April 19, 2018
News Press Release

ZOA Criticizes Sens. Cardin, Durbin, Sanders & Schatz for Speaking at Anti-Israel J Street Conference

PLO: J St Members are Palestinian Arab Allies

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz summed it up best when he stated: “J Street is one of the most virulent anti-Israel organizations in the history of Zionism and Judaism.” 

Indeed, at this year’s J Street conference, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Washington office, Husam Zomlot, came right out and called the J Street audience the PLO’s “allies” – to thunderous applause.  (“Washington PLO Envoy Says J Street Members Are ‘Palestinian Allies’,” by Jonathan Greenberg, JNS, Apr. 18, 2018.)  That’s the same PLO whose main member organization, Fatah, brags about murdering more Jews than Hamas. (“Ahead of Elections, Fatah Brags of Killing 11,000 Israelis,” Times of Israel, Aug. 4, 2016.)  But, this openly admitted alliance with Israel’s enemies is unfortunately, hardly surprising:  J Street trips have even brought students to Ramallah to pay homage at the grave of Yasser Arafat – who was responsible for murdering and maiming thousands of Jewish men, women and children.

It is shameful that Senators Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bernie Sanders (D/Socialist-VT) spoke at this year’s J Street conference – joining the PLO head, as well as notorious anti-Israel NGOs including B’Tselem, Gisha and the misleadingly-named “Breaking the Silence,” who receive European funding to defame Israel at the UN and throughout the world.

Self-respecting members of Congress stay as far away from the deceitful anti-Israel J Street as possible.  A large contingent of Congress members who were initially drawn into J Street’s web (listed on J Street’s “host committee” sometimes with, and reportedly sometimes without their knowledge) publicly disassociated and removed themselves, as soon as they learned of J Street’s anti-Israel activities and extremism.  Congress members asking to have their name removed included Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Representatives Mike Castle (R-DE), Mike Ross (D-AR), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Leonard Boswell (D-IA), John Salazar  (D-CO), Ed Towns (D-NY), and Howard Coble (R-NC).  (“J Street Loses Another Two Dems,” by Michael Goldfarb, Weekly Standard, Oct. 17, 2009; “Another Congressman Evacuates J Street,” by Michael Goldfarb, Weekly Standard, Oct. 15, 2009)

Still more have spoken out against the J Street.  Liberal Democrat former Congressman and Mideast Subcommittee Chairman Gary Ackerman (D-NY), famously explained why he cut ties with J Street as follows, after J Street urged the passage of UN resolutions wrongly condemning Israel:

J-Street is not an organization with which I wish to be associated. . . . The [J-Street] decision to endorse the Palestinian and Arab effort to condemn Israel in the U.N. Security Council is not the choice of a concerned friend trying to help. It is rather the befuddled choice of an organization so open-minded about what constitutes support for Israel that its brains have fallen out. . . . [The Palestinian Authority] sent peace talks into a dead end. But astonishingly, it is Israel that J-Street would put in the stocks in the public square.”  (“Jewish Lawmaker Slams J Street for Position on Anti-Israel U.N. Resolution,” Fox News, Jan. 26, 2011.)

ZOA urges Senators Cardin, Durbin, Sanders and Schatz to likewise disassociate themselves from J Street.

ZOA also urges these Senators – and everyone else who wants to know the facts – to read ZOA’s recently published detailed report, entitled “J Street Sides With Israel’s Enemies & Works to Destroy Support for Israel.” (See ZOA’s Executive Summary or Full Report on J Street.)  

ZOA’s report documents, among other things: 

  • J Street officials’ statements opposing Israel’s existence;
  • J Street’s continued lobbying for anti-Israel United Nations resolutions and Congressional actions; 
  • J Street’s support for anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) while pretending to “officially” oppose certain types of BDS;
  • J Street’s deceptive promotion of the disastrous Iran deal and repeated lobbying against sanctions on Iran. In addition to J Street’s long history of pro-Iran lobbying documented in ZOA’s report, at this year’s J Street conference, J Street again instructed attendees to lobby against sanctions on Iran. (See In Washington, J Street Makes Demands of Israel, Ignoring Palestinian Violence,” by Jonathan Greenberg, JNS, Apr. 16, 2018.)  (J Street ignored Iran’s missile tests, violations of the Iran deal, increased terror activities and funding of terror throughout the Middle East, increased dangerous presence on Israel’s Syrian border, and, in the words of the most recent U.S. national security threat assessment, Iran’s “enduring threat to U.S. national interests”); 
  • J Street’s undermining of Israel’s defense – another of its many anti-Israel positions that J Street reiterated at this year’s conference;
  • J Street’s lobbying against increased defense aid to Israel – while lobbying for aid to the Palestinian Authority, which uses the aid to pay terrorists to murder Jews.  This year, J Street also lobbied for aid to UNRWA – despite UNRWA’s rampant corruption and allowing Hamas to use UNRWA facilities for rocket storage and rocket attacks on Israel.  (See In Washington, J Street Makes Demands of Israel, Ignoring Palestinian Violence,” by Jonathan Greenberg, JNS, Apr. 16, 2018.);
  • J Street’s condemnation of Israel for defending herself from Hamas rockets.  (This year, J Street also condemned Israel for defending herself from Hamas’s Molotov cocktails, shooting attacks and attempts to storm the security fence to murder Jews.  Id.)
  • J Street’s legitimization of Arab terror
  • J Street’s lobbying against the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem
  • J Street’s support for ethnic cleansing of Jews
  • J Street’s demonization of Israel on college campuses
  • J Street’s demonization of pro-Israel Jewish and Christian Zionist groups
  • J Street’s campaigns to turn officials, politicians and major party platforms against Israel
  • J Street’s fundraising campaigns to defeat Israel’s best friends in Congress, and to elect Congresspersons who are hostile to Israel
  • J Street’s entanglements and coordination with a web of extremist organizations working to delegitimize Israel
  • J Street’s use of phony polls to falsely claim support for its positions
  • J Street’s twisting of Jewish values and holidays into occasions for maligning Israel
  • J Street’s opposition to Palestinian Arab recognition of the Jewish state
  • and more.