Powered by WebAds

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why J Street is different from other Jewish organizations

J Street has put out its first television commercial, and I have it for you.

Let's go to the videotape. I'll have more after the video.

Clearly, J Street isn't so much pro-Israel as pro-Obama (or pro-Democrat) as the commercial made painfully obvious. Still, what makes J Street different than other Left-leaning Jewish organizations like American Friends for Peace Now. Michael Lame argues that there are three differences:
First, it is an overtly Democratic Party organization. JStreetPAC, its political action committee, endorsed and distributed campaign contributions to 41 candidates in 2008: 39 Democrats and only two Republicans. In 2010 it has endorsed 58 candidates: 57 Democrats and one Republican. Most other pro-Israel PACs split their donations more evenly between the two major parties.

J Street's founding president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, has an impressive resume, with much of his career spent in the world of Democratic politics. He worked for Bill Clinton, both in his first presidential campaign and in the White House. He has worked for other Democratic candidates, and is politically connected in the upper echelons of the party, which appears to be his comfort zone.

Second, J Street is specifically an Obama support group, playing the part of a cheering section for the president to such an extent that the organization could be renamed "Jews for Obama." It has consistently supported his approach to the Middle East even when most commentators who support a two-state solution have criticized his administration's tactics and timing. Through the last year and a half of White House bumbling and fumbling over the settlement freeze, J Street never once criticized Obama, Mitchell, Clinton or the entire strategy of talking tough to Israel, coupled with toothless threats and inept performance.

Unlike the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, J Street will not defend Israel unconditionally. Apparently, however, J Street will defend Obama unconditionally.

Third, the main problem here is that J Street tries to turn peace in the Middle East into a proprietary issue of the Democrats, while it vilifies the Republicans as the enemies of peace. That might be a good strategy for electing Democrats, though I doubt it, but it is not a good strategy for building broad national support for a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
It sure doesn't sound like 'pro-Israel, pro-peace,' does it?


At 3:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the ad, they attacked the far right wing...not all republicans

they also attacked lieberman and dershowitz

until this current election cycle, dershowitz has never campaigned for a republican

j street are just a bunch of ess disturbers

and they are making the same mistake as that new right wing advocacy group

israel must not become a political wedge issue

its dangerous for both israel and american jews


Post a Comment

<< Home