On January 5, 2017, the left-wing organization J Street took out a full page advertisement in The New York Times to thank President Obama for letting a UN Security Council resolution pass that condemned Israelis living east of the Green Line (EGL). A casual observer would think that the left-wing group was simply being appreciative of a position that they described as “both practical and moral.” The reality is that J Street is RESPOSNSIBLE for pushing the Obama administration to take the action.
Full page J Street advertisement in the New York Times
J Street has been active in “educating” Barack Obama since he became the Democratic nominee for president in 2008.
At the AIPAC conference in June 2008, Obama announced that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” I was there and applauded, as did the entire conference hall.
That enthusiasm would be short-lived.
The next day, Obama back-tracked on the statement and said that it would be up to the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate the status of the city. Rep. Robert Wexler (NY), who defended Obama in the remarks, was officially endorsed by J Street just a few weeks later, as part of a wave of endorsements of liberal candidates including Rep. Keith Ellison (MN). Another recipient of a J Street endorsement was Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL), a far left-wing Congresswoman from Obama’s home state, who was also very involved in the education of the novice nominee about the new liberal agenda regarding Israel.
J Street and their favorite candidates would push President Obama over his tenure to retreat from historic bi-partisan pro-Israel positions. Here are some of J Street’s positions that it advanced:
January 2011: “[I]f the [UN] Resolution [condemning Israeli settlements] does come to a vote, we urge the Obama administration to work to craft language, particularly around Jerusalem, that it can support condemning settlement activity and promoting a two-state solution.
While we hope never to see the state of Israel publicly taken to task by the United Nations, we cannot support a U.S. veto of a Resolution that closely tracks long-standing American policy and that appropriately condemns Israeli settlement policy.”
In September 2014: “J Street urges the United States government to undertake a thorough review of its policy toward Israeli settlements and to announce the steps it will take if Israel goes forward with this decision. As a first step, it should declare now that it is the view of the United States that settlements are not merely “unhelpful” or “illegitimate” but illegal under international law as laid out in the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
In 2015, the J Street candidates would boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress (Wexler was no longer in office, having resigned in 2010). Other J Street favorites like Rep. Steve Cohen (TN) would not only walk out on Netanyahu, but defend Obama’s December 2016 UN vote.
Some of J Street’s candidates like Rep. John Yarmuth (KY) and David Price (NC) proposed a resolution in the US Congress in April 2016 to condemn Israeli settlements (to J Street applause). Not surprisingly, both were part of the 50 Democratic representative bloc that boycotted Netanyahu’s 2015 speech. On December 28, 2016, Yarmuth commended Kerry’s speech after the UN vote in which he lambasted Israel. On December 31, Jan Schakowsky did the same.
J Street let their candidates know that walking out on and abandoning Israel was perfectly Okay in the pro-Israel community.
It is important for everyone to realize that J Street is not simply an organization grateful to Obama that has an extremist position related to Israel. It is the organization that ACTIVELY PROMOTED Obama’s actions at the United Nations against Israel.
If the US vote at the UN Security Council angered you, just don’t vent at an outgoing administration. Take it out on J Street and the candidates it supports.
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