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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Knesset 'gets' J Street

The Knesset held a hearing about J Street on Wednesday and most MK's seem to get exactly what J Street is about.
The American Jewish lobby organization J Street was harshly criticized at a meeting of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on Wednesday. Committee members denied J Street's self-characterization as a pro-Israel group, claiming that it is only a pro-Palestinian group that does not care about Israel.

While right-wing party members uniformly condemned J Street, members of the center-right party Kadima were split over the organization, with some stating that although one might not agree with the positions taken by the group, it cannot be ignored just because it represents Jewish Americans who "think differently."


Some of the strongest words of condemnation came from Kadima MK Otniel Schneller, who told J Street representative David Gila, "You are not Zionists and you do not look out for Israel's interests. While 50 rockets a day are fired upon Israel, you fight against the American veto to condemn Israel."

Gila responded to Schneller's accusations, saying, "You cannot ignore the voices of a group of American Jews -- and we believe that we are the majority. We are Zionists and we care for Israel." He insisted that J Street provides a framework for liberal Jews to support Israel, even if they do not agree with the policies of the government.

Kadima MK Shlomo Molla felt that his character was attacked for having attended a recent J Street Conference. Addressing J Street's attackers, he said, "You have besmirched the names of all the MKs who traveled to the [J Street] conference. I am not willing to dismiss any Jew living in the Diaspora [for their political opinions]."

J Street launched a petition and letter writing campaign on Sunday calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to treat J Street and other pro-peace movements as allies.

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a letter that the petition is intended to convince Netanyahu "that it’s time to embrace our movement as an ally of Israel and to abandon efforts to push those who disagree with the government’s policy out of the communal tent."
But most MK's get what J Street is about - hence the hostility toward them.

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At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended the committee meeting, and the main problem was the high concentration of J-Street supporters in the room. Those who oppose J-Street should have attended, because they were outnumbered 11-3.

At 3:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, Rabbi Richard Jacobs, the incoming new head of Reform Judaism has close ties to Judenrat Street and NIF:


The new face of American Zionism: self-righteous Israel condemning prats? They got all the education their grandparents dreamed for them and it just made them fluent in stupid.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I wasn't aware that we were allowed to attend. I'd be happy to post instructions for attending meetings like this when appropriate.


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