Tuesday, July 10, 2012

J Street Renews Its Attack On Israel

J Street is again undercutting Israel with its latest attack on the legally elected government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

J Street, which claims to be "the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans," again demonstrates just how political they are.

Their target this time is the Levy commission, which investigated the legal issues surrounding Israel's sovereignty over Yehudah and Shomron (the West Bank).

In an email asking its members to "tell Secretary Clinton: Oppose Israeli efforts to Legalize Settlements," the J Street leadership says:
When is an occupation no longer an occupation?

Apparently, in Israel, it's when a committee appointed by the Prime Minister and comprised of settlement advocates decides to redefine the word "occupied" and to legalize illegal settlements.
In point of fact, the 89 page report is a learned and deliberate attempt to get beyond politics and examine the issue of international law objectively.

In response, J Street ignores issues of legality and bases itself on two points:
  • The Levy report would overturn decades of Israeli government policy and Supreme Court decisions
  • Drive a stake through the heart of chances for a two-state solution.
While it is admirable that J Street takes interest in Israel's policy half way around the world, governments are know to overturn policies. It is an irrelevant point
What is relevant is that they drudge up the claim that Israel is endangering peace talks--this at a time that those very same peace talks have been endangered by Abbas by his refusal to negotiate for 3 years now.

Getting into the heat of their rhetoric, J Street errs:
American policy for eight administrations - under Democrats and Republicans - has been clear: Israeli settlement beyond the Green Line is either illegal or illegitimate. The State Department's spokesperson reiterated that position yesterday.1
J Street implies that 8 consecutive administrations that opposed the settlements.

J Street is wrong. As Eugene W. Rostow wrote: President Reagan held that Israeli settlements were neither illegal nor illegitimate:
President Carter supported this view [that settlements were illegal], but President Reagan reversed him, specifically saying that the settlements are legal but that further settlements should be deferred since they pose a psychological obstacle to the peace process.
More to the point, again the issue is international law, not the opinions of foreign leaders who have neither the knowledge nor the qualifications to decide international law.

Also note, that though the paragraph in J Street's email ends with a footnote, it is only going on the very end of the paragraph, that the State Department is opposed. The article does not address how previous administrations perceived this issue. The error is purely J Street's

J Street's use of scare tactics, resorting once again to waving the flag of "extreme right wingers" is expected--and we are not disappointed.

We've seen their tactics before.

You may recall:
No wonder that acting against Israel's interests comes naturally to J Street.

Here is the J Street email in its entirety:
Friend,

When is an occupation no longer an occupation?


Apparently, in Israel, it's when a committee appointed by the Prime Minister and comprised of settlement advocates decides to redefine the word "occupied" and to legalize illegal settlements.

At least that's what a committee led by retired Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy is recommending to the Israeli government.

Going down this road would overturn decades of Israeli government policy and Supreme Court decisions and drive a stake through the heart of chances for a two-state solution.

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Israel next week, she should state, in no uncertain terms, American opposition to this idea. Her message should be simple: Mr. Prime Minister, reject this Commission's findings.

Click here to join our petition to Secretary Clinton urging strong US opposition to this dangerous new report.

American policy for eight administrations - under Democrats and Republicans - has been clear: Israeli settlement beyond the Green Line is either illegal or illegitimate. The State Department's spokesperson reiterated that position yesterday.1

The Levy Commission's report runs counter to Israel's own self-interest. Its adoption would put Israel on a path to being a single state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. We call this the "one state nightmare" - a minority of Jewish Israelis in a state with a majority of non-Jewish residents,  forced to choose between Israel being a homeland for the Jewish people or a democracy.

Leading moderate voices in Israel – from President Shimon Peres to government Ministers Shaul Mofaz, Ehud Barak and Dan Meridor – have been warning urgently that a two-state solution is essential to Israel's survival as a both a Jewish home and a democracy.

The Levy report, by contrast, reflects the views of extreme elements of the settler movement who seek to consign the two-state solution to the dustbin of history.

Adopting this report would run counter to international law, Jewish values, and America's own national interest. The United States must make its absolute opposition crystal clear.

Click here to join us in urging Secretary Clinton to make clear America's opposition to this report during her visit to Israel next week.

Thank you for all that you do,

Jeremy Ben-Ami

Hat tip: YM

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