Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Washington Post Had The Real J-Street Pegged Back In April

David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy writes about how J Street has apparently squandered its credibility by showing itself to be too partisan, going beyond being merely a pro-Israel advocacy group:
J STREET SQUANDERS ITS CREDIBILITY: Has any political organization squandered its credibility as quickly as J Street, a new organization that promotes itself as a peacenik alternative to AIPAC? Supposedly, the machers at J Street thought that AIPAC was not properly representing the Jewish community's views on Israel because AIAPC too "right-wing." It's become obvious, however, that the J Street founders' problem with AIPAC is not that it's too right-wing (in fact, despite claims emanating from left-wingers about AIPAC's "right-wingedness", AIPAC rarely deviates from supporting current Israeli government policy, and its leadership has been largely Democratic for decades--the architect of AIPAC's prominence beginning in the 1980s was former Ted Kennedy staffer Tom Dine), but that it is too nonpartisan; AIPAC, as a nonpartisan pro-Israel lobby, cooperates with both Republicans and Democrats, exactly as a non-partisan lobby should. J Street, it turns out, wants to be an adjunct of the Democratic Party, and apparently wants to discredit pro-Israel Jews who cooperate with the Republicans.
But the thing is, it should not be surprising to learn that bottom line J Street is just another partisan group--you could have read about that back in April in The Washington Post:

Some of the country's most prominent Jewish liberals are forming a political action committee and lobbying group aimed at dislodging what they consider the excessive hold of neoconservatives and evangelical Christians on U.S. policy toward Israel.

The group is planning to channel political contributions to favored candidates in perhaps a half-dozen campaigns this fall, the first time an organization focused on Israel has tried to play such a direct role in the political process, according to its organizers.

As the Washington Post notes later in the article--endorsing specific candidates and channeling donations into political races is something new, that AIPAC does not do. By comparison, collecting names to have a Republcan candidate removed as a speaker at a rally is child's play.

What J Street pulled off is not an accident; it is its raison d'être. As far as J Street is concerned--they haven't lost their credibility. On the contrary, they just went one step closer to gaining their street creds.

The fact they were successful will only whet its appetite.

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