Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Does The Phrase "Friend Of Israel" Even Mean Anything Anymore?

Truth be told, I have never been fond of the term "friend of Israel" to begin with--but these days, the term seems to be used pretty loosely. Take for instance the 54 Congressmen who 2 weeks ago signed a letter backed by J Street recommending that Israel remove the blockage on Gaza:
[US Congressman Eliot Engel] pointed out that a number of the congressmen that J Street brought over vote against Israel on resolutions that generally carry massive support on the House floor.

For instance, two of those congressman – California Democrats Lois Capps and Bob Filner – voted against House Resolution 867 that slammed the Goldstone Report and re-affirmed Israel’s right to self-defense.

Another member of the delegation, Bill Delahunt (D-Massachusetts), voted “present,” while Donald Payne (D-New Jersey) did not vote. The only member of the delegation to back the resolution, deemed in Jerusalem an important pro-Israel resolution, was Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio).

The resolution passed 344-36, with another 22 voting “present,” and 20 not voting.

J Street head Jeremy Ben-Ami, in a post on the organization’s Web site Friday, characterized members of the delegation his organization brought to the country as “key friends of Israel in Congress.” [emphasis added]
There seems to be a certain incongruity between how Engel and Ben-Ami are defining 'friend of Israel'.
That kind of incongruity seems to pop up a lot when dealing with J Street.

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