Thursday, July 23, 2009

How J Street Aids and Abets Obama's Anti-Israel Policies

James Kirchick, an assistant editor at The New Republic, writing in the Forward, describes hows how the recently formed far-left Jewish organization J Street, and its leader, Jeremy Ben-Ami (photo left) provide invaluable Jewish cover for the Obama Administration's increasingly anti-Israel policies. Kirchick notes how J Street, which has positioned itself on the fringe left of the Jewish political spectrum, adopts a favorite tactic of the Left, denouncing anyone who disagrees with it as "right wing" and "extremist."

Kirchick offers this example:
In recent months, J Street has adopted an obscure freshman congresswoman from Maryland, Donna Edwards, as a cause célèbre. In January, after the conclusion of Cast Lead, Edwards was one of a handful of representatives to vote “present” on a resolution expressing support for Israel’s right to defend itself. When local Jewish leaders rightly criticized her, J Street raised $15,000 for Edwards in a matter of hours. Ben-Ami issued a defiant statement declaring, “This is exactly how — for decades — established pro-Israel groups have enforced right-wing message discipline on Israel in Congress.” (Notice the labeling of a resolution introduced by Nancy Pelosi and supported by 390 members of Congress as “right-wing.”)

The scary thing is that the tactics of the Obama Administration and its allies on the anti-Israel, Jewish far left seem to be working in turning the opinion of the American people away from support of the Jewish State. Kirchner concludes:

A Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll released last month found that only 46% of registered voters believe that Israel is committed to peace, down from 66% right before Obama took office. Furthermore, only 44% believe America should support Israel, down from 71% a year before. It’s impossible to isolate a single cause for this decline in sympathy for Israel, but surely the change in tone from the White House has played a substantial role. Even more distressing is that ostensibly “pro-Israel” activists are aiding and abetting this dark transformation in public attitudes.


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