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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yglesias' epiphany

Matt Yglesias wakes up and realizes that maybe J Street isn't pro-Israel after all (Hat Tip: Conventional Folly).
I was debating with Jon Chait at a J Street panel this morning on the subject of “what does it mean to be pro-Israel?” As expected, we disagreed on a number of points, most of which I was right on and he was wrong on. But one thing he said in his opening remarks that I really disagreed with was that there was an ambiguity running through the J Street constituency as to whether the group was or should be pro-Israel at all.

That just struck me as kind of nuts. My J Street button said “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace.” It’s not a subtle aspect of the messaging. But when we moved to the Q&A time it became clear that a number of people in the audience really were quite uncomfortable self-defining as “pro-Israel” in any sense and that others are uncomfortable with the basic Zionist concept of a Jewish national state. I was, of course, aware that those views existed but it had seemed to me that it was clear that that wasn’t what J Street is there to advocate for. Apparently, though, it wasn’t clear to everyone.
Yglesias supports a 'two-state solution' one of which states he envisions as a 'Democratic Jewish Israel.'

But it shouldn't surprise anyone that much of J Street is uncomfortable with the notion of being pro-Israel. Look at the J Street conference speakers list. How many of those people do you think would be comfortable saying they're pro-Israel? How many of them are pro-Israel? An awful lot of them certainly are not.


At 3:04 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Unlike Matt Yglesias, I am not a fan of transnationalism, be it the EU, the UN or the Arab League. I believe the nation-state is important to a people's survival. If you look at the Torah, nowhere does it state the rest of the world will merge with the Jews. Even in the Messianic Era, there will be still be nations around. Having different identities is good for mankind. Only the Left could believe there is something wrong with being different. At Sinai, something momentous happened - the Jews not only entered into a relationship with G-d, they became a nation. In the ancient world, that was a revolutionary development. There was nothing like a sense of national consciousness back then. The Jews have been hated not only for their belief in G-d but for insisting on being a nation. And this is a traditional belief that long predates political Zionism and goes back thousands of years.

No wonder Yglesias and his fellow leftists don't feel comfortable with the nation-state not just with Israel. I think much of the hatred of Israel that's apparent in many enlightened circles is due to its refusal to give up its sovereignty. And no one should be under the illusion of its ever disappearing as long as the Jewish State exists upon this earth.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

We need to take back the English language.

J Street is not pro-peace. They are pro-war. They believe in the peace of the grave, aka pieces.

It is not pro-peace to believe that Israel should lay down its arms and give up. That is pro-genocide.

As abba eban said: "when the palestinians put down their weapons, there will be no more war. when the israelis put down their weapons, there will be no more Israel."

These "peace" people are, in truth, anti-peace.


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