NYT Camouflages Real J Street
In recent days, J Street, a liberal group with an anti-Israel agenda, has been lobbying hard to gain acceptance as a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish organizations. The main issue in contention was whether J Street merited inclusion inside the wide Jewish “tent” in America.
The hitch for J Street was that while it advertises itself as “pro-Israel” and “pro-peace,” it rarely lives up to its label. And with that kind of record, J Street was rejected by the umbrella of major Jewish organizations. And with that kind of record, J Street was rejected by the umbrella group of major Jewish organizations
Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz contends that J Street is “neither pro-Israel nor pro-peace” and the history of J Street backs him up.
But that didn’t bother the New York Times, which ran a generally positive article about J Street that is short of illuminating its repeated positions outside the Jewish mainstream but fulsome about its alleged bona fides to become a member of the umbrella Conference of major U.S. Jewish groups. (“Vote Seen as Test of Jewish Group’s Inclusiveness” by Michael Paulson, April 30, page A3)
Paulson, ever so soft on J Street, describes it as a “dovish lobbying organization that has been critical of some Israeli policies.” Aside from this coy euphemism, Paulson devotes less than a single sentence on instances where J Street has been critical of Israel -- for its 2008 invasion of Gaza (no mention that the invasion of the Hamas-ruled coastal strip was in response to incessant rocket barrages against Israeli civilian targets) and for Israel’s opposition to Western negotiations with Iran (no mention that these negotiations already have yielded acceptance of Iran becoming a nuclear breakout power).
Beyond that, the real J Street record is the big omission in Paulson’s piece. For example, he omits any mention that:
- J Street welcomed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s unity deal with the terrorist Hamas organization, which is officially committed to the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel.
- J street’s arrogance that it knows better what’s good for Israelis than Israel’s democratically-elected government does.
- J Street lied that it wasn’t bankrolled by anti-Israel billionaire George Soros, but after being thoroughly exposed, admitted taking money from Soros.
- J street actively lobbied Congress to oppose tough sanctions on Iran.
- J Street offered to escort South African jurist Richard Goldstone and set up meetings for him on Capitol Hill. Goldstone had accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilian populations during the Gaza war. He later retracted his libel.
- J Street lobbied against a U.S. veto of an anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. Security Council.
- J Street honored Israeli soldiers who refused to obey orders.
- J Street lobbied Congress not to fault widespread anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian school textbooks and media.
All this kept secret by the Times from its soft-gloves treatment of J Street
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers