Examines J Street’s Unusual “Support” for Israel
Project on Terrorism
March 9, 2017
Street, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has an unusual way of
showing it "is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace
has called for direct negotiations with Hamas, a designated terrorist group
committed to the Jewish state's destruction. It partners with aggressively
anti-Israel groups which advocate an economic, political and academic boycott of
Israel. And it partners with rabidly anti-Israel speakers and groups in the name
of "open debate."
Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) examines J Street's record in a new
dossier. Read the full report here.
J Street was formed in 2008 as a liberal counterpart to the American Israel
Public Affairs Council (AIPAC).
recently, J Street rallied behind U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison after the IPT unearthed
a 2010 recording in which Ellison described what he saw as Israel's
disproportionate influence over U.S. foreign policy, calling it illogical and
Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami came
to Ellison's defense during a speech at a New York synagogue: "I
think that there's nothing troubling about his record. I think that the witch
hunt that is going on on Keith Ellison is reminiscent of the witch hunt that
goes on every single time somebody who has dared to criticize the policies of
the government of Israel steps forward and has a potential to hold position in
reiterated his support a few days later on MSNBC, describing Ellison,
who also voted against funding additional Iron Dome defense for Israel in 2014
as Hamas rockets rained down on Israeli civilian communities. Ellison also voted
"present" in 2009 rather than support a resolution recognizing
Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, as "one of the
most tolerant and open minded people that many of us know."
other cases, J Street tries to have it both ways. Regarding Hamas, a J
Street policy paper notes that the group "has consistently
condemned Hamas for calling for Israel's destruction," but in the next
paragraph makes the case for why Hamas must be engaged.
makes peace with one's enemies not one's friends," the paper says.
has to be a channel of dialogue with Hamas," Ben-Ami said during a 2010
Georgetown University program that J Street co-sponsored with the Muslim Public
Affairs Committee (MPAC).
Street maintains that it opposes the
global BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement, but it repeatedly partnered
with the movement's advocates. At the same time, J Street's policy statement on
BDS says it will not oppose the movement if it "explicitly support[s] a
2012 J Street Conference, for example, featured
a panel discussion with leading BDS
advocate Mustafa Barghouti. He was not challenged about BDS, and his
insistence that any future peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians
include a "right of return," which could end Israel's Jewish majority,
also went unchallenged.
another discussion at the same conference, Barghouti described
Israel as an apartheid state. He also made brief references to BDS,
which also drew no pushback.
general, J Street's "pro-Israel" agenda places the blame for the
ongoing conflict on Israel's shoulders and demands more of it than of
Palestinians. When it brings itself to condemn Palestinian incitement, it engages
in moral equivalence, also mentioning rare instances of Israeli violence
dossier also studies J Street's financial support, political activity and more.
To read the full dossier, click here.