Trump, Israel and the Democratic Crack-Up
Israel has good reason to be deeply worried.
The radicalization of the Democratic party and party members in the media and government should be deeply worrying to Israel because as the party has radicalized it has shifted ever farther away from Israel. An event this coming weekend shows just how deeply and quickly it has abandoned its previous support for Israel.
Saturday, October 26, J Street will open its annual three-day conference. J Street was founded in 2008 with the support of anti-Israel billionaire donor George Soros who first proposed its establishment in a series of meetings with anti-Israel Jewish American donors in 2006. Soros laid out his vision for the Jewish anti-Israel lobby in an article in the New York Review of Books in 2007. Soros envisioned a leftist Jewish group that would push an anti-Israel agenda in the name of the community and so diminish the power among Democrats of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.
Soros tried out his idea in 2006. He organized a group of dovish Jewish pro-PLO groups. They formed an ad hoc coalition to scupper the Palestinian Anti-Terror Act. The act, which enjoyed overwhelming Congressional support in both houses, was backed by AIPAC. Its goal was to update US policy towards the Palestinian Authority following Hamas’s victory in the January 2006 PA elections.
Presenting themselves as “pro-Israel and pro-peace” the Soros-backed group blindsided AIPAC and managed to scuttle the initiative. Buoyed by the success, ahead of the 2008 presidential elections, J Street launched.
Like the ad hoc consortium of the pro-PLO groups in 2006, J Street also insists that it is “pro-Israel.” But like its precursor, its actions expose the falsity of its claim. J Street was a key lobbyist for President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran which was devastating for Israel. It has campaigned to defeat pro-Israel lawmakers and to elect anti-Israel lawmakers. For instance, in 2012, J Street actively campaigned against Representatives Joe Walsh and Allen West, two of Israel’s most outspoken supporters in the House. In 2018, during the Democratic primaries, when it mattered, J Street supported Rashida Tlaib’s bid for office. J Street endorsed former Nation of Islam spokesman Keith Ellison’s campaigns for the House of Representatives, and J Street condemned Israel for barring Ellison’s successor Ilhan Omar and Tlaib from entering Israel to lead a BDS tour last summer.
While J Street claims that it opposes the anti-Semitic BDS campaign, its campus outfit J Street U legitimizes BDS campus groups and activists.