J Street is apparently indulging itself in a deliberate attempt to twist both the intent and words of Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks on his upcoming trip to Washington next month.

The group’s director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, writes with a Left wing bent that has in the past positioned him as one who sometimes walks the thin line separating support for the State of Israel from that for the border-free, terrorist-riddled entity endorsed as “Palestine” by the United Nations General Assembly.

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And in a display ad appropriately bearing turquoise blue and black (like a bruise on the landscape) on its logo, J Street runs with the slogan, “The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.” A graver misnomer could not be.

“Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that when he comes to Washington next month, he’ll be speaking “not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representatiave of the entire Jewish people.” I don’t know about you, but he doesn’t speak for me. Help us let his Ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, know: as an American, as a Jew – Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t speak for you.” the ad reads.

It then goes on to claim: “In the coming Israeli election, less than a quarter of Israelis will vote for him. More than half the Israeli public disapproves of his performance.

“And, here in the United States, where Jews overwhelmingly support diplomacy with Iran, the Prime Minister is deeply out of step with our community politically. “Make clear that no one person – even the Prime Minister of Israel – speaks for us all by signing our petition today.”

A link to J Street’s petition is embedded in the web campaign ad, which is also found in a “P.S.” that reminds, “Ambassador Dermer needs to hear from us.” and urges the reader to recruit “friends and family” to visit “DoesNotSpeakFor.me.”

Pretty slick. But the problem is, the statistics are really off. And Netanyahu never claimed to speak for every Jew. He said he is “representing” all Jews when he stands up to fight against the existential threat to Israel posed by anti-Semitism and Iranian nuclear technology development.

This writer wonders why Ben-Ami is picking a fight with Israel’s prime minister. In fact, it seems that over the past six weeks, everyone is picking a fight with Israel’s prime minister, and doing so with really cool, sophisticated slogans alongside. Sure looks like a well-funded fancy American-style ad campaign to me. American Jewish leaders organized to lobby Israel’s political leadership over Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress?

American Jewish heavy hitters coming out with weighty, well-thought-out statements offering sage advice to the prime minister on various ways to back out of his commitment to the Speaker of the House?

Vice President Joe Biden and a panel of top Democratic lawmakers notifying media about their plans not to attend Netanyahu’s speech to Congress?

A boycott on meetings with Netanyahu when he arrives in Washington by the White House, the State Department and all the rest of the U.S. top leadership, casually brushed off by President Barack Obama as “protocol” since the Israeli elections follow two weeks later?

Leaks to international media about meetings at the Munich Security Conference between Israeli opposition leader, Labor party chairman Isaac Herzog and a host of top leaders – including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and European Union foreign policy chief Federico Mogherini among them?

Not to mention frequent references by the U.S. president to his differences with Netanyahu on the “Iran issue” and most recently – yesterday, in fact – an outright plea not to “sour” a deal with Iran on its nuclear development activities under discussion between Tehran, the U.S. and world powers.

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53 COMMENTS

  1. Difficult though it may be for some to understand, there is a huge contingent of American Jewry who are distressed and dismayed to see the direction that Israel has taken in the aftermath of Rabin's assassination. It is not a pretty picture.

  2. I understand that. It is important that we defend the right to petition our government for redress of grievances. This is why J-street exists, and why I support your right to voice opinions with which I disagree, and to lobby for positions which I oppose. Can you extend me the same courtesy?

  3. Nobody is trying to force anything on anybody. Dissenting opinions are being voiced in a civil manner, by individuals who value our American Constitutional rights. And hopefully by those who value Free Expression at least as much as they value conformity.

  4. What is this Jew hater trying to do? Netanyahu is the best thing that has happened to Israel for a long time. If he dosen't win in Israel I hope he'll throw his hat in the ring for the 2016 US presidentials. He would be a shoo in, brains, guts, charm, all presently lacking in Washington.

  5. Ben is A hypocrite who is trying to speak for American Jewry…. Wrong, You J Street's Ben-Ami don't speak for me! I am proud to be a Netanyahu supporter who protects each and every Jew even you!

  6. Sean Aaron Osborne There is a right to voice dissenting opinions. Having said so, when you are part of a People that represents 0.01% of the world population, or what is left after the world has been trying to exterminate that People for the last 2000 years, one can certainly question exercising that right publicly?

  7. "there is a huge contingent of American Jewry who are distressed and dismayed to see the direction that Israel has taken"
    Then they should take it to the Israeli government, not their own government to try to force their dismay on another country.

    "defend the right to petition our government for redress of grievances."
    What "grievance" do you, as an American, have against the policies of ANY foreign government, much less the defense and security policies of the only Jewish state on earth, and the only state that is threatened daily with extermination?

    "lobby for policies which I oppose."
    When the "policies that you oppose" affect the lives and deaths of the people under the gun, while you sit in the safety of the West, you have no moral right to try to influence YOUR government to FORCE your opinion on the democratically elected government of an embattled nation.

  8. I know am a Jew sadly am not in Yisrael but if i had the opportunity i know where my heart is. The Jews in America what use or good have they been, Netanyahu stay by in Yisrael, he wakes up everyday to defend his people, his land and even the world at large even if they don’t know this, even the US who’s president can’t look evil in the eyes and call it is. The Jews in America think they’re safe and secure, obviously they’re eaten too much and grown fat, and their evil and sinful ways have clouded their understanding and their wisdom has left them. Shalom Yisrael.

  9. I know am a Jew sadly am not in Yisrael but if i had the opportunity i know where my heart is. The Jews in America what use or good have they been, Netanyahu stay by in Yisrael, he wakes up everyday to defend his people, his land and even the world at large even if they don’t know this, even the US who’s president can’t look evil in the eyes and call it is. The Jews in America think they’re safe and secure, obviously they’re eaten too much and grown fat, and their evil and sinful ways have clouded their understanding and their wisdom has left them. Shalom Yisrael.

  10. Bill Bilek – I have dual Israeli-American citizenship. Furthermore, the foreign policy decisions of one's own country are rightfully one's own concern. J-street is the progressive answer to AIPAC, Both are lobbying American lawmakers regarding a specific subset of American law. AIPAC and J-Street are both responsibly exercising their constitutional rights, expressing differing opinions on US foreign policy.

  11. Bill Bilek – When one believes (as I do) that Bibi's policies pose a far greater existential threat to the State of Israel than publicly voicing dissent ever could, one has a moral responsibility to voice that dissent.

  12. Why is AIPAC so deathly afraid of J-Street? Yes, J-Street is more in synch with the next generation of American Jews — so in the long run, I understand AIPAC's concern. But for the present, J-Street is tiny compared to AIPAC. Take a breath.

  13. This is similar To Rabbi Steven Wise and other wise men like Jeremy&his tent followers.Remember Stephen wise in `quiet diplomacy `while Hitler was murdering what would be 6 million brothers & sisters.Jeremy,money won`t save your kids& grandkids from Islamic murderers!Wake up!!

  14. Bibi speaks for me, how can Jews be anti Israel and Anti Semitic, I am a strong supporter of Israel. J Street supporters would have been in the ovens just remember that. J Street should be called something else, I am embarrassed that that are Jews. Go Bibi

  15. Let's see what happens to America, since all the Liberal Jews voted a Colored Man without credentials, without being an American in to Lead America. The only qualifications for this position he does have is the color of his skin. Well you can see what an excellent job (I din't think) this man is doing for America. Mark my words, this man will bring America to it's knees, the writing is already on the Wall. Of course you Liberals will not see this, but time will tell. Israel is blessed to have someone like Netanyahu to lead her, and you damn liberal fools take American money to try and persuade people not to vote for him. You liberals are a disgrace, why don't you pack your belongings and go live with your buddies in Gaza, lets see how long they let you survive.

  16. Since Netanyahu is speaking about Iran Nuking America & this stupid J Street says that doesn't speak to them, I guess J Street is calling itself a bunch of cockroaches, the only things that would survive a nuke.

  17. Thank you Phyllis Kotton for this well put answer.Speaking as an American Jew and child of holocaust survivor you spoke for me and so many Jews and Christians and even Muslims that I know and communicate with. We are proud of Netanayahu. Thank God he is taking a stand for Israel and yes all the Jews . It is behond shameful to even hear such as J street and any other so called Jew claiming they are speaking for all Jewish people. God for bid that you are speaking for us. Go fight Hamas in Gaza and show us Jews how you stand for us. Lets see what happens to you . Better yet go to Iran or any neighboring Islamic nation and declare yourself speaking for us American Jews as well as all Jews and lets us see what they do to you and your family .

  18. J street are Jews, How? They sound worse then Islamic extremists out to kill all Jews because we are Jewish. J street whoever you are and what ever you are YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR US JEWS IN USA OR ANYWHERE> Why don't you just convert to Islam the way you speak.

  19. J Street is a Soros financed cut-out outfit, a tool of the American Left and their various "Progressive" partners, the last thing they care about is Israel, by bribing assorted spineless Israeli wannabe's who attend their events, with $$ help to various Israeli NGO's that presumably will help the Israeli Left to get ahead, they feel entitled to speak for the Jews. It has been the history of Jews in diaspora, that they adapt various views and ideas, and cannot have a unified voice, it goes back to the unseemly days of Ezrah & Nechemya, who were quibbling in Jerusalem after the Pershina King helped with their return. No jest than, they were sending him Megilas with complains about everything, and the same is happening in the U.S, where the Jewish community is divided into numerous affiliations, J Street exploits this opening and makes a great deal of trouble, they are not genuine.

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