The Jewish Week ran a story last week by a J Street college girl, "Exclude Me At Your Own Peril" (Oct. 26) in which the Columbia student complained that she was made to feel like "a stranger" in her synagogue because -- at a political event, not prayer services -- representatives of the left-wing J Street were met by "hisses" and boos.
Is the debate inside the Jewish world over Israeli and U.S. policy in the Middle East increasingly about religion and the bitter question of “who is a Jew?”
Talk about asking the obvious.
Yet this escapes the notice of most commentators, who continue to see only political and ideological differences. And it's something Jewish leaders don't like to face up to because it eats at the heart of one of their most cherished self-deceptions – that Israel is the issue that unites a disunited Jewish community.
Have you noticed the eerie silence of major Jewish and pro-Israel groups on the issue of the loyalty oath for new citizens approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet?
Best I can tell, the only group that's weighed in is J Street. But behind that wall of silence I'm guessing there's a lot of anxiety about how the ongoing controversy will affect American Jewish commitment to the Jewish state – and the commitment of one group in particular.
(JTA) — Congressional Democrats defended their meetings with Richard Goldstone and denied any J Street role in arranging the sit-downs with the author of a controversial report on the 2009 Gaza War.
Goldstone and two senior aides to top Democrats who had knowledge of the meetings denied J Street's involvement. The denials followed a Washington Times report last week asserting that J Street facilitated the meetings.
As the J Street – George Soros controversy goes into it second full week, here's a quick update on a few of the threads entangling the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group.
1. The controversy is solidifying into familiar lines, with ardent supporters blaming the press for heaping fuel on a relatively minor matter – the failure of J Street's leaders to tell the truth about Soros contributions – and detractors piling on with real criticism and outright hyperbole.
No one likes Avigdor Lieberman, to hear the left tell it. No one on the Israeli left or in the American Jewish Surrender Lobby liked Avigdor Lieberman's speech at the UN -- the J-Soros Surrender Street only advocates Israeli capitulation to any enemy demand (such as building freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria) ordered withoout negotiation by the Palestinians and their corner men in the White House.
Extent of damage for lobby on Hill unclear; ‘huge setback,’ says expert.
James D. Besser
Since it was formed, J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee, has fought for credibility in the face of charges from the right that it is anti-Israel. This week it was reeling after revelations in the Washington Times that the group has received substantial contributions from controversial financier George Soros — despite two years of denials.
Early indications suggest J Street’s membership base is holding fast, but there were reports that some members of Congress connected with the group may be reconsidering their affiliation.