Neil Lazarus
An internationally acclaimed expert in the fields of Middle East politics, public diplomacy and effective communication training.
Featured Post

Why J Street is wrong

The Israeli Embassy in Washington made the right decision in attending the J Street conference -- it will be a wonderful opportunity to reveal J Street for what it really is

The Israeli Embassy in Washington announced that its deputy chief of mission, Barukh Binah, will address this week’s J Street conference, the major event of the so called  “progressive” alternative to AIPAC. This, some argue, is a brave move that must surely be welcomed by all who believe in dialogue and the unity of the Jewish people.

The reality, however, is more complex. The Embassy made the right decision to attend the conference. It will be a wonderful opportunity to reveal J Street for what it really is — an organization that actually endangers the many liberal values it purports to represent.

I have a small request: During your speech, Mr Binah, please ask your audience the following questions:


If J street supports Israel why, according to an article in The Washington Times on September 29, 2010, did J Street allegedly facilitate the lobbying on Capitol Hill of Judge Goldstone, the author of a UN report accusing Israel of systematic war crimes in Gaza?


Why does Jeremy Ben-Ami not realize that few in Israel believe his explanations of the Goldstone scandal? Even Israeli politicians on the left have distanced themselves. According to a further report in the Washington Times on April 5, 2011, Labor MK Kollet Avital resigned from J Street over the affair. Does Ben-Ami not realize that for those of us on the Israeli left, it is hard to take J Street seriously? How can J Street not condemn the initial Goldstone Report and then welcome its author’s later renunciation?


Is J Street still being funded by George Soros.? Yes, we know Ben-Ami apologized for that too. Who are the other funders of the organization? Who is Consolacion Esdicul, the Hong Kong resident who donated $811,967? Many are wondering.


Why did J Street’s Daniel Levy describe Israel’s foundation as an “act that was wrong?” Why does Levy only condemn the Palestinian use of violence as “not strategic”?

Moreoveover, why is he sitting on a panel with Abdel Bari Atwan? Is he not aware that in arabic Atwan has said that he would “dance in Trafalgar Square” if Iran was to attack Israel?

Does Mr Levy not speak Arabic, or at least not read translations of Arabic? Is he not aware that when Abdel Bari Atwan speaks in English he denies what he says in arabic as a “smear campaign”?


And if we’re on the subject of language, was Ben-Ami not embarrassed to attend a Knesset meeting as an alternative voice for Israel in America when his Hebrew was so non-existent he did not understand what was happened at the meeting?


Why did J Street  allow Jewish Voice for Peace Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson to speak in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement at J Street’s 2011 Policy Conference in Washington DC?


Why does J Street run campaigns that seemingly undermine the IDF and Israel’s strategy against Iran? By questioning the deterrence of Israel, J street is making a conflict with Iran more likely, not less.


What is the relationship between J Street and the “Gaza 54” — the 54 Congressmen who condemned Israel during the war with Hamas? J Street, could you please send me your letter of solidarity with the people of Sderot?

Deputy Chief of Mission Barukh Binah, please ask these questions. Don’t give a speech talking of unity, broad tents or other such rhetoric.

Maybe it’s time we realized J street is a one-way road to disaster.

About the Author
Neil Lazarus is an internationally acclaimed expert in the field of Middle East Politics, Israel Public Diplomacy and Effective Communication Training. He is the the director of He is emerging as one of Israel's leading key note speakers. He regularly podcasts.