October 27, 2009

Michael Goldfarb’s war on J Street

By: AFF Editors

Michael Goldfarb is not interested in constructive criticism of J Street. What Mike wants is to expose J Street as a fringe, left-wing activist group that only pretends to be pro-Israel to advance it’s relativist agenda.

So call Mike partisan, but don’t forget that partisan critics often make substantive points, regardless of their intentions. And Mike is both very sharp and very entertaining, so it’s worth reading his posts, including his three on-site reports from J Street’s annual conference.

Although neither Mike nor I are objective observers when it comes to J Street, the group seems fairly determined to provide an abundance of evidence that confirms our worst suspicions about its motives. As Mike notes, J Street’s student wing, J Street U, has dropped the words “pro-Israel” from its official motto, because they’re afraid it will drive people away.

J Street director Jeremy Ben-Ami described himself as “concerned but realistic” about the decision by J Street U.

Given what Sonny posted below about some of the non-student members of J Street, you have to wonder which parts of the organization are actually interested in identifying themselves as pro-Israel.

If you’re interested in reading more about the J Street conference, I recommend a visit to the October 2009 page on the Weekly Standard’s blog, where Mike has chronicled his efforts to deter as many congressmen and senators as possible from attending the J Street conference. His efforts were surprisingly successful, although I’m guessing Mike had his feelings hurt pretty badly when J Street condemned him for engaging in thuggish smear tactics.

UPDATE: The J Street U director now insists the organization is still officially pro-Israel. Alison Hoffman says J Street reps are denying that J Street U ever dropped the phrase “pro-Israel” from its motto. Yet quotes from J Street director Jeremy Ben-Ami suggests he approved of the decision. Very confusing.