Thursday, January 14, 2016

Arutz Sheva's Vilification of J Street

Back in April 2008 J Street was founded, a pro-peace lobby group of American Jews. Its Executive Director is Jeremy Ben-Ami.

Arutz Sheva, a right wing Israeli media outlet that caters for national religious Israeli Jews, does not like J Street very much to put it mildly.

Highlighted portions show how Arutz Sheva's writers condemn J Street. I am not trying to see if these words are factually accurate but rather these words are quoted to show the negative view of Arutz Sheva's writers regarding J Street. I encourage people to view accusations against J Street mentioned here with a pinch of salt and with skepticism.

One article even accuses George Soros, who is mentioned as a funder of J Street, of being a collaborator with the Nazis (September 21, 2014 quote). I have heard of this emotive accusation before. I give no credence to this accusation. We need to be careful about discussing the terrible events of the Nazis' genocide against the Jews with respect and proper decorum.


The pious spiritual claptrap that characterizes J Street's conference in Washington this week is both a conceit and a new form of Jewish apostasy. Conference speakers earnestly broadcast their "profound" Jewish and "spiritual" identities in order to besmirch the mainstream Jewish community and engender a distancing in US-Israel relations. This certainly does not fool the American Muslim leaders who are speaking at the conference. They know and appreciate exactly what J Street is up to. ...
J Street is a new form of Jewish apostasy. Its adherents hasten to embrace their Jewishness (even if they don't really know much about authentic Jewish tradition and morality) in order to besmirch Israel and the mainstream Jewish community. They earnestly declare how "profoundly" Jewish they are, in order to engender a distancing in US-Israel relations.
I guess that's why J Street has spent most of its resources bashing long-standing supporters of Israel – calling them extremists and right-wingers and accusing them of a "silencing" – and listing things that Israel must be made to do. (David Weinberg, J Street's Spiritual Conceit, October 27, 2009.)

The J Street lobby has Arab support and backs negotiations with Hamas terrorists. Now it is fighting a growing boycott of US Jews.
The self-proclaimed pro-Israel J Street lobby opened its nationwide conference this week, trying to survive a growing tide of American Jews who oppose its anti-Israeli government policies. (Tzvi Ben Gedelyahu, American Jews X-ing Out J Street, October 27, 2009.)

US congressmen and other governmental representatives are generally treated as VIPs in the Holy Land. However, this particular group was organized by J Street, a lobby that pro-Israel activists say pressures Israel to implement leftist and pro-Arab policies. ...
On Tuesday, Ayalon said he believes J Street willfully misrepresents itself as a pro-Israel organization, when it is not.
J Street has attempted to present itself as pro-Israel, a dovish version of AIPAC. Yet pro-Israel advocates and activists have almost universally condemned J Street as an anti-Israel, pro-Arab organization posing as a voice for American Jewry. (Malkah Fleisher, Deputy Foreign Min. Ayalon Rejects J Street Congressmen, February 17, 2010.)

Ultra-liberal J-Street has been embarrassed by a Presbyterian Church report that commends it while calling Israel 'nazi'. (Gil Ronen, July 10, 2010.)

In response to the Swiss-funded J Street conference being held this week in Washington, the Republican Jewish Coalition (a national grassroots organization of Jewish Republicans) has put out a video presenting the truth about the supposedly pro-Israel J Street organization. ...
Another fact presented by the video is that J Street co-founder Daniel Levy has called Israel’s creation “an act that was wrong.”
All these facts mean that J Street is no friend of Israel and that it does not reflect Jewish values, concludes the video.
The conference, which is being held through Tuesday, is being attended by three Israeli members of Knesset, from Labor and Kadima. Other MK's refused the invitation. US Ambassador Daniel Oren refused a J Street invitation to a previous conference. (Elad Benari, Video: The Truth about J Street, February 28, 2011.)

While J Street prides itself as being “pro-Israel” and “pro-peace,” many, if not most, Jewish constituents believe that the organization actually undermines the interests of the State of Israel and Jewish people. Numerous Jewish leaders and organizations have publicly disassociated themselves, altogether, from J Street’s rhetoric and policies. (Elad Benari, J Street Cancels Poorly Attended Event, Then Covers It Up, August 11, 2013.)

MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi/Jewish Home) had tough words Tuesday for the far-left J-Street lobby organization, and for fellow parliamentarians who attended a conference held by the group.
"In the past few days, the J-Street organization has held a conference in Washington," MK Shaked wrote on Facebook. "For those who are not familiar with it – the organization was established as a counterweight to AIPAC, the pro-Israeli lobby, by elements in US Jewry who claimed that AIPAC toes a line that identifies with Israel too much."
"J Street has taken upon itself the role of Israel's loudest critic," she charged. ...
"To the conference held by this group – for which the definition of radical leftist is an understatement – came several Knesset Members, like Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Yitzhak Vaknin of Shas, and Tzachi Hanegbi of Likud. (Gil Ronen, MK Shaked Blasts Israeli Politicians for J-Street Attendance, October 1, 2013.)

J Street - which claims to be "pro-Israel and pro-peace" - has come under fire by pro-Israel groups for its links to radical anti-Israel organizations, including some which call for a boycott of the Jewish state. J Street's critics say it is simply hiding an anti-Israel agenda behind a friendly face. (Ari Soffer, J Street Backs PA Refusal to Recognize Israel as a Jewish State, March 23, 2014.)

The extremist organization, J Street, must face rejection in its quest to join the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. ...
J Street is an extremist organization.  It supports major Israeli territorial concessions, including dividing Jerusalem, opposing military action against Iran if it fails to stop its quest to obtain nuclear weapons, and just today made a statement encouraging the American government to negotiate with Hamas. ...
On April 30th, J Street must be rejected – they are dangerous extremists, bad for Israel and the Jewish People. (Ronn Torossian, Keep J Street Out of Conference of Presidents, April 24, 2014.)

There were very good reasons that the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (the Conference) clearly voted against the membership application of J-Street, an extremist group whose activities are hostile to Israel. ...
J-Street lobbies against sanctions and against military action to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. J-Street works closely with NIAC (National Iranian American Council), a notorious apparent agent of the Iranian regime.  NIAC board member Genevieve Lynch is a significant J-Street donor.
J-Street brings to its conferences and college campuses leading NIAC pro-Iranian regime speakers, including NIAC head and leading Iran apologist Trita Parsi, and Hillary Mann Leverett, who, during a J-Street event condemned as “fundamentally racist” anyone who did not “trust” the Iranian regime.  J-Street likewise urges U.S. Congresspersons to simply “believe in Iran.” (Morton Klein, The Well-Justified Rejection of J-Street, May 9, 2014.)

Money that Ben-Ami collects from George Soros ... and  a mixture of progressive and naïve American Jews works directly to impede Israel’s ability to protect its civilian population from the death raining on it out of Gaza.
The reality that the naïve Jews who support Ben-Ami refuse to confront is that if Ben-Ami were truly successful, there would be no Iron Dome and ultimately no Israel. ...
American Jews should ask themselves this penetratingly simple question—would George Soros, who was elated by hunting down his fellow Hungarian Jews for the Nazis, a man who has been virulently against Israel, fund an organization that was working for Israel? (Abraham Miller, J Street’s Ben-Ami’s Latest Assault on Israel, September 21, 2014.)

Anti Defamation League criticizes J Street's 'repugnant' anti-Netanyahu campaign for exacerbating 'already heated political moment.'
The Anti-Defamation League issued harsh criticism Thursday for the far-left lobby J Street and its campaign to mobilize American Jews against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The campaign, entitled, "I am a Jew, and Bibi does NOT [sic] speak for me," calls on American Jews to sign a petition against Netanyahu's upcoming visit to Washington to be sent to Israel's Ambassador in the United States, Ron Dermer. (Cynthia Blank, J Street Anti-Netanyahu Campaign 'Inflammatory' and 'Repugnant', February 12, 2015.)

"J" Street came out with a full page Ad in the New York Times bashing Prime Minister Netanyahu. Instead of getting at the main critical issue of our day they focused their money and energy on Prime Minister Netanyahu. Instead of seeing Iran as the main threat the world faces today they decided to fire their canons at the Prime Minister. How dare they? Who are these shameful characters? Once again shooting the messenger is a lot easier than eradicating the nuclear weapon capability of the planet's most Evil and dangerous Empire. The Purim story is obviously lost on the "J" Street gang. They no doubt would be the first to blame Mordechai for not bowing down to Haman for all the Jews travails. (Dr. Joseph Frage, Bill Nye, "J" Street and Iran, March 1, 2015.)

Well, here we are six years later and I was right about their having other things to talk about. They go out of their way to be a blue stick for the President of the United States to attack the Israeli Prime Minister whenever the White House needs it. They took on another issue: supporting whatever the White House decides on Iran unconditionally without asking questions about the negotiations. And in the wake of Likud’s win yesterday, apparently an American Jewish organization that endorses foreign candidates.
I shouldn't have to say this to a liberal organization, but you have to question everything. It's so absurd that these are clearly partisan positions that J Street has taken, relying on helping both countries' leaders amplify their already problematic relationship in order to further wedge the two countries' diplomatic and security establishments apart. (Gedalyah Reback, J Street Should Not Have Endorsed Candidates for Prime Minister, March 20, 2015.)

Unsurprisingly, the radical-left J-Street has provided one of the most visible platforms for such voices. At its annual 5th annual conference, for example, Peter Beinart actually urged young American Jews to travel to Israel to take part in Palestinian demonstrations against the IDF. ...
The sympathetic reception for Freedman's extremist position at an official J-Street event should come as no surprise, given that Freedman is herself a member of J-Street's official Advisory Council, and the organization she founded - Brit Tzedek V'Shalom - in 2010 announced it would be "integrating" itself into J-Street. (Ari Soffer, J-Street Speaker: Israel Shouldn't be a Jewish State, March 29, 2015.)

J Street claims to be pro-Israel. It isn’t. It’s anti-Israel. (Tuvia Brodie, Is this the real picture of J Street?, March 29, 2015.)

By contrast, J Street, the pro-Palestinian lobbying group which represents a portion of the American Jewish left, is defending President Obama's Iran capitulation and doing everything possible to help him get the deal past Congress and other critics. ...
Now, suddenly, J Street finds itself at odds with leading voices of the Israeli left. Why are Israeli and American Jewish left-wingers responding so differently to the Iran deal? Simple: because Israelis have to live with the consequences. (Binyamin Korn, J Street's Problem with the Israeli Left, April 9, 2015.)

Efrat, the largest town in the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements located in the Judean hills south of Jerusalem, hosted none other than the pro-Palestinian Authority Washington-based J Street lobby Monday night. ...
He rejected any ideas that hosting J Street, which officially is considered persona non grata by the government, makes the lobby look legitimate in Efrat’s eyes, believing that free speech does not mean agreement. (July 11, 2015.)

The debate over so-called "critical love" by left-wing Jews in the Diaspora - most prominently illustrated by groups like J Street, which lobby vociferously for Israeli concessions - is one that has raged in the US and Europe for quite some time. ...
But what do the primary targets of pressure and demonization by leftist groups such as J Street - the "settlers" - think? ...
"But it is important to understand that a great part of the supposed 'legitimacy' of the BDS phenomenon... comes from self-righteous Jews who belong to this radical organization - an organization which disguises itself well as 'pro-Israel,'" he said of J Street. (Ari Soffer, Watch: Yitzhar 'Settler' Takes on 'J Street Jews', July 8, 2015.)

With combo of media blitz and briefings from experts, liberal Jewish group J Street will try to convince Congress to approve nuclear deal.
As many American Jewish groups mobilize against the Iran deal, the liberal Israel advocacy organization J Street is launching a multimillion dollar media campaign in favor the nuclear agreement. (Cynthia Blank, J Street to Launch Media Campaign Promoting Iran Deal, July 16, 2015.)

Mr. Ben-ami is no expert on nuclear containment. Yet, before the ink was even dry on the dreadful JCPOA, and well before anyone had a chance to read its 150 pages, let alone study its terms, Mr. Ben-ami made sure that J Street was the first publicly to voice its support. Why? So that before any serious pro-Israel or anti-terror organization raised its opposition to the deal with Iran, the liberal media could point to the fact that a so-called “pro-Israel” group already was in favor.
As the prophet Isaiah said (49:17), “your destroyers will come from within.” Mr. Ben-ami isn’t looking to build anything – his organization stands for nothing other than undercutting traditional pro-Israel positions. But what makes his conduct so pernicious is his attempt to speak on behalf of a purported Jewish organization -- and with a Hebrew surname to boot (ironically, the original name “Ben-ami” is that of the child born of the incestuous union of the Biblical figure Lot with his youngest daughter following the destruction of Sodom  --  “Ben-ami” became the father of the nation of Ammon, one of Biblical Israel’s greatest enemies). Unfortunately, hearkening back to the days of the Kapos during the Nazi regime and well before that, there is a history of a minority of Jews betraying their own. (David Friedman, Liberal Jews: Easy to Love, Hard to Like, July 30, 2015.)

"J Street has lost its right to claim it is pro-Israel and pro-Peace," the ZOA summed up. (Hillel Fendel, US Jews Wake Up: Muslim J-Street Head is 'Anti-Israel', September 4, 2015.)

It would seem to be a fairly basic principle for a pro-Israel organization to accept: that the Jewish people is an indigenous nation to the Land of Israel.
Not so for J Street and several other self-defined "liberal Zionist" organizations. ...
But instead of receiving the unanimous support one might expect, the proposal faced dogged and determined opposition from J Street and other liberal factions - much to the incredulity of its supporters.
Making the opposition all the more bizarre was the fact that the bill clearly expressed that it "does not negate the indigenous status of any other people." (Ari Soffer, 'Pro-Israel' J Street says Jews not indigenous to Israel, October 25, 2015.)

J Street, though, is a very special interest lobby group. Neither Israelis’ collective will, nor Americans’, appears to bear on their “support for Israel.” By the day after it was announced, they had raised $2 Million for their campaign to support the final deal, seemingly needing no review period to consider it.
In a Haaretz Op-Ed published in June, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami asserted that, “There is growing tension between the United States and Israel not because of Obama’s public disagreement with the policies of the Netanyahu government but because those policies are leading Israel down a path that runs counter to the interests and values of the United States, as well as to Israel's own long-term interests.…” (Baruch Stein, J Street, Iran, and democracy, November 5, 2015.)


Considering this sort of condemnation J Street have to endure I wish to say good on J Street for standing up for what they believe in knowing that they have to endure condemnation and insults such as these.

This is not an endorsement of J Street. Rather this post is an exploration of how Arutz Sheva's writers view J Street.

(And just imagine, the COGs trust this media outlet.)

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