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Sunday, September 07, 2014

'Pro Israel' J Street partnering with BDS groups

J Street, the self-proclaimed 'pro-Israel, pro-peace' pro-Obama group, is collaborating with Students for Justice and Peace in Palestine, a group that doesn't even pretend to be pro-Israel.
The Swarthmore chapter of Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine (SPJP), an offshoot of the well-known anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), on Sept. 4 co-hosted a discussion on the recent Gaza conflict with J Street U.
“We are co-hosting a discussion with J Street tonight at 7:30 in Kohlberg 116. Everyone is welcome,” Swarthmore SPJP tweeted.
Additionally, J Street U and SPJP, along with other Swarthmore campus groups including Hillel and Christian and Muslims clubs, last week held a vigil to honor those who died in the Gaza conflict. (Hillel International’s Israel guidelines forbid engagement with groups or speakers that “delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to Israel,” but Swarthmore Hillel last year decided to reject those guidelines and align with the “Open Hillel” movement.)
On a national level, J Street states that it “opposes the global BDS movement” and believes that BDS is an “inappropriate way” to try to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But in response to an inquiry about the Swarthmore events, a J Street spokesperson explained how the lobby’s co-sponsorship policy does not preclude partnering with pro-BDS groups.
“Our policy in terms of co-sponsorship is pretty consistent. We do not support BDS, but we do not have any problem with co-sponsoring programs with organizations that do,” Jessica Rosenblum, J Street’s director of media and communications, told JNS.org.
J Street’s co-sponsorship policy extends to groups on both the anti-Israel or pro-Israel side of the spectrum.
This proves once again Congressman Gary Ackerman's statement that J Street's heads are so open that their brains have fallen out. 
Except, of course, when it comes to actually doing something that is pro-Israel.... 
That policy was reflected by J Street’s decision in July, during the Gaza conflict, to pull out of a communal Israel solidarity rally in Boston. Shaina Wasserman, J Street’s Boston director, wrote in a letter to the local Jewish Community Relations Council that the lobby decided to pull out of the rally because the event did not include speakers who represented its “pro-Israel, pro-peace perspective.”
“What was missing for us in this rally, and what ultimately precluded our co-sponsorship, was that despite our efforts, there was no space made to raise the issues that follow from our commitment to Israel’s Jewish and democratic future,” wrote Wasserman.
I hope that the Israeli government is paying attention and will stop sending representatives to J Street events... 

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