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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Knesset to investigate J Street

The Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Public Diplomacy Committee is to hold a meeting to debate the activities of J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace pro-Obama, nominally Jewish lobby in the United States. The committee is chaired by Danny Danon, an up and coming Likud firebrand, so the fact that it's holding this hearing is not surprising. What is surprising is that the hearing is being undertaken at the initiative of Otniel Schneller (pictured). Schneller is the token 'settler' in Kadima's Knesset delegation. Kadima has been the least hostile to J Street of any of Israel's Zionist parties.
Danon said that he plans to invite the MKs who participated in the J Street annual conference in late February, as well as Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, to testify before the committee.

"What really interests me are the mutual relations between the Jewish world and the State of Israel,” Schneller said, explaining why he brought the topic up for formal debate on the House floor. “The code that was broken is more serious than the content. The fact that J-Street fought against the sanctions that the United States wants to place against Iran is very, very serious in my eyes, as is the fact that they acted against the American veto.”

Schneller complained that “if they say that if Israel accepts our radical left-wing diplomatic positions, then we love Israel – it is a conditional love. If you don’t accept our ideas, then we will support Iran or the Palestinian Authority. I don’t want love like that. Don’t love me at all.”

“I asked for the hearing not because of the content of J Street’s beliefs, but because I want to look into the commitment of Jewish love and support for Israel. If they don’t love and support Israel, then they should not present themselves as pro-Israel,” Schneller said. “American Jewish groups, right or left, should understand that they should maintain full solidarity for Israel overseas – and when Tzipi Livni or Haim Oron become prime minister, I will demand the same loyalty from right-wing groups.”
It will be interesting to see whether and at what point Schneller comes under pressure from his own party to call off the show. Livni thinks J Street is wonderful so long as she is not in power.

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At 2:12 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The point is Israel's isolation on the world scene is not going to be reversed by a change of Israeli personality or policy. The Arabs will refuse to make peace no matter who governs Israel.


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