The Unmasking of J Street and the Two-State Farce

By Matthew M. Hausman

Recently, members of both houses of Congress sent letters to President Obama in the aftermath of the Gaza Flotilla. One letter was signed by 87 Senators and the other by 320 Representatives, and both recognized the flotilla’s terrorist connections, called for inquiry into the Turkish IHH and its links to Hamas, questioned Turkey’s role in creating the crisis, and chastised the U.N. Human Rights Council for its knee-jerk condemnation of Israel. The letters supported Israel’s right to defend herself and acknowledged the legality of her naval blockade. Not surprisingly, J Street responded by sending its own correspondence to Congress urging the Senators and Representatives not to endorse the letters drafted by their colleagues. Since then, J Street has also called on the Obama Treasury Department to launch a criminal investigation into Jewish charities that support synagogues, schools and similar institutions in Judea and Samaria.

These are but two of the most recent examples of actions taken by J Street that betray its claims to be pro-Israel. Despite the pretense that it is part of the mainstream, its true agenda appears to be in lock-step with a political left-wing that despises the Jewish state, engages in historical revisionism, makes excuses for Islamist terrorism, and facilitates antisemitism masked as political criticism of Israel. And yet, J Street continues to claim that it supports Israel and is committed to her survival.

In a recent statement attempting to justify J Street’s call for an assault on charities that support Jewish institutions in the territories, Executive Director Jeremy Ben Ami had this to say:

    J Street reiterates our ongoing concern over the intention and impact of American organizations and individuals that fundraise for settlement activity over the Green Line, including for many outposts that even the Israeli government considers illegal. Ongoing settlement construction is diminishing the chances of a two-state solution and endangering Israel’s very future as a Jewish, democratic home. Funding such activity is both irresponsible and provocative.

    (“Statement on U.S. Tax Exempt Organizations’ Funding of Settlement Activity,” J Street Blog, July 6, 2010.)

This statement, however, does not justify J Street’s hostile call against Jewish charities. Rather, it highlights the organization’s bias, which falsely presumes that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a reaction to the so-called settlements and is being exacerbated by Israeli provocations. Consistent with the traditional left-wing narrative, Ben Ami’s explanation ignores the history of Arab-Muslim rejectionism and antisemitism, which existed for generations before the repatriation of Jews to Judea and Samaria after 1967. Likewise, it ignores the three wars of annihilation waged against the Jews before the existence of any “settlements” and the war of attrition that has always existed between hot flare-ups. Finally, it ignores that only Israel has made any substantive concessions in the search for an elusive peace.

J Street’s positions are antithetical to Israel’s security and to her continuity as a Jewish state. If the organization were truly concerned with preserving Israel’s “future as a Jewish, democratic home,” how can it look favorably on the “Saudi Peace Initiative,” which calls for the demographic destruction of Israel and offers no guarantee of recognition? How does it justify providing forums for those who falsely claim among other things that Israel was complicit in the World Trade Center attacks? How does it excuse the rote condemnations of Israel for allegedly creating a “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza that has been shown not to exist? And finally, how does it rationalize lobbying against Congressional letters of support for Israel’s right of self-defense?

While J Street devotes considerable energy to chiding Israel for all of her supposed transgressions, it has never seriously criticized Islamist terrorism, acknowledged the existence of Muslim antisemitism and its doctrinal basis, or questioned the dubious historicity of Palestinian national claims. While it seeks governmental scrutiny of Jewish charities – similar to the way Jewish New Dealers lobbied the IRS to investigate the Bergson Group and other Jewish critics of Roosevelt during World War II – it has not similarly demanded the investigation of Muslim charities that give aid and succor to Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. Nor has it offered honest disclosures concerning the sources of its own funding.

The inequity with which J Streets doles out criticism bespeaks an acceptance of the revisionist Palestinian narrative and a willful ignorance of Jewish history and modern political Zionism. Such conduct is consistent with the left’s habitual repudiation of historic Jewish values and its tendency to find common cause with those who are antagonistic to traditional Jewish interests, beliefs and national aspirations. In what appears to be a kind of political Stockholm syndrome, revisionist thinkers such as Chomsky and Finkelstein are lauded not only for their rejection of so-called Jewish particularism, but for their philosophical embrace of those who openly advocate the destruction of Israel and the extermination of her people.

In light of J Street’s record of unbalanced criticism of Israel, its failure to acknowledge or rebuke Arab-Muslim rejectionism, and its willingness to ignore the Jewish historical record in favor of the Palestinian myth, the organization’s claims of support for Israel don’t stand up to objective scrutiny. Rather, in actual word and deed, J Street increasingly appears to be anti-Israel, or at the very least disdainful of Israel’s foundation as a Jewish state. Despite its hollow claims of fealty for Israel, the organization does not seem so very different from those Jews of past generations who championed assimilation and worked to facilitate it. The only apparent difference is that J Street proclaims that it supports Israel and Jewish values even as it advocates positions that are contrary to both.

The insecurity of living within host cultures is not a new phenomenon. Since the Babylonian exile there have been apostates who have rejected Jewish society and identified with their critics and oppressors. During the Hellenistic period, for example, many Jews turned their backs on the culture, religion and ethical precepts of their ancestors in order to emulate the Greeks, while during medieval times many submitted to baptism and actively sought to convert the communities of their birth. In 1239, Nicholas Donin denounced the Talmud to Pope Gregory IX, roused the fury of the Dominicans, and instigated a public disputation followed by the burning of Jewish holy books. Later, in 1509, the apostate Johann Pfefferkorn recommended the expulsion of all adult Jews from the German countries, the kidnapping of their children to be raised as Christians, and the confiscation and burning of the Talmud. During the 18th and 19th Centuries, many Jews were attracted to the radical political movements in Europe, often severing their connection to Judaism in the process and becoming openly contemptuous of traditional values.

Although J Street would argue that it is motivated by a humanistic imperative and genuine concern for Israel and is not rejectionist at all, it has made statements and taken actions that are clearly contrary to Israeli interests and traditional Jewish beliefs. Its acceptance of the revisionist Palestinian narrative, which is predicated on a repudiation of Jewish history, resembles in spirit the efforts of the Jewish Dominicans to force the Jews of medieval Europe to forsake their heritage and submit to the Church. However, whereas the Dominicans attempted to dictate religious belief by violent coercion, J Street attempts to influence political belief by artifice. J Street’s affinity for a political left-wing that so easily injects antisemitic stereotypes into any dialogue regarding the Mideast is far more indicative of its real priorities – regardless of how loudly it proclaims its Jewish bona fides.

Unfortunately, many American Jews are ignorant of Jewish and Mideast history, and thus lack the education to recognize the incongruity between J Street’s claims of support for Israel and its contrary actions. Too many secular, liberal Jews are willing to accept the fiction of J Street’s supposed moderation simply because President Obama anointed it as a major American Jewish organization – despite its smaller constituency and its philosophical deviation from the mainstream – and because they have come to believe in the two-state solution as political orthodoxy. Many politically secular Jews have no idea that the majority of Palestinians reject a permanent two-state solution, or that many of J Street’s supporters want to see Israel transformed into a bi-national state instead of a Jewish one. Those who naively believe in “two states for two peoples” are less inclined to recognize the contempt for Israeli sovereignty implied by J Street’s contradictory pronouncements and actions.

In order to expose the true orientation of J Street, it is necessary to expose the fiction underlying the most seemingly neutral part of its agenda – the two-state solution. If the liberal Jewish masses could be made to recognize that this paradigm has no historical basis or political justification – and if more mainstream groups like AIPAC could set aside their timidity and challenge the two-state farce head-on – the rest of the J Street illusion would fall away.

There is no dispute that a country called Palestine never existed, or that the Arab people who call themselves Palestinian were not recognized as a distinct culture or nationality before the 1960s. It was only then – after the Six Day War – that Palestinian nationhood was employed as yet another weapon in the Arab-Muslim struggle against the State of Israel. Although Egypt controlled Gaza and Jordan held the West Bank and East Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, there was no Palestinian outcry or U.N. mandate calling for the creation of an independent state in these territories. Moreover, there were no historic Palestinian cultural institutions in the area that had comprised the original Palestine Mandate, which included Israel proper as well as Judea and Samaria.

Despite the Obama Administration’s pressure on Israel to engage in direct negotiations with Fatah, the Palestinian leadership has been open in acknowledging that it considers a negotiated political solution to be merely the first step in the phased destruction of Israel. Indeed, Article 22 of the original PLO Charter states that:

    Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist, and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement, and geographical base for world imperialism placed strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity, and progress. Israel is a constant source of threat vis-a-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces and urge them all, irrespective of their affiliations and beliefs, to offer the Palestinian people all aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland.

Interestingly, J Street has not demanded that Fatah abdicate these sentiments or renounce its stated commitment to employ a two-state political solution to facilitate the incremental destruction of the Jewish State.

Although the uninformed belief in a two-state solution may not necessarily indicate malice towards Israel, J Street’s model solution implicates the “Saudi Initiative,” which is based not on ignorance, but on cold calculation. Among other things, the Saudi plan calls for Israel to retreat to indefensible borders, cede all of Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem and the Golan, and recognize the Arab “right of return.” Israel would receive nothing in return for these concessions except for the promise of “normalization,” which guarantees neither formal recognition nor any acknowledgment that she is a Jewish nation in the ancient Jewish homeland. The historically unjustified Arab “right of return” is intended to destroy Israel demographically by displacing her Jewish majority with a flood of Arab immigrants. Thus, the Saudi plan provides nothing more than a surreptitious prescription for deconstruction. An organization that truly supports the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish State could never endorse such an insidious initiative.

Unfortunately, acculturated American Jews often don’t have the backgrounds to be able to recognize dissimulation. Because so many of them have been programmed to believe in a two-state solution, and because J Street claims only to support such a solution, their limited knowledge of Jewish and Mideast history renders them more likely to consider this position moderate. Nevertheless, J Street’s record of denouncing Israeli actions without condemning Arab-Muslim aggression, of failing to acknowledge the unilateral concessions Israel has already made, and of lending credence to the Palestinian national myth, all suggest an institutional antipathy for Israel’s existence as a Jewish State.

To a large extent, J Street’s ability to exert influence depends on the sympathetic leanings or the naiveté of its membership and target audience. The most effective way to unmask its real agenda is to emphasize the disparity between its claims of support for Israel and its actions. The logical place to start is by debunking the two-state solution. It is crucial to show how this paradigm is historically unjustifiable, and how the Arab-Muslim world promotes “two states for two peoples” only for the purpose of subterfuge while it simultaneously rejects the concept of a permanent peace with Israel. Only by fully dissecting the key elements of J Street’s platform in this way will it be possible to lay bare the cynical incongruity between its words and deeds.

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August 11, 2010 | 8 Comments »

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  1. yamit 82:

    I view JStreet as a Jewish Hamas or Hezbola.

    Who really cares what you (a grade a clown) view? A lot of pompous hot air. I have checked the archives thoroughly, and I fail to find one intelligent phrase written by yourself. Why oh why are you contually wasting our precious time?

  2. I view JStreet as a Jewish Hamas or Hezbola.

    In Jewish law they would fall under the criminal category of the Law of Rodef and Moser.

    din rodef (the duty to kill a Jew who imperils the life and property of another Jew) and din moser (the duty to eliminate a Jew who intends to turn in another Jew to non-Jewish authorities).

    They are Jewish traitors who aid our enemies to harm even murder other Jews. You don’t sit with the accomplices to murder of Jews. By their actions they are Jewish traitors and act in every way to harm other Jews. They are the worst of the worst vermine and should be seen in that light by every normative Jew

    Even though Jewish law expects people to observe the laws of the land, and even imposes that obligation as a religious duty, the Talmud recounts – in a number of places – that it is prohibited to inform on Jews to the secular government, even when their conduct is a violation of secular law and even when their conduct is a violation of Jewish law. While there are a number of exceptions to this prohibition , the essential halacha was that Jewish law prohibits such informing absent specific circumstances. Even is secular government were to incorporate substantive Jewish law into secular law and punish violations of what is, in effect, Jewish law, Jews would still be prohibited from cooperating with such a system. Indeed, classical Jewish law treats a person who frequently informs on others as a pursuer (a rodef) who may be killed to prevent him from informing, even without a formal court ruling.


    The reason for the rabbinic decree positing, that an informer (moser) is a life-threatening pursuer (rodef) is simply stated by Rabbenu Asher. Rosh states:

    One who runs to inform so that Jewish money is given to a bandit (anas) is analogized by the rabbis to one who is running after a person to kill him. This is seen from the verse (Isaiah 51:20) ‘your children lie in a swoon at the corner of every street, like an antelope caught in a net.’ Just like when an antelope caught in a net, the hunter has no mercy towards it, so too the money of a Jew, once it falls into the hands of bandits, the bandits have no mercy on the Jew. They take some money today, and tomorrow all of it, and in the end, they capture and kill him, since perhaps he has more money Thus, an informer is like a pursuer to kill someone and the victim may be saved at the cost of the life of the pursued. (Teshuvot haRosh 17:1).

    Eight different sets of rules can be given that outline the general approach halacha takes.

    1. It is prohibited to inform on a fellow Jew to a gentile, whether the act of informing is about monetary matters or physical security. One may not inform on a Jew even if the Jew is a sinful and bad person.

    2. One who informs is liable to pay damages if his act of informing damages another Even though, as a general rule one is not liable for torts done to another by a third party, informing is an exception to this rule.

    3. Even without the order of a Jewish law court, one may kill a person who has certainly set out to inform on another, prior to their act of informing, as informing poses a danger to the one who is informed on. Once a person informs, one may not kill the informer as punishment for the sin and one may not steal from an informer (unless taking his property will stop him from informing). One who regularly informs may be killed without warning.

    4. One who troubles the community through misconduct may be informed on: so too one who engages in conduct that endangers members of the community may be informed on. One who hits other people, or otherwise engages in acts of violence against people, may be informed on.

    5. When a Jew owes money to a gentile, and the Jew is seeking to improperly avoid payment of the money to the gentile, and another Jew informs the gentile of this fact who then collects the money rightfully owed to him, that is not called informing, as the Jew who is informed on only has to pay that which he ought to pay, anyway. Payment of taxes to the government is exactly such a debt. Some say such informing is frowned on when it gratuitously benefits a pagan, and others say such conduct is proper. All agree that when such conduct leads to a desecration of God’s name, it is prohibited to decline to report such a person.

    6. A Jew who is threatened with physical harm unless he informs on another is not called an informer if he delivers information and he is not liable for the damage caused. There is a dispute as to whether such conduct is proper or simply immune from liability.

    7. There is a dispute about whether a Jew who is threatened with economic harm unless he illicitly informs on another is called an informer or not and whether such conduct is permitted or not.

    8. Many authorities rule that no liability is present if one informs on another to save one’s own property without any gratuitous intent to hurt the other person.

  3. Practical solution: In whatever manner possible acquire the mailing list of JStreet members and offer serial invitations to meetings, holiday gatherings, sitdown restaurant meals, with people who can present the opposing points of view. As in most cases, prejudice disappears in the presence of real humans. Real Zionists and Jews, invitations to visit Israel, etc. are all effective antidotes to rigid liberal views. It will not be long until JStreet has to look for followers again, since the leaders, who have motives unshared by the rank and file, will be more alone than they can tolerate. When their sources of funding are consistently and repeatedly exposed, their true agenda will become obvious. In short, the organization is small enough to undermine easily. But such an approach is time-limited. Anyone, get me the names of JStreet rank and file members I can invite to dinner.

  4. How many Jews work with enemies?

    Libya released Israeli citizen and alleged spy Rafael Haddad in return for Israel delivering some humanitarian aid to Gaza and some secret concessions.

    Haddad’s release was negotiated with the Libyans by Martin Shlaff and undisclosed Eastern European Jewish oligarchs—who, it transpires, maintain cozy relations with one of our fiercest enemies.

    UPDATE: Israeli government published details on the humanitarian help allowed into Gaza. In return for a single ultra-leftist, Haddad, Israel allowed into Gaza enough cement to build 1,250 housing units. Hamas will use the cement to build bunkers – an outcome the government had stressed for three years as a reason for our blockade of Gaza.

    Israel also allowed UNRWA to accept $50 million from Libya to, allegedly, build those 1,250 housing units, or $40,000 per unit. That’s a lie because a typical apartment in Gaza costs ten times less. In essence, the government allowed Libya to subsidize Hamas.

  5. Nice speech Yamit, but what practical answers do you have to the questions I posed to Hausman?

    Emulate the Maccabees.

    Must I spell out how?

  6. I have a solution.

    Narvey and Jstreet remind me of of those Jews some 2300 hundred years ago who when faced with similar social and religious constructs did what any good Jew should do.

    The most dangerous of all Jewish holidays – Chanukah. If ever there was a holiday that stands for everything that the mass of world Jewry and their leadership has rejected – it is this one. If one would find an event that is truly rooted in everything that Jews of our times and their leaders have rejected and, indeed, attacked – it is this one. If there is any holiday that is more “unJewish” in the sense of our modern beliefs and practices – I do not know of it.

    The Chanukah of today is not the one our ancestors, of the generations of Jews of Eastern Europe and Yemen and Morocco and the crusades and Spain and Babylon. It is surely not the Chanukah for which the Maccabees themselves died. Truly, could those whom we honor so munificently, return and see what Chanukah has become, they might very well begin a second Maccabean revolt. For the life that we Jews lead today was the very cause, the REAL reason for the revolt of the Jews “in those days in our times.”

    What happened in that era more than 2000 years ago? What led a handful of Jews to rise up in violence against the enemy? And precisely who WAS the enemy? What were they fighting FOR and who were they fighting AGAINST? It was not mere liberty that led to the Maccabean uprising that we so passionately applaud. What we are really cheering is a brave group of Jews who fought and plunged Judea into a bloodbath for the right to observe the Sabbath, to follow the laws of kashruth, to obey the laws of the Torah. IN A WORD EVERYTHING ABOUT CHANUKAH THAT WE COMMEMORATE AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO COMMEMORATE ARE THINGS WE CONSIDER TO BE OUTMODED, MEDIEVAL AND CHILDISH!

    Not only is Chanukah really a foolish and unnecessary holiday, it is also one that is dangerously fanatical and illiberal. The first act of rebellion, the first enemy who fell at the hands of the brave Jewish heroes whom our delightful children portray so cleverly in their Sunday and religious school pageants, was NOT a Greek. He was a Jew.

    When the enemy sent its troops into the town of Modin to set up an idol and demand its worship, it was a Jew who decided to exercise his freedom of pagan worship and who approached the altar to worship Zeus (after all, what business was it of anyone what this fellow worshipped?) And it was this Jew, this apostate, this religious traitor who was struck down by the brave, glorious, courageous (are these not the words all our Sunday schools use to describe him?) Mattathias, as he shouted: “Whoever is for G-d, follow me!”

    What have we here? What kind of religious intolerance and bigotry? What kind of a man is this for the anti-religious of Hashomer Hatzair, the graceful temples of suburbia, the sophisticated intellectuals, the liberal open-minded Jews and all the drones who have wearied us unto death with the concept of Judaism as a humanistic, open-minded, undogmatic, liberal, universalistic (if not Marxist) religion, to honor? What kind of nationalism is this for David-Ben-Gurion (he who rejects the Galut and speaks of the proud, free Jew of ancient Judea and Israel)?

    And to crush us even more (we who know that Judaism is a faith of peace which deplores violence),

    what kind of Jews were these who reacted to oppression with FORCE? Surely we who so properly have deplored Jewish violence as fascistic, immoral and (above all!) UN-JEWISH, stand in horror as we contemplate Jews who declined to picket the Syrian Greeks to death and who rejected quiet diplomacy for the sword, spear and arrow (had there been bombs in those days, who can tell what they might have done?) and “descended to the level of evil,” thus rejecting the ethical and moral concepts of Judaism.

    Where shall we find the man of courage the one voice, in the wilderness to cry out against Chanukah and the Judaism that it represents-the Judaism of our grandparents and ancestors? Where shall we find the man of honesty and integrity to attack the Judaism of Medievalism and outdated foolishness; the Judaism of bigotry that strikes down Jews who refuse to observe the law; the Judaism of violence that calls for Jewish force and might against the enemy? When shall we find the courage to proudly eat our Chinese food and violate our Sabbaths and reject all the separateness, nationalism and religious maximalism that Chanukah so ignobly represents? …Down with Chanukah! It is a regressive holiday that merely symbolizes the Judaism that always was; the Judaism that was handed down to us from Sinai; the Judaism that made our ancestors ready to give their lives for the L-rd; the Judaism that young people instinctively know is true and great and real. Such Judaism is dangerous for us and our leaders. We must do all in our power to bury it.

    DOWN WITH CHANUKAH – December 15, 1972 Rabbi Meir Kahane Writings (5732-33) (1971-73)

  7. Hausman makes an excellent case to deconstruct J Street and reduce it to a bad memory. The bigger question is how that can be done and who can credibly take the lead on this?

    That same big question applies to Hausman’s point that the 2 state solution must be debunked.

    The world however, abhors a vaccuum. In the case of the ongoing Israel vs. Palestinian/Arab war/conflict, those parties too would still need a feasible and viable solution to end the conflict.

    That gives rise to the further question, what new and different feasible solution would the 2 state solution debunkers offer up?

    Does Hausman have any new and different solution in mind?