J Street: Pro-progressive, not pro-Israel
By Paul Miller5
When the state of Israel buried three teenage boys kidnapped and brutally murdered by Hamas militants last summer, Rabbi Dov Zinger spoke of the heartache of the nation and Jews throughout world. Remembering the boys, he brought home the old quip, “two Jews, get three opinions,” declaring “two Jews, three opinions, one heart.”
The slain children of Israel brought the Jewish people together. Until recently the same could be said for the safety and security of the Jewish state. Even though Jews tend to regard disagreement and debate as a sport, the point of contention was existential: how to secure Israel in peace. The only rule of the U.S. version of the game was that Israel would never be a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals should always support Israel’s right to exist and defend herself because it’s the right thing to do.
Since the self-proclaimed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” political action committee J Street joined the game, the cardinal rule has been broken. Israel has been made into a partisan cause – used as cover to elect the most anti-Israel candidates that donations can buy.
It’s no secret that some of the most vehemently anti-Israel money is behind J Street, most notably billionaire George Soros who once referred to his teenage years confiscating the property of Jews as "the happiest time of my life."
Add the wallets of donors such as Genevieve Lynch, former board member of The National Iranian American Council, also known as the voice of the mullahs in Tehran, and Mehmet Celebi, who co-produced the abhorrently anti-Semitic film Valley of the Wolves, and you have a money trail that resembles funding for Hamas, not anything that would support the safety and security of Jews.
But in a world that still itches to scapegoat the Jews at every opportunity possible, common sense and decency will never prevail.
Former Midwest political director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Rabbi Jonathan Greenberg, noted, “J Street was never intended to be a pro-Israel organization. Its purpose was to give [founder and president] Jeremy Ben-Ami a seat at the Progressive roundtable of the Democrat Party.”
Greenberg continued, “Ben-Ami has achieved his goal. But I must admit I never thought J Street would move as far to the left as they have. They are in bed with some real shady characters.”
Advocates for the Jewish state have failed to fully expose where J Street’s money goes. They continue to scream George Soros at every opportunity – focused on incoming dollars. But J Street’s own website reveals its anti-Israel agenda – financial output – supporting elected officials and candidates that support U.S. taxpayers funding Hamas, contravening Israel’s basic right to defend herself.
Over the summer when Israel was saving countless civilian lives with the Iron Dome, the candidates J Street endorsed were the minority voices saying no to Israeli security. Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) – all J Street-endorsed officials – voted against funding. Another eight J Street endorsees abstained from supporting the Jewish state.
J Street supported Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) who recently defended Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and advocated continuing U.S. taxpayer funding for Hamas as part of the Palestinian Unity Government.
J Street claims on its website to endorse only candidates who support aid to a Palestinian government “that renounces violence, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and honors past agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.” Yet they proudly endorse Connolly as well as Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) who lead the campaign to put U.S. tax dollars in the hands of Hamas.
Last I heard, the U.S.-designated terror group hasn’t changed its charter. “Obliterating” Israel and murdering Jews is still their goal.
Ben-Ami can stand on a table and scream at the top of his lungs that J Street is “pro-Israel,” but as he pitches his rant atop the table, under the table his group is funding trips for Jewish college students to go to Ramallah and pay homage at the tomb of Yassir Arafat, the father of modern day terrorism and probably the greatest mass murderer of Jews in the second half of the 20th century.
On campus, J Street partners with the rabidly anti-Semitic Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group in the forefront of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. An SJPdocument recently uncovered by the education watchdog group AMCHA Initiative reveals SJP plans to target, ostracize, harass and silence pro-Israel students. These are the bigots J Street deems “pro-Israel, pro-peace.”
In the age of the low-information voter, politics is about perception and only perception. J Street bestows its “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” label on candidates who are neither. Through its fundraising efforts and spinning of issues, it helps elect candidates that support Ben-Ami and J Street’s true purpose– a progressive agenda.
And since “divide and conquer” is the modus operandi of the progressive movement, J Street-endorsed candidates, supporters and allied groups are dedicated to the demise of the pro-Israel community. Meanwhile, Jeremy Ben-Ami gets his seat at the progressive big boy table.
Miller is an op-ed contributor to the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. He serves as principal of Pauliegroup LLC, a Chicago-based new-media and political consulting firm