The result of last week’s Jewish Standard Website poll is 62 percent to 38 percent that there is “a role for J Street in Jewish life.” If this result represents the feelings of Jewish Americans, it is a very sad day for the security and future of Israel. J Street is supposed to be a pro-Israel lobby. Yet Rabbi Eric Yoffie feels that it is necessary to explain to the members of J Street what it means to be “pro-Israel.” Unbelievable.
The coverage of the J Street conference was even more interesting and revealing. At the conference, Rabbi Yoffie learned that you can criticize Israel to cheers and you can criticize Richard Goldstone to boos. That should tell the whole story, but there is more.
An effective pro-Israel lobby must be non-partisan. But Rep. Filner (D-Calif.) said at the conference: “The Republican Party doesn’t give a damn about Israel, but only supports it on political grounds.” The same congressman proudly voted against a 1994 resolution condemning a hateful anti-Semitic speech because of the First Amendment. I never knew that the First Amendment prohibits criticism of anti-Semites.
Most disturbing to me was the following report: “References to the creation of a Palestinian state frequently garnered loud applause at sessions, though talk of a Jewish homeland received little crowd reaction.” Does this represent the overall tone of the J Street conference?