The anti-Zionist George Soros-funded extremist, fake pro-Israel, J Street, which falsely bills itself as a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization, have backed the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This shows again that J Street, despite its protestations, is an organization that takes positions that are opposed even by the left-wing Israeli political parties as well as the Israeli and American Jewish publics. Tzipi Livni, former head of the left-wing Kadima Party, and currently chief negotiator with the Palestinians, was in fact the first to articulate the necessity of the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state back in 2003. (A detailed ZOA Report on J Street, which considers in detail J Street’s divergence even from left-of-center Israeli and American Jewish opinion, can be found here).
In a statement posted on J Street’s website, Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami said that to “keep moving forward, both [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] now need to give a little, while keeping their eyes on the prize and recognizing that the benefits of resolving the conflict outweigh any short-term political considerations … failure to resolve these issues at this point should not derail these negotiations” (‘Word on the Street: Our current crisis and Israel as a “Jewish state,”’ March 21, 2014).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We see here, as we have seen before with the extremist J Street, that, on crucial issues affecting Israel’s security and existence, J Street takes positions that lack support in Israel and among Americans Jews except on the fringe.
In a statement posted on J Street’s website, Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami said that to “keep moving forward, both [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] now need to give a little, while keeping their eyes on the prize and recognizing that the benefits of resolving the conflict outweigh any short-term political considerations … failure to resolve these issues at this point should not derail these negotiations.”
“Palestinian Arab acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state –– as opposed to simply a state called ‘Israel’ which might, in time, become something other than a Jewish state –– is vital in itself and indicative of a true Arab change of heart regarding their willingness to actually live in peace alongside Israel. For J Street to declare that this vital issue that goes to heart of the conflict –– Arab rejection of a Jewish sovereign existence in the Middle East –– is a matter of ‘short-term political considerations’ and that Israel should ‘give a little’ (meaning drop it) only exposes J Street as a fake pro-Israel body that does not actually support key Israeli interests and concerns shared by a majority of Israelis.”
The ZOA has noted the following:
J Street’s positions are opposed by a majority of American Jews:
- J Street supports major Israeli territorial concessions, including creating a Palestinian state, dividing Jerusalem, funding Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA), opposing military action against Iran if it fails to stop its quest to obtain nuclear weapons, and so on. These positions are inconsistent with the American Jewish Committee 2011 Survey of American Jewish Opinion showing that American Jewry overwhelmingly belief (76%) that the goal of Israel’s Arab neighbors “is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel”; 59% of American Jews rejected Israeli concessions on Jerusalem; 55% of American Jews opposed the creation of a Palestinian state, whereas only 38% support its creation; a majority of 53% disapprove of President Obama’s handling of U.S./Israel relations, whereas only 40% approved of his performance in this sphere; conversely, 54% of American Jews approved of the Netanyahu government’s handling of U.S./Israel relations, whereas only 32% disapproved; an overwhelming 73% of American Jews favored the U.S. Congress withdrawing U.S. aid to Abbas’ PA if it forms a unity government with Hamas, whereas only 21% would oppose this; 56% of American Jews favor the U.S. taking military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to halt its march towards acquiring nuclear weapons, whereas only 38% oppose this; 68% of American Jews favor Israel taking military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to halt its march towards acquiring nuclear weapons, whereas only 26% oppose this.
J Street positions are opposed by the majority of Israelis:
- A January 2013 New Wave Poll showed that a clear majority of Israelis (55%) believe that Mahmoud Abbas is not a peace partner, as opposed to only 33% who believed that he is (‘New Wave Poll: 55%:33.3% Abu Mazen is not a peace partner,’ Independent Media Review Analysis, January 3, 2012).
- A January 2013 Geocartography Poll found that 45% of Israelis do not believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel will solve the conflict with the Palestinians, as opposed to 40% who believed that it would (‘Geocartography Poll: 45%:40% Israelis two states is not the solution for the conflict with the Palestinians,’ Independent Media Review Analysis, January 3, 2012).
- A December 2012 Israel TV Channel 2 poll found that an overwhelming 70% of Israelis do not believe that it possible to reach a solution to the dispute with the Palestinians in the near future, as opposed to a mere 25% who think it is ( ‘Channel 2 Poll: 70%:25% Not possible to reach solution to the dispute with the Palestinians in the near future,’ Independent Media Review Analysis, December 31, 2012).
- An October 2010 Peace Index Poll found that Israelis, by 65% to 34% believe that negotiations between Israel and the PA will not lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians in coming years; that 72% of Israelis believe that “The Palestinians have not accepted the existence of the State of Israel and would destroy it if they could”; that 67% of Israelis believe Palestinians will not accept Israel even if a peace agreement were to be signed; and that only 27% of Israelis believe that the PA will fulfill its obligations under any peace agreement that might be signed, whereas 68% of Israelis believe they will not.
Contrary to the majority of Israelis, J Street has:
- Supported engaging Hamas, a J Street website page entitled ‘Resolution of the conflict will involve Hamas,’ plainly admitting that “we would not oppose a decision by the Israeli government, the United States, or other countries to find unofficial, indirect ways to engage Hamas in order to advance U.S. and Israeli interests.”
- Opposed Israel’s 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead against Hamas terrorist in Gaza, which a Haaretz survey found Israelis supporting by a three-to-one margin. Even the far-left Meretz party supported Cast Lead. A Migdam poll found that the Israeli military campaign against Hamas in Gaza was supported by an overwhelming 60% of Israelis, as against only 23% who opposed it. American Jews also supported Cast Lead, a survey conducted in the week following the end of the fighting in January 2009 showing that 79% thought Israel’s response to Hamas rocket fire was “appropriate,” and not “excessive.” Yet, J Street opposed Cast Lead and called instead for an early ceasefire.
- Backed the damaging and biased 2009 Goldstone Report, which found Israel guilty of human rights violations and war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. Indeed, Reform Judaism’s Rabbi Eric Yoffie, himself a prominent left-wing Jewish figure, was loudly booed at the 2009 J Street conference when he criticized the Goldstone Report and J Street’s failure to support Cast Lead.
- Urged the Obama Administration to support a UN Security Council resolution falsely condemning Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as “illegal” –– something which the Obama Administration vetoed in 2011 when Arab states sponsored such a resolution. J Street said in statement, “The resolution introduced in the United Nations Security Council this week condemns Israel’s ongoing settlement activity and calls on both parties to continue negotiating final status issues in an effort to resolve the conflict in the short term. These are sentiments that we share.”
- Opposed strong sanctions on Iran, even though even Israeli leftists have clearly urged such sanctions against Iran if it does not halt its drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Israeli leftists, including Yossi Beilin, an architect of the Oslo process, a former Labor Deputy Foreign Minister and subsequently chairman of the far-left Meretz Party, have publicly called for strong Western sanctions against Iran. Israeli Labor leader and former Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, made Iran’s isolation the centerpiece of his exchanges with his counterparts in the West.
- Failed to oppose the Palestinian bid for non-member statehood in the United Nations: In November 2012, in a strange statement entitled ‘J Street’s Position on the Palestinian Bid at the United Nations General Assembly,’ J Street avoided plainly stating whether it actually supported the Palestinian UN General Assembly resolution. J Street not only did not oppose the Palestinian UN bid but essentially agreed with the Palestinian resolution, saying, “The resolution (as drafted) endorses a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the parameters J Street believes are urgently needed for Israel to survive as a secure, democratic, Jewish homeland – two states for two peoples, with borders based on the pre-1967 lines with agreed swaps.” Having thus failed to condemn the PA’s circumventing of negotiations, J Street did, however, find its voice to condemn any notion of penalizing the PA for its flagrant breach of its agreements and efforts to achieve statehood without recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and ending the conflict (“We strongly oppose retaliatory measures against the PLO or the Palestinian Authority (PA) – in particular, Congressional efforts to cut funding”).