Photo Credit: Screen capture from J Street Challenge
At 2013 J Street Conference this panel discussed how to subvert Birthright Israel trips, according to "The J Street Challenge" film.

Is it really possible to get all of the most important information about the no-longer upstart, but still disingenuous J Street into a one hour film, one that provides sufficient background information for the uninitiated to be able to grasp just what could be wrong with the organization that promotes itself as “pro-peace, pro-Israel”? It is. The Boston-based Americans for Peace and Tolerance have done it.

Here’s how they did it with the film “The J Street Challenge.

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They used a secret weapon: truth.

In this hour long exposé, executive producer, director and writer Avi Goldwasser and his colleagues lined up everything J Street says, who runs it, who funds it, and reveals the organization to be nearly the inverse of what it claims to be. The film is worth it just to see acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas say the exact opposite of what Jeremy Ben-Ami describes him as saying. Or to have another leader of the Fatah Central Committee refute entirely what J Street fellow traveler Naomi Chazan claims the Fatah leadership says. Or any of at least another half dozen blatant misrepresentations made by J Street to sell its version of reality.

But the most significant achievement of the film is that it explains what J Street, at its core, is trying to do.  As Ben-Ami himself explains in one chilling segment, J Street is about redefining the meaning of pro-Israel.

Rather than accepting that the definition of being pro-Israel should be “unquestioning support for the government of Israel,”(can you hear the sneer come through as you read this? It comes through in the movie), here, in Ben-Ami’s own words, is the J Street re-definition of being “pro-Israel”:

We define it as the active, urgent action to facilitate the Two State Solution.

“Pro-Israel,” in J Street-speak, means pro-Two State Solution. And that’s all it means. To be perfectly blunt: for J Street, “pro-Israel” simply means “Palestine Now.”

That 3 seconds of the movie makes it well worth your time to find out where the movie is playing and then going to watch it. And bring with you every parent, grandparent and college and high school student you know. Because they all need to see this film.

Once it becomes clear that for J Street, the definition of “pro-Israel” is forcing Israel to adopt the J Street goal – which may have absolutely nothing to do with what is best for Israel, for the United States, for the Middle East, or for anyone other than J Street – you will be far better prepared to respond to the smoke and mirrors that are being used in an attempt to “redefine” pro-Israel as demanding the creation of a Palestinian State. Right Now. Without any other objective.

Avi Goldwasser, the producer of “The J Street Challenge,” told The Jewish Press that the movie was made “in response to what we perceived as a one-sided discussion, dominated by J Street spokespersons, about the relationship between the American Jewish community and Israel.”

In the half dozen years of its existence, J Street has used its millions of dollars (some coming from non-Jews, from non-Americans, and even from some Israel haters!) in financial resources, public relations and marketing know-how in an attempt to re-orient the way American Jews think and talk about Israel and the conflict in the Middle East.

“We wanted to provide the community with the most articulate scholars, writers and activists about the subject,” Goldwasser explained.

Once it becomes clear that the J Street definition of being pro-Israel is only about promoting the single product they are selling, you are already in a much better position to deal with the promoters.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

15 COMMENTS

  1. Well done Lori. JStreet is financed by anti Israel billionaire George Soros and some obscure Iranian fund. Calling itself” pro Israel” is a misnomer. It is an instrument of the Obama administration. Note they were against Iran sanctions

  2. J-Street re-defining terminology “pro-Israel” follows method of Arabs and Nazi propaganda – as bigger lie, opposite to truth, then it is better and more acceptable. Just continue call on black – white. Unfortunately, they are self-hatred Jews.

  3. '“Pro-Israel,” in J Street-speak, means pro-Two State Solution.'

    I'm no fan of J Street, but you need to do a lot better than that. The last five Israeli Prime Ministers have supported the Two State Solution. To OPPOSE the Two State Solution is to be anti-Israel!

  4. I guess I am anti-Israel, but I have good company. Rashi, RamBam, Lubavitcher Rebbe, Yair Stern, Zeev Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin, Raful Eitan, Rav Mordecai Eliahu, Rav Goren, both Rav Kooks.

  5. "The last five Israeli Prime Ministers have supported the Two State Solution". Yes, true, but each one has built in protections to ensure the survival of Israel as a Jewish state. The problem with J Street is that they have adopted the Arab version of the two-state solution and will never accept the kind of deal Israel can accept. J Street is pushing Israel to submit, surrender and commit suicide.

  6. J-Street’s delusions of grandeur continue. It has become theatre of the absurd watching this group along with their breathren in Jewish Voice for Peace, and the almighty BDS, subvert truth, demolish debate, and rewrite history. Trace their funding. They are all sleeping with the same sources…

  7. J-Street's delusions of grandeur continue. It has become theatre of the absurd watching this group along with their breathren in Jewish Voice for Peace, and the almighty BDS, subvert truth, demolish debate, and rewrite history. Trace their funding. They are all sleeping with the same sources…

  8. *Charlie Hall* define: "supported". Indeed, the last five PMs say that they think a Palestinian state should be established, but none of them suggested going back to the 1967 lines ("with mutually agreed swaps", whatever that means…) The fact of the matter is that they were open minded for the need to give some, but certainly not advocating a national suicide. If you know anything about the topography, you realize that going back 45 years in time is not a viable solution (is it ever?) J street is clearly not considering Israel's best interest.

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