David Suissa: We Need ‘A Street’, Not J Street

I am reprinting this in whole from a man I respect who grew up in Morocco and is not burden by Ashkenazi neurosis.

We Need ‘A Street’, Not J Street
By David Suissa

I don’t quite get the brouhaha that is going on in the Jewish world about J Street. Some Jews are convinced that this new organization poses a threat to Israel’s interests, while others are equally passionate about the need for an organization that will counter AIPAC and critique Israeli policy for the sake of peace.

I’ve heard all the critiques of J Street, and I agree with many of them. But what I still don’t get is why people are making such a fuss about an organization whose message is so outdated and unoriginal.

Listen to some of their pronouncements and tell me if they don’t equal a triple shot of Valium. Hey, did you know, for instance, that J Street believes in diplomatic solutions over military ones?

And in a negotiated end to the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts?

And get a load of this: They believe in a two-state solution! Two states living side-by-side in peace and security! Because, they say, ending the Palestinian conflict is in the best interests of Israel, the United States, the Palestinians and the region as a whole.

Talk about going out on a limb. J Street believes it’s really important that we resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No kidding. And what’s their brilliant brainstorm for how to do that? “Consistent and concerted diplomatic engagement by the United States.”

But wait a minute. Haven’t we heard all this before? Like maybe 30 years ago – and at every failed peace meeting since? Read more

The New Israel Lobby

What would Theo and Golda think of J Street's approach to middle east peace, the future of Israel, and American Israel relations?

What would Theo and Golda think of J Street's approach to middle east peace, the future of Israel, and American Israel relations?

I subscribe to many email lists of organizations that I don’t agree with. I like to see what people are sending out to their folks, how they portray themselves to their supporters versus how they portray themselves to the world. I like to see what they really think about themselves, and by getting their stuff, you get a picture over time of their ideas and agenda. So here is a little exploration of a recent J Street email to supporters that states their aims and objectives, and most importantly, their sense of arrogance. From our Jewish brothers and sisters over at J Street:

Do Jewish Americans and other friends of Israel support President Obama’s active and balanced pursuit of Middle East peace? We have to prove that the answer to this question is yes — right now. Defenders of the unworkable status quo [who likes the status quo?] are whispering to the White House and Congress that supporting the President’s thoughtful and balanced [blame the victim is now fair and balanced?] approach to the Middle East could hurt them politically. We know that the majority of Jewish Americans – and of Americans generally – support the President’s balanced calls on Israel to freeze settlements, for the Palestinians to rein in violence and incitement, and for Arab states to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel. [Which they have all completely rejected in today’s papers.]

Each line can be dissected, and the entire letter is below the fold. Buzz words that caught my eye include “whispered” implying a Jewish cabal. “Hurt them politically” which is the SOP of Israel Lobby conspiracists. The letter ends with “All of our futures are at stake…” really? “Our” future is at stake? Or theirs? J Street is running hot and full of themselves after the Jewish summit with Obama, when their approach was the one favored by the Obama administration. I am reminded of the phrase from Pirkei Avot: Be careful in your relations with the government; for they draw no one close to themselves except for their own interests. They appear as friends when it is to their advantage, but they do not stand by someone in their time of stress. When J Street’s approach fails to bring good polling numbers to the Obama camp, I am guessing that they will no longer have the ear of the inner circle. J Street believes that American pressure is the answer! This will somehow convince Hizbollah and Hamas to give up their stated aim of destroying Israel, bring a democratic government to run a Palestinian state, get all the Arab states of the region to join in one big love hug with Israel, get Yesha to forget the Torah, and even make the lion lie with the lamb. J Street has forgotten their Torah/Bible studies. Jews are a stiff necked people, and we don’t like people telling us what to do. Even God can’t tell us. And Israelis have an extra dose of stiff neckedness. American pressure has already hardened most Israelis and as we mentioned only 6% of Israelis back Obama’s policies. The current policies are likely to continue intransigence. As soon as the Obama folks have had enough of no results on the middle east, J Street’s star will no longer shine over the White House. There are millions of pro-Israel Christians whose support Obama needs much more. I mean no ill will towards our brothers and sisters at J Street, I am not calling them names. I just think that their approach will get us nowhere fast. Read more