J Street, Walt-Mearsheimer seen having little impact on AIPAC’s clout.
James D. Besser
With the rise of J Street, continuing attacks by Walt-Mearsheimer acolytes and Israel’s growing isolation, critics of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which holds its annual policy conference in Washington next week, have ratcheted up their claims that the pro-Israel lobbying giant is on the ropes.
Most evidence belies those claims — on Capitol Hill and across the political world, AIPAC’s clout appears undiminished, and in many ways has grown in recent years.
Is it kosher for Jews in the diaspora to speak out against Israeli policy? As a Jewish-American opposed to the occupation of the West Bank, this question has special relevance for me.
Until recently Jewish-American politics was dominated by organizations that have been supportive of the settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Feeling uncomfortable with these right-wing groups, I limited my activism regarding Israel to working through groups like UJA-Federation of New York and the New Israel Fund, which aid disadvantaged Israelis.
Pushback is hard as anti-Jacobs group threatens another ad.
Responding to an ad from a small but vocal group of critics who insist that the president-designate of the Union of Reform Judaism is not sufficiently pro-Israel, the movement and its supporters pushed back hard this week with a series of statements and opinion pieces this week defending him.
SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – Ads questioning the Zionist credentials of the leader-designate of the Reform movement are a distortion, Reform leaders said.
The ad attacking Rabbi Richard Jacobs for not being sufficiently pro-Israel appeared in a number of Jewish newspapers this week. It was placed by a group of Reform Jews calling themselves Jews Against Divisive Leadership.
Wasserman Schultz appointment hints of major 2012 campaign themes.
James D. Besser
Only hours after she was appointed chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) was labeled “the girl from J Street” by several right-of-center blogs and blasted by the Republican Jewish Coalition for her connection to the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group — even though she had rejected its endorsement and its money.
After the judge’s surprise mea culpa, Israel advocates hurry to undo the damage.
In the Book of Esther read on Purim, King Ahasuerus tells Queen Esther that he cannot revoke his edict calling for the destruction of the Jews but that he would issue a new decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves.
Israel’s consul for media affairs in New York, Joel Lion, offered similar advice this week to the American Jewish community following the surprise mea culpa by Richard Goldstone.
Jewish groups that support a more active Middle East peace process are applauding a new plan conceived by a group that includes former Israeli military and intelligence chiefs and revealed by Ha'aretz on Tuesday.
I'm trying to figure out exactly what it means that Richard Goldstone, the international jurist who presided over a UN report on the Gaza war that Israel and its friends considered outrageously biased, has repudiated its central findings.
There's little doubt that's good news to the Jewish groups here that made Goldstone a new poster boy for UN hostility to the Jewish state. Clearly it hurts the credibility of pro-peace process groups - including J Street - that came to Goldstone's defense after the report was released.
Okay, he works for the competition and all, but I have to say it: the Forward's J.J. Goldberg nailed it on the issue of Rabbi Richard Jacobs, recently selected as the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
J Street still makes some major Jewish leaders nervous, but that doesn't mean they like the idea of Israeli politicians mucking around in the internal affairs of the a diverse American Jewish community.