JOEL POLLAK: 74 DEMOCRAT CONGRESSMEN SUPPORT OBAMA’S ATTEMPT TO BULLY ISRAEL
In the midst of ongoing rocket terror attacks against Israel from Gaza and even Egypt, as civil war rages in Syria, and as the threat from Iran approaches the point of no return, 74 Democrats in the House of Representatives have joined the radical, George Soros-funded J Street pressure group in supporting the Obama administration’s attempt to force Israel into making risky concessions to the Palestinians.
J Street calls itself pro-Israel, but has frequently taken positions–from supporting the libelous Goldstone Report and opposing Iran sanctions–that are quite clearly anti-Israel. It has lied about its funding from Soros, given a platform to radicals pushing for boycotts of Israel, cheered confrontation between the U.S. and Israeli governments, and singled out Jewish charities for criticism (while leaving Islamic charities alone).
Over time, and given the cold shoulder from the Israeli government, J Street has attempted to moderate its positions somewhat. That led Israel to send an envoy to J Street’s annual conference this year, after refusing to do so in years past. Much to the surprise and chagrin of J Street’s leaders and members, Deputy Ambassador Barukh Bina delivered a rebuke to the organization:
In this spirit of democracy and openness, I have to broach an issue with you, for J Street is not just an NGO that publishes a magazine and states an opinion in the free market if ideas. It is an organization that lobbies congress. You practice not only free speech but a legislative agenda. You don’t only publish op-eds, you bring members of Congress to the region. I respectfully submit that this relatively new role lays responsibilities before you which I am not certain have always been adequately considered. Thus, when you bring lawmakers to Israel, please make sure that they come out with a full picture.You may be critical of settlements, but if you choose to show the most extreme, it behooves you to present the greater mass of moderates as well. If you show them negative aspects of checkpoints, please show as well the catastrophe and grief of terror victims. If you show them Israel’s failings, show them also our triumphs such as the aliyah of the Jewish community of Ethiopia. I urge you to strive for balance, so that these lawmakers may become friends of Israel who might be critical, and not critics of Israel who are not friends.
I welcome the evolution in J-Street’s position, which brought about the recognition of the ultimate need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities. I hope that this will be followed by adopting President Obama’s policy that all the options, including a military effort, are on the table.
Likewise, I welcome your position against one-sided resolutions on settlements, and I hope that you will never go back to opposing a veto cast by the Obama administration, like you did in January of 2011.
I would like to express our appreciation of J Street’s active repudiation of BDS, and of your activity on campus to help stem this insidious ideology. Our shared view is that BDS is not a form of criticism, but a blatant, though veiled attack. I hope that the leaders of the BDS movement will not be welcomed at J Street, and that all calls for boycott will continue to be refuted. They use such appearances as a means of gaining legitimacy, and whatever actually happens in your fora, they report to their supports that they were greeted at J Street with enthusiasm and consent. Please don’t let yourselves be used. They aren’t honest players.
J Street is a tax-exempt organization, but is quite obviously a Democrat front. In the 2008 election, the group helped engineer the un-inviting of Sarah Palin from an important rally against Iran’s nuclear program in New York. In 2012, the organization and its supporters are attempting to cover for President Barack Obama’s dismal record on Israel by attacking positions adopted by the Republican candidates.
The group’s latest effort is the so-called “Cohen-Yarmuth-Connolly Letter,” which calls on the Obama administration to keep pushing Israel towards accepting a two-state solution–as if Israel’s acceptance of, and enthusiasm for, that solution were ever in doubt. This week, a Palestinian official called for the rival Hamas and Fatah factions to unite to destroy Israel; Hillary Clinton’s response has been to give them more money.
J Street’s Cohen-Yarmuth Connolly letter also sets up a straw man, attacking “those calling for a ‘one-state solution’ under which Jews would soon become a minority in their own historic homeland.” Not only is that prediction based on faulty demographic data, but it also fails to identify a single one of “those” who are campaigning for a “one-state solution” (hint: they’re not pro-Israel).
Rep. Allen West caused controversy this week when he suggested that 80 members of the Democratic caucus were communists. He may only have been slightly off, both in ideology and in numbers. There are clearly close to 80 Democrats who are prepared to sacrifice the security–and, potentially, the existence–of the state of Israel for the sake of Obama’s re-election campaign.
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