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by
Bridget Johnson

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September 17, 2013 - 1:29 pm

The Obama administration is sending its highest-ranking speaker yet to keynote J Street’s conference in Washington.

The group has been branded a “pro-peace” alternative to pro-Israel groups such as AIPAC, the ADL and the American Jewish Committee. Alan Dershowitz once said “J Street has done more damage to Israel than any American organization.”

“It has made a generation of Jews ashamed to be pro-Israel, and has made it politically correct among young people to single out Israel to a double standard and for fault,” Dershowitz continued. “It is a fraud in advertising to call J Street pro-Israel. An organization that calls for the US to censure Israel at the UN is not pro-Israel. An organization that praises [judge Richard] Goldstone is not pro-Israel. An organization that calls for taking any military measure against Iran off the table is not pro-Israel. It should stop defrauding the public.”

J Street’s pro-Palestinian stance — Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, the leader of a Palestinian nationalist party and cousin of an imprisoned Palestinian terror leader, told last year’s J Street conference that blame for imminent failure of a two-state solution will rest squarely on the shoulders of Israel — is slowly gaining traction on Capitol Hill.

Last November, the organization claimed victory in 70 of the 71 endorsements it made during the campaign season. J Street cheered the losses of what it called “One-State Caucus” Reps. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), Allen West (R-Fla.), Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.), Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), and Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.). All were freshman reps who came to power in the GOP’s 2010 midterm Tea Party-driven rout.

The lobbying group defines this “caucus” as “members of Congress who put Israel’s democracy and Jewish character at risk by promoting policies—such as annexation of the West Bank—that are at odds with long standing bipartisan support for a two-state solution.”

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett was the administration’s speaker at last year’s J Street conference. “We know that some of you are sometimes frustrated with the pace of the peace process,” she said at the March 2012 dinner. “Peace is in the long-term interest of Israel, it’s in the interest of the Palestinian people, it’s in the interest of the region, and it’s in the interest of the world.”

The announcement of Biden as J Street’s speaker comes months after some on the left accused the vice president of “pandering” to pro-Israel activists at the spring AIPAC conference.

Biden will address J Street on Sept. 30, the same day that President Obama sits down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

“The theme of the conference is ‘Our Time to Lead’ and it couldn’t be coming at a more critical time,” J Street said today.

“Secretary Kerry has helped jumpstart a new nine-month push to reach a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And as President Obama said in March in Jerusalem, political leaders are more likely to make bold decisions necessary to achieve peace when ordinary people push them to do so,” said the announcement to J Street supporters. “…Vice President Biden will be joined by an amazing array of Israeli, Palestinian and American conference guests, including Congressman John Lewis, Israeli Labor Party leader Shelly Yachimovich and scores of significant civil society, business and political figures.”

Last year the Israeli government sent Ambassador Barukh Binah to speak at the conference, where he received a tepid reception after he delivered an impeccably structured point-by-point barrage of the risks faced by the Jewish state and where the lobbying organization has slipped.

Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren had his share of run-ins with the lobbying organization. “They claim they’re pro-Israel,” he said in 2011. “They are calling for Israel to be condemned in the Security Council for the settlements and they are condemning some of our best friends on the Hill. So they can call themselves what they like.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (9)
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48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last I checked J Street consists of Jews. There is a big difference between being "pro-peace", as J Street is, and "pro-Palestinian". Most of the comments here seem to prove to once again prove that we all love Jews - as long as they're in Israel.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
No real surprise here. We have Buchanan and others complaining about the Israel lobby. J Street is much more successful and speaks for many Jews who believe Israel is bad for business, and their Left politics.

The guts of Israel support is the evangelicals and similar Christian groups. When will Israel realize who its friends are?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jews voting for democrats are like chickens voting for Col. Sanders....so incredibly stooopid it is difficult to describe; but, I cannot wait to see what horrible gaff Uncle Joe utters....ought to be epic ;)

Remember BENGHAZI!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bibi's no fool - he reads the American Ayatollah like a book....just trying to protect Israel as much as he can until this buffoon's out of office for good.

Remember BENGHAZI!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think O will act the fool with his rudeness,again.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can't wait to hear what tone-deaf things he's going to say.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Obama-Biden ticket never veers far from its Anti-Israel stance.

It is no coincidence that Biden will address the Israel-hating group while Obama is putting up a fake front with Bibi.

Valerie Jarrett speaking last year shows how much importance Obama places on the group.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been torn over Obama's stance alongside Israel; as an ally. Twice now, Obama has publicly stated that he will stand with Israel when the SHTF; the most recent affirmation was in his "Syria" speech. Therefore I have concluded that Obama has taken the long held traditional stance of the U.S.A. alongside Israel ... regardless of politics and BS over trying to be a peace guru by pretending he is a god unto himself. None of the political BS matters; and Bibi knows it. Bottom line: This meeting with Bibi is absolutely crucial because Israel is sitting on dead ready to take on Iran; and needs the assurance of U.S.A. support.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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