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Friday, December 11, 2009

Michael Oren blasts J Street

In a shift, Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, blasted the pro-Israel, 'pro-peace' J Street lobby at a Monday breakfast meeting of the United Synagogue annual convention (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Addressing a breakfast session at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s biennial convention December 7, Ambassador Michael Oren described J Street as “a unique problem in that it not only opposes one policy of one Israeli government, it opposes all policies of all Israeli governments. It’s significantly out of the mainstream.”

After a speech that touched on the spiritual basis for and the threats to the state of Israel, Oren issued an unscripted condemnation of J Street.

“This is not a matter of settlements here [or] there. We understand there are differences of opinion,” Oren said. “But when it comes to the survival of the Jewish state, there should be no differences of opinion. You are fooling around with the lives of 7 million people. This is no joke.”


But at the USCJ breakfast, Oren criticized J Street after an audience member asked him how synagogues should respond if congregants requested that the group be invited to make a presentation.

“Engage with them,” he said. “But I think it’s very important that you be up-front with them and say why these policies are outside the mainstream and why they are inimical to Israel’s fundamental interests.”
J Street is significantly outside the Israeli Jewish mainstream. Its policies are somewhere between those of Meretz and the Arab parties. Meretz has three seats in the current Knesset. The Labor politicians who showed up to J Street's convention are those who are outside the government (while the Israeli public overwhelmingly supported Labor going into the government). J Street seems to be willing to do anything for publicity. Hopefully, when Barack Obama is defeated in 2012, his 'pro-peace' lobby will disappear too.


At 1:36 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

There is no constituency for J-Street type policies in Israel. Obama is despised and his having forced the Israeli government to impose a freeze on Yesha has made him even more unpopular. Michael Oren is correct that while Jews can have differences of opinion, all Jews should be of the same mind in seeking to ensure Israel's survival. The root of the Middle East conflict is an existential not a territorial issue. There can never be a compromise over Israel's right to exist.


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