Stop Calling J Street Pro-Israel

I often hear Liberal American Jews voice their disdain for AIPAC because it is too right wing for them. Consequently, they say they have found a better pro-Israel cause in J Street, one they can relate to more. I find this to be particularly troubling.

AIPAC exists for one reason and strives to achieve one goal. That is, to support Israel and to further Israel’s interests in the United States. There is nothing left or right about it. AIPAC will not say “sorry, we only support Labor governments, or we only support our view of what your interests are” but will act without hesitation for the betterment of Israel and the Jewish people. This manifests itself in ways such as curbing arms deals to Arab states, voting against UN resolutions and bringing decision makers to Israel etc.

J Street also defines itself as existing for one reason and striving to achieve one goal. J Street’s raison d’etre is not to support Israel, but to bring about a Palestinian state via the promotion of a two-state solution. This manifests in the form of near constant criticism of Israel.

I originally did not want to write about J Street because I did not want to be polarizing to the large amount of Jews involved in the organization. However, after seeing a quote from its executive director saying “this is a fight for the heart and soul of the American Jewish community” followed by them advertising an article slandering Taglit-Birthright, filled with their supporters bashing the trip; I felt that I should speak up.

I’m not sure what the demarcation is for being defined as “pro” something, but if it includes Saudi Arabia as being “pro-Israel” and Avigdor Lieberman as being “pro-Palestinian”, I don’t think it is very meaningful. I am not going to say J Street is an anti-Israel organization, although they have certainly done harm to Israel, but they cannot reasonably be classified as a pro-Israel group. This is not to say that those who are involved with J Street cannot be pro-Israel, in fact, many of their supporters are, but the group in and of itself should not be regarded as a pro-Israel group.

It’s fine for a group that is critical of Israel to be defined as being pro-Israel, but it actually has to do stuff that is pro-Israel aside from just self-declaring itself as such.  For J Street, the trend is clear. There is close to nothing done in support of Israel or Jewish life in other areas and in contrast, their criticisms are quite frequent and vocal.

If they want people to respect their “compassion” for Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, then they should probably start by having less contempt for what the current Jewish democracy does.

A former Knesset member for “pro peace” party Kadima described J Street with this: “You are not Zionists and you do not care about Israeli interests. Fifty rockets a day are fired on the South and you fight against the American veto against condemnations of Israel. You are not Zionists and you do not care about Israel. Only here in Israel do we determine Israeli democracy, and you cannot determine what Israel’s interests are”.

For all those who support J Street under the guise of being pro-Israel, here are some questions that I hope you can answer.

Why did one of the founders of J Street and members of its advisory board, David Levy say “”Maybe, if this collective Jewish presence” — that is, the Jewish State in the Middle East — “can only survive by the sword, then Israel really ain’t a good idea”?

Why did the secretary of the J Street University branch say “We don’t want to isolate people because they don’t feel quite so comfortable with ‘pro-Israel,’ so we say ‘pro-peace”?

Why did J Street campaign against a letter signed by 70 Senators urging America to press Arab states to recognize Israel?

Why did J Street campaign against two of the most supportive of Israel US Representatives… for being too supportive of Israel while actively promoting, endorsing and asking donations for other representatives who are some of the least supportive and most critical of Israel?

Why did J Street urge congressmen to oppose a letter calling for Palestinians to stop incitement against Israel?

If J Street’s aim is to give a voice to American Jewish population, why did their vice-president of field and campaigns say that in reference to their administration, they  “want to see them primarily moving Jews, and that is where the bulk of our resources go”?

Why are their annual conferences filled with not only people engaged in BDS, but supporters and advocates of the movement?

If the purpose and focus of their organization is the two-state solution, why did they campaign so hard to have Chuck Hagel nominated?

Or why they are against Obama keeping the option of a military strike on the table in regards to Iran?

Why did J Street deny that it had any connection with George Soros when Soros provided 15% of the organization’s funding?

States often supports groups it would otherwise detest for the sole reason that it is an enemy of an enemy; is this why J Street receives a significant amount of donations from Arabs/Muslims, or groups that lobby to promote Iranian (National Iranian American Council) or Arab interests (Arab American institute)?

The list of questions goes on and on…



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About the Author
Daniel lived in Israel where he pursued his graduate studies focussing on Israeli policy. Daniel is now back in his home country of Canada studying law. Come check me out at