It used to be that a primary goal of Israel's friends in this country was to ensure strong U.S.-Israel relations and to create a genuinely bipartisan wall of support for the Jewish state in U.S. politics.
Now, the goal seems more to take advantage of today's bitter partisanship to advance a specific vision of U.S.-Israeli relations or support a particular political viewpoint in Israel. Or to use Israel as just another wedge issue in the U.S. partisan wars.
On eve of national conference and third anniversary, lobby group says it will moderate message in Congress.
James D. Besser
When J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace process” group that has become a lightning rod for volcanic differences in American Jewish life, distributed the schedule for its upcoming national conference, nervous members of Congress were quick to note one session: a panel on the boycotts, sanctions and divestment movement that will include a leading Jewish supporter of BDS.
That, in a nutshell, points to what could be the biggest problem facing the political action committee and lobby as it nears its third anniversary.
J Street's spat with Rep. Gary Ackerman took another turn today when it apologized for its strong reaction to the New York Democrat's statement last repudiating the pro-peace process group.
But J Street isn't backing away from the statement that touched off the fracas in the first place – its request that the Obama administration consider not vetoing a pending UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.
Every U.S. administration since 1967 has opposed the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Israeli building in eastern Jerusalem, but a likely GOP presidential contender in 2012 this week sent another strong signal that could change if he gets into the White House.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. House of Representatives leaders urged President Obama to veto a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution that slams Israel on settlements and urges a return to direct Israeli-Palestinian talks.
"We are deeply concerned about the Palestinian leadership’s decision to reject the difficult but vital responsibility of making peace with Israel through direct negotiations, and instead to advocate for anti-Israel measures by the United Nations Security Council and other international forums," says the letter sent Thursday.
New settler leader says coexistence is working, let the diplomats take a break.
Editor And Publisher
Naftali Bennett doesn’t fit the perceived profile of a leader of the Israeli settler movement.
He initially believed the Oslo plan would bring peace; he is a man of wealth, having helped found and serve as CEO of a hugely successful computer startup that he and his partners sold for $145 million in 2005; and he lives in Raanana, an upscale modern city of about 80,000, inside Israel proper.
Nothing is as it seems. The promise of Oslo and the two-state solution has collapsed into the equivalent of the honky tonk song in which a young couple dreams of living in a big two-story house. After years of cheating, secrets and small hurts, they get it. She’s got her story, he’s got his story, there’s not much peace in a two-story house.