Like our colleagues at AIPAC, I have long believed that support for Israel should be a bipartisan issue. Once this become a partisan issue, we create enormous enmity for the State of Israel within at least fifty percent of the population, which would ultimately give succor and support to Israel’s enemies. And it certainly does not help the Jewish state survive if an incoming President regards Israel as “the other party’s issue.”
(Originally published on JNS.org) That is why my heart is so heavy when I read that mainstream leaders of the democratic party, such as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and almost all of the major contenders within the democratic party have attended the J Street Conference.
What is even more concerning is
that many of the speakers in this week’s conference have made outrageously
naïve and even hostile statements about the State of Israel, demonstrating no
empathy for what the Jewish state must contend with, to rapturous applause.
Such was the case when Senator
Bernie Sanders stated that some of the $3.8 billion annual assistance to Israel
“should go now to humanitarian aid in (Hamas controlled) Gaza.
First a word about J Street. Its
mission claims: “J
Street organizes and mobilizes pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel
to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people. Working in
American politics and the Jewish community, we advocate policies that advance
shared US and Israeli interests as well as Jewish and democratic values,
leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
However, when it comes to their real actions on Capitol Hill,
there is little or no daylight between the positions taken by J Street and
those of Israel’s avowed enemies, including NIAC, the National Iranian American Council,
which advocates for policies sympathetic to the Iranian regime, CAIR, the
Council of American Islamic relations, which was an unindicted
co-conspirator of the Holy Land
Foundation Trial and ISNA the Islamic Society of North America, which was
established in July of 1981 by American members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In fact, according to Lenny Ben David, who wrote a chapter in
my book, “Saudi Arabia and the Global Terrorist Network”, (Palgrave MacMillan,
2011), “Research into J Street’s backers indicates a Washington cadre of paid
Saudi agents, sycophants and factotums. There are not many in that bunch
willing to be considered pro-Israel.” Included among these are Nancy Dutton,
widow of Fred Dutton, the longtime Saudi foreign agent, As recently as August
2008, news reports identified her as the Saudi’s lawyer; Judith Barnett, who
has been registered with the Justice Department for being a foreign agent of
Saudi Arabia; and Ray Close, who has been a CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia,
and as Eli Lake wrote in the New York Sun, “The day he retired from the CIA,
Ray walked across the street and joined
Kamal Adham, (the head of Saudi’s intelligence service),in a business
What is even more disturbing than who backs them is what they
have supported. Just a few highlights: J Street was one of the most vocal
supporters, together with NIAC for the Iranian nuclear deal, which has by now, proven
to have enriched, empowered and emboldened the Islamic regime and its terror
proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It currently opposes any sanctions on
They claim not to support BDS, yet they support “targeted
BDS” (labeling of any product that has been manufactured over the “Green Line”).
This has proven to be disastrous for the Palestinians whom they claim to care so
much for, as in the case of when Soda Stream was forced to uproot itself from
the territories and left so many previously employed Palestinians without a
J Street lobbied vociferously against the Taylor Force Act, which withheld the amount American funding to the Palestinian Authority which they had been giving to their “martyr’s fund” or “Prisoner’s pension fund”, money which incentivized terror to murder innocent civilians. It has supported the Goldstein Report that condemned the defensive action Israel was forced to take against Hamas missile attacks in Operation Cast Lead and fully supported the UN Resolution condemning Israel in 2016 for its occupation of the dispute territories, which the Osama administration shamefully, refused to veto.
And therein lies the heart of the problem. J Street, and many others like them, are seduced by words and lofty slogans like, “Pro-Israel/Pro-Peace.” These words are intended to give the impression that all that Israel has to do is immediately withdraw from the territories and then peace would ultimately break out.
This ignores the empirical evidence of what happened after
the withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May of 2000, giving Hezbollah and their
150,000 missiles easy striking distance to Israel.
It also ignores the internally gut-wrenching Gaza withdrawal
of 2005, where the land has been used to launch thousands of rockets and
incendiary devices launched from kites and balloon bouquets, making life for
those on Gaza’s neighboring communities a living hell, and destroying thousands
of acres of Israel’s agricultural land.
I have always found it the height of arrogance for us,
sitting here, between what I like to call our two “liquid assets”, the Atlantic
Ocean and the Pacific Ocean to tell the Israelis what to do, They are the ones
who ultimately will have to live with the consequences of any withdrawals.
They unfortunately, live in the Middle East. And if there is
one thing that recent events in Syria have taught us, it is that it is a very
And as Prime Minister Golda Meir said, “We have nowhere else to go.”
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