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Friday, April 27, 2012

OMG: In the event of war, J Street says they won't necessarily support Israel

There's an amazing letter in Friday's Jewish Advocate (Boston). If you aren't a (paid) subscriber, this is all you see of it, but it's enough to whet anyone's curiosity (Hat Tip: Elihu S).
At this week’s meeting of the JCRC Council, three organizations briefed the council on their organization’s Iran policy. I was shocked to hear J Street’s regional director say that in the event that war broke out involving Israel, J Street would not necessarily support the Jewish state.
And here's the rest of it.
Incredulous, I asked her to clarify that I had heard correctly. Indeed, she reiterated proudly that J Street would not necessarily support Israel in a conflict, but would weigh the circumstances. So if, heaven forbid, war breaks out, the wise sages of J Street (and supposed military experts) will decide whether or not Israel merits our support. And this is an organization which claims to be "pro-Israel"! With friends like that, who needs enemies?

While there is a plurality of views in our community on many issues, there is a broad consensus that if attacked, we put our differences to one side and stand by the people of Israel unambiguously. J Street has put itself beyond that consensus.

It's one thing to question the likelihood of success of military action against Iran - and we certainly hope and pray that sanctions and diplomacy will work - but quite something else to say that if a conflict breaks out, we would not unambiguously stand with Israel.

Shame on them, but at least the pro-Israel community understands where they stand. In Israel's hour of need, J Street cannot be counted on.


The bigger problem is that J Street has the Obama administration's ear. Obama and Hillary Clinton are convinced that J Street is representative of the American Jewish community. In Israel's hour of need, the Obama administration cannot be counted on either.

What could go wrong?


Soccer Dad points me to this 'clarification' from J Street founder Jeremy Ben Ami on J Street's blog.
Specifically, our position paper says: “While unlikely to permanently disable Iran’s nuclear program, a military strike would have dire consequences and runs the risk of igniting a broader regional war. A preemptive attack could also strengthen the current regime in Iran and provide an excuse for it to redouble its nuclear efforts. We therefore oppose legislation authorizing, encouraging, or in other ways laying the groundwork for the use of military force against Iran.”

Israel – the country and the people – can always count on J Street’s support. Its policymakers, however, shouldn’t expect unquestioning support for controversial decisions that we believe run counter to the best interests of Israel, the United States and the Jewish people.
It sounds to me like he's saying that an attack on Iran is a 'controversial decision' and that if Israel goes ahead and does it, it should not expect J Street's support. That sounds pretty much like what Paul Sassieni wrote in the Advocate. Am I missing something here?

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At 9:43 AM, Blogger Penguin Lover said...

No, I think you got it. When Israel is at war they will think about whether they will support Israel or her enemy depending on the merits of the case. Were they to judge it appropriate perhaps they will come out in favor of Hezbollah or Iran. I am assuming when they say they are pro-Israel what they really mean is that they are themselves not actively involved in fighting for its destruction, but would judge the pros and cons of such a destruction were it to become a possibility.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Or as I like to point out to people who merely parrot their post modernist drivel about 'competing narratives"....what about all the GOOD things slavery accomplished before the the Civil War?

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He seems to be saying that he supports the idea of Israel but doesn't necessarily support her continued existence. Kind of like those idealists who love humanity but hate people.


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