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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

A few thoughts on Brandeis ‘progressive’ Zionists: J Street

Published: October 16, 2009
Section: Opinions

J Street is a recently formed lobby that wants to “change the direction of American policy in the Middle East,” with their motto being “pro-peace, pro-Israel.”

Alan Solomont, one of the founders of J Street, believes that the United States government has only “…heard the voices of neocons, and right-of-center Jewish leaders and Christian evangelicals, and the mainstream views of the American Jewish community have not been heard.”

This organization believes that no dialogue and constructive activism have been tried before, but rather that the past lobbying activity has been focused on keeping the conflict going…because who does not love war?

So this new group has decided to give dialogue, and “critical analysis of governmental policies” another chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance…

Forget about the past experiences and forget about the facts. J Street is the real truth, the peace-seeking lovers. It does not matter that Israel is constantly being provoked, threatened and hurt by its neighbors. It does not matter that Iran screams aloud for its destruction while seeking WMDs…dialogue will convince them to stop, really. Dialogue will bring peace with Hamas, even though their constitution is based on The Protocols of Zion, and that they refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

We should not defend ourselves either, which is why we called for an immediate cease-fire from Day 1 of operation cast lead. After all, we know better than the Israelis who have to send their children to war; we know better than those who worry about Hamas and Hezbollah every day; we know better than the democratically elected and highly popular Israeli government.

Stop it!

“J Street U was not created at Brandeis in order to sling facts and figures back and forth between groups of different opinions,” wrote Jeremy Konar of the Justice.

Oh, but you do not understand. You are being a sarcastic neocon. You have to think like a “progressive” man.

We understand the situation better than those that live in Israel. We are here with the solution. The past is the past, and we are bringing our new “progressive” ideas to finally bring peace…although it will be hard with the entire Israeli lobby trying to keep the war going and keep killing Palestinians.

We are so in touch with Israel, but especially with Israel’s neighbors. In fact, we have such an appeal that according to the Federal Election Commission fillings, we have received tens of thousands of dollars “from dozens of Arab and Muslim Americans, as well as from several individuals connected to organizations doing Palestinian and Iranian issues advocacy.”

This may raise some eyebrows among you neocons, especially because few—if any—other pro-Israel organizations, like AIPAC, receive funds from them, not even the similarly progressive group of APN.

Well, that is only because we are honest about being pro-peace…and pro-Israel, right. Do not be jealous.

Ok, so it might be too early to be so tough on J Street, but their list of advisors and donors is raising suspicion. In fact, the 18-month-old organization has been criticized by the Israeli government, which argued that the group “may impair Israel’s interest.”

Several pro-Israel groups are also accusing it of breeding division from the inside.

It is wonderful to promote dialogue and negotiation, a policy that Israel has always tried to advance. But there are also priorities and interests that must be kept to protect Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state. It is good be idealistic, but one cannot live in the world of books and philosophy, instead of in reality.

It is perfectly understandable to disagree with Israeli politics, but certain issues cannot be discussed nor negotiated.

Furthermore, negotiations require reciprocity…Israel is still waiting.