ADL Supports J Street Joining US Conference of Presidents

By Ari Yashar, INN

A secret vote on whether J Street, a far-left American Jewish lobbying group, will join the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is set to be held on Wednesday afternoon in New York.

Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), on Tuesday indicated his support for the group.

“We will support the admission of J Street not because we agree with them, not because we support their views, but in order to ensure the integrity and credibility of American Jewish advocacy and of the Conference ofPresidents,” remarked Foxman.

In addition to the ADL, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Union for Reform Judaism, and the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly have also made their support known. The Jewish Federations of North America are also considered likely to vote in favor.

J Street claims it has reached the required amount of backing for entering the conference; the leftist group needs the support of 66% of the current member groups in order to be included, meaning 34 of the 51 members.

It is thought that the public declarations of support ahead of the secret vote are meant to influence the results.

Backing Hamas, backing refusal to recognize Israel

Despite the calls of support, many are opposed to J Street’s inclusion in the Conference of Presidents.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) last week condemned J Street after it said Israel must negotiate with Hamas, calling on the US to push Israel even harder to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority (PA) amid the PA unity deal with the terrorist group.

“J Street attempts to justify its egregious position which endangers Israel by stating: ‘you make peace with your enemies’,” a ZOA statement said. “J Street ignores the fact that you only can make peace with your former enemies who now sincerely want to make peace. Hamas is calling for destroying Israel — not for peace with Israel.”

ZOA added that it was “shocking” that the statement of support for negotiating with Hamas came a week before the Conference of Presidentsvote.

J Street announced another controversial policy stance in March, when itbacked the PA refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

Alarm over the prominence of anti-Israel extremists in the group also resurfaced in late March when two J Street activists wore T-shirtsglorifying an infamous PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terrorist to a screening of anti-Israel film “Five Broken Cameras” in April 2013 at Washington University.

The Conference of President’s stated mission is “consensus policy, collective action, and maximizing the resources of the American Jewish community,” in particular “when events in the US, Israel and elsewhere affect the American Jewish community.”

April 30, 2014 | 5 Comments »

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  1. Fortunately, the vote to admit JStreet failed. That organization is a seditious 5th column inside the Jewish community. I say that as one who has migrated from the left over the years going as far left as Americans for Progressive Israel-Hashomer Hatzair and then a loose affiliation with Labor Zionism and friends in the Labor Party of old. If I can be shown that there is really a viable population of moderate Palestinians, in power, and ready and able to make a serious and lasting peace with Israel, I would gladly relinquish some of my current views which are not associated with the left. Let JStreet and its allies get to work on the jihadists, genocidists, and extremists which dominate so much of the Arab world including the Palestinian population. Boycott the terrorists, not Israel.

    JStreet is the ideological heir to Breira of the ’70’s, but that organization lacked the funding, structure and operational capacity of JStreet. I knew some decent people in Breira, but felt they were misguided. I don’t think Breira would have ever sought to boycott Israel. It’s sad to see that this organization even had a chance. Of course, the support was disproportionately from the non-Orthodox rabbinate–surprise, surprise. The Conference of Presidents can tolerate differences of opinion, but not an organization as dangerous as JStreet.

  2. That’s very true. It’s not the same ADL that used to exist, that at least had some common sense and could make an argument to having a broad base of support through its relationship to the B’nai B’rith. Now the BB is dying off, the ADL severed its relationship, and it’s all about Abe Foxman and the relatively small group of contributors and supporters around the country. Even back in the day when it was a much more active and aggressive organization, it was still focused around fund-raising. They would place expensive full page ads in the NY Times and use them to push contributors for more money. There was a study done by some of the more thoughtful people in the Jewish community relations field–and I remember hearing the very astute Earl Raab discuss it–the ads did very little good for the cause, but they were a salve that just made people in the Jewish community feel better. The ADL was always largely a PR operation, but at least it did some good things, like their fact-finding (what they called investigations.)

  3. The ADL, which represents virtually no one other than its contributors, regional board members and commissioners–a very small fraction of the American Jewish community–is becoming almost as dangerous to Jewish security as the despicable J Street.