconvenient truth: J Street does not stand with Israel, it kneels to antisemites.
In its mission statement, J Street claims it supports Israel, the democratic ideas it shares with the United States, and Israel’s right to self-defense. These initiatives paint a much different picture. Whether a medical practice or a synagogue, the attitudes of young people offer an outlook on the future of any organization. By declaring its opposition to U.S. aid to Israel, J Street U has revealed the path down its parent organization will inevitably follow. The petitions at American University and Brown University are proof positive that the future leaders of J Street are even more extreme than the national organization is today.
In the 21st century, Jews should be proud of their faith, no matter how they choose to express it. As a people, we also should recognize the geopolitical moment we live in. For the first time in nearly two thousand years, a Jewish state controls the land which God gave to us after the exodus and nearly four decades in the wilderness. Unlike many others in the international community, Israel serves as a shining example to the rest of the world, blazing trails in human rights, sustainability, and innovation – all things supporters of J Street claim to support. But Jeremy Ben-Ami has proven himself to be anything but a friend of Israel. If J Street U is any indication, the next generation of his ilk will be even worse.