The Absolute Irrelevance of J Street


(Written in response to Richard Goldwasser’s Op-Ed Piece, “Jerusalem the Divisible”.)

Hello Richard, J Street Board member, my brother:

As an Israeli watching the occasional statements of people from J Street, I have long marveled at just how disconnected your position is to the vast majority of every day Israelis living their lives here in Jerusalem. But this time, you have actually provided me with the material I need to show that the J position is simply out there in left field, with no importance or even relevance to the facts on the ground here in Israel.

No, not true. It is more accurate to describe the J Street take on things as being from another planet entirely.

Let’s start with the statement of your position regarding Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State of Israel:

It follows, or so the argument goes, that Israel must not cede any portion of Jerusalem to the Palestinians in a future peace deal.”

Whoah! Wait a moment. Do I know anybody living here who even in principle accepts the very way that you define the situation? Let’s look.

“Israel must not cede any portion of Jerusalem to the Palestinians.” Wait a second. Who are the Palestinians? Are they are nation among the nations of the world? Let’s ask like this, Richard: Where were the Palestinians 100 years ago? 1000 years ago?

Hmmm. If we look carefully, it becomes clear that I was an actual witness to the creation of a people! Until 1964, no-one had ever heard of a Palestinian people. In 1964, the United States withdrew silver-based currency from circulation. In that year, apparently, high-polished lead in the form of the Palestinian people entered the world market.

Now let us look at the Jewish People for a moment. What are their origins? Some latter-day Pan-Arab council decision set to destroy the Jewish community in the Land of Israel? Or 4,000 undisputed, documented years of existence at the forefront of much of world history? Are these equal partners?

Then, dear Richard, you say: ”… Jerusalem to the Palestinians in a future peace deal.”

Let’s try this again. A peace deal with this mongrel, made-up nation? Tell me, how do these people behave towards us? With any remote hint of an interest in peace? Why, they uniformly  teach their children the holiness of dying while killing Jews. And for them it is public knowledge and absolute truth that we eat their blood in matzot during Passover, and inject AIDS into women in Gaza.

Let’s ask some regular Israeli citizens what they think.

How about my son? Three years ago he was in his high-school dorm room when an ‘East-Jerusalem’ Arab walked into the school library and pumped scores of Kalashnikov bullets into adolescents pouring over their books. He murdered eight and wounded dozens until an off-duty soldier was able to shoot him dead. Across the way on the Eastern side of Jerusalem, his family celebrated his death as a martyr. Do think my son believes that there can ever be a ‘peace deal’ with these people?

How about the guy I saw in the mikveh (ritual bath) a few hours ago? (Yes, Richard, I know you’ve heard of the mikveh. But I bet you thought it was just for women. Well I know scores of men, myself included, who take a dunk in a mikveh on Friday before Shabbat – and some dedicated souls go to the mikveh every morning.)

He was in full Israeli army uniform, with a khaki-green kippa (skullcap) and long curly side locks and a scraggly beard that mark him as one of many, many religious Zionists in the armed forces. Do you think that your idea of a peace deal with these people ever even crosses his mind?

You mention a story with Abraham Lincoln, with the conclusion that with respect to a dog’s tail, calling the tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. Well let me bounce that back to you. Calling these people a nation doesn’t make them a nation by a long shot. And talking about a peace process with people who shoot kids in the head at close range is not going to make it a peace process, even if you hold your breath until you turn blue.

Sorry Richard. You suffer from a well-known disease: galut (exile). You live in what you call Chicago, Illinois. We call it exile, my friend, and you are blinded by the darkness there.

And now for the most profound thought of all. Maybe you are missing the real story here. Do you know that since the creation of the State of Israel, every diaspora has been broken up and reassembled, at least in part, in Israel – except for one? You think that your position in America is so secure that you can mouth ridiculous ideas about what we should be doing here in Israel? Have you checked your shadow lately? Do you feel seismic changes underground in the land of Uncle Sam?

I think that you first must wake up, because your slumber is harming us here in Israel, and is doing a major and potentially frightening disservice you and the rest of the Jews of American in 2012.

In short: get with the program, Mr. Goldwasser, before the program gets you.

About the Author
Yisrael Rosenberg is a former New Englander who made aliyah 30 years ago. He lives with his wife and four children in Jerusalem.