Jennifer Rubin

Washington Post

Liberal Democrat Rep. Gary Ackerman of New York sent the following press release:

After learning of J Street’s current public call for the Obama Administration to not veto a prospective UN Security Council resolution that, under the rubric of concern about settlement activity, would effectively and unjustly place the whole responsibility for the current impasse in the peace process on Israel, and – critically – would give fresh and powerful impetus to the effort to internationally isolate and delegitimize Israel, I’ve come to the conclusion that J-Street is not an organization with which I wish to be associated.

It is not Israel that is refusing to enter final status negotiations. It is not Israel that has refused again and again to make unilateral gestures of good faith (recall the hundreds of West Bank security checkpoints and roadblocks removed, and the 10 month settlement freeze). It is not Israel that is now trying to force the peace process back in to the same dead-end from which the Obama Administration has spent the past month trying to extract itself. But astonishingly, it is Israel that J-Street would put in the stocks in the public square.

REP. GARY ACKERMAN, D-NY, is off the J Street bus

The decision to endorse the Palestinian and Arab effort to condemn Israel in the UN Security Council, is not the choice of a concerned friend trying to help. It is rather the befuddled choice of an organization so open-minded about what constitutes support for Israel that its brains have fallen out.

America really does need a smart, credible, politically active organization that is as aggressively pro-peace as it is pro-Israel. Unfortunately, J-Street ain’t it.”

I have a quibble with the penultimate sentence: A number of pro-Israel groups are pro-peace. But that is a small matter compared to the import of the statement.

Ackerman is no right-winger, I can say that. But he is a friend of Israel and a sincere advocate for a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He has delivered a well-deserved knockout punch to the left-wing J Street and its like-minded comrades, making clear that simply slapping “pro-Israel” on your stationery doesn’t make you so. If not Ackerman, with whom does J Street expect to have influence?

Precisely as I have argued, Ackerman makes clear that support for United Nations condemnation of Israel only gives “powerful impetus to the effort to internationally isolate and delegitimize Israel.” If you listen carefully, you might hear the fig leaf of respectability for J Street and similar pro-condemnation advocates fluttering to the ground.


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