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Jews Against Jewish Survival By: Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (“AIPC”) has worked for more than 50 years to help make Israel secure by ensuring that American support for the Jewish democratic state remains strong. Now comes along a new leftist lobby and political action committee known as J Street, which naively believes that America can better serve Israel’s interests by pushing it into a pro-peace agenda with its enemies at all cost.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s executive director, says that J Street’s purpose is to try to redefine what it means to be pro-Israeli today, as he explained in an opinion piece he wrote for The Washington Post on May 11, 2008. He wants to provide our elected officials, whom he says are afraid to offend the most powerful Jewish-American lobbyists speaking on behalf of Israel, with an alternative to “reflexively supporting every Israeli action and implacably opposing every Israeli foe.”

J Street is so named to represent the reverse image of Washington, D.C.’s K Street, which is lined with powerful lobbyists. Indeed, there is no actual lettered street with the letter J in Washington, D.C. The streets that run alphabetically go from I Street to K Street, skipping J altogether. Metaphorically, the new left-wing lobbying organization that bears the J moniker is supposed to supply the political balance on Israeli-Palestinian issues that has supposedly been missing from Washington.

J Street will contribute to politicians who support what it believes should be a more even-handed approach to Israel and its enemies in the Middle East than the unambiguously pro-Israel approach advocated by AIPAC. For example, J Street has indicated that it will support Al Franken in his Minnesota Senate campaign against Republican Senator Norm Coleman. Franken fits J Street’s peacenik profile. Senator Coleman, on the other hand, is a stalwart friend of Israel who has pushed for the United States to cut off funding for the UN Human Rights Council because it has unfairly targeted Israel for incessant condemnation while ignoring Darfur and other real human rights abuses. Apparently that is too extreme a position for J Street to swallow.

Ben-Ami blames “neo-conservatives” and “the most right-wing elements of the American Jewish and Christian Zionist communities” for being what he calls Israel’s enablers, rather than Israel’s true friends who are interested in its long-term welfare. This partisan attack is not surprising from a man who once worked for former President Bill Clinton, was more recently the policy director for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, and has said that he intends to follow the left-wing MoveOn model for online organizing and fundraising.

It is worth exploring what kind of friendship between the United States and Israel that Jeremy Ben-Ami has in mind. Ben-Ami wrote in his Washington Post article that “responsible friends of Israel who'd like to see it live in security for its next 60 years should be engaging” with Hamas and its terrorist sponsor Iran “to search for alternatives to war.” His rationale for sitting down with Hamas to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that this terrorist organization “won the most recent Palestinian national elections in a landslide.”

Hitler too came to power in a “democratic” election, the last such election under his rein of death and destruction. The Hamas Charter contains its own version of the Nazis’ Final Solution against the Jews.

Jeremy Ben-Ami’s advocacy of a two state solution, in which an independent Palestinian state exists peacefully alongside the Jewish state, finds sympathetic ears at Israel’s highest level of government. In his speech at the peace conference in Annapolis last year, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he believes “that there is no just solution other than the solution of two national states for two peoples."

However, it is impossible for Israel to make peace with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. The two state solution is totally irreconcilable with Hamas’ core belief that there is no legitimate basis for a Jewish homeland to exist anywhere in the Middle East. Hamas sees itself as “one of the links in the Chain of Jihad in the confrontation with the Zionist invasion.”

How could Israel possibly engage in a rational discussion to explore “alternatives to war” when its putative ‘negotiating’ partner says in its Charter that “leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of treason and it will bring curse on its perpetrators”? How can Israel begin to build any basis for confidence in the sincere desire of Hamas to find a reasonable and sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when it accuses Israel in its Charter of following the “scheme…laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion” – the discredited forged account of a global Jewish conspiracy to control the world? One might as well be speaking with the most paranoid delusional inmates of an insane asylum.

Hamas receives arms and financing from Iran, whose president has called for the elimination of Israel from the face of the earth. Does Ben-Ami suggest that the United States persuade Israel to accept the temporary ‘truce’ proposed by Hamas, during which time Iran will continue to help build up Hamas’ military capability to eventually inflict maximum damage on the “Zionist enemy”?

Ben-Ami buys into the myth that, in his words, “as long as Palestinians despair of a decent and dignified life, Israel will be at war.” This implies that Israel has within its power the ability to single-handedly lift the Palestinians up from their despair and thereby remove all causes of their hostility. If only it were that simple! The Palestinians have been offered their own state time and again, with billions of dollars of economic aid. The problem is that any Palestinian leaders willing to go down that road have been marginalized by Hamas and their fellow terrorists who have exploited the Palestinians’ suffering for their own fanatical ends. In these circumstances, there is nothing Israel can do about the Palestinians’ fundamental condition of self-inflicted despair unless it is willing to risk the kind of annihilation that Iranian President Ahmanidejad has in mind.

J Street also supports the so-called Arab-Saudi Peace Initiative. One of the essential planks of this initiative is the right of return for all Palestinian refugees, which would effectively destroy the Jewish character of Israel from within. This is where the siren call of peace turns into appeasement.

If one starts with the belief that the Jewish people need and deserve a safe homeland of their own, as Jeremy Ben-Ami says he does, Ben-Ami and his fellow J Street leaders need to take their heads out of the proverbial sand. If Israel were to follow their advice to negotiate on the basis of the kind of ‘peace’ that Hamas, Iran and the sponsors of the Arab-Saudi Peace Initiative have in mind, the Jewish state will become as non-existent as the missing street in Washington, D.C. bearing the letter J, after which the new pro-appeasement organization is named.

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