In Attacking Birthright, J Street Drops Its Pro-Israel Pretensions

Founded in 2011 as a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying group that could provide a counterweight to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), J Street has recently taken to attacking Birthright—the nonpartisan and nondenominational program that arranges free visits to Israel for young Jews. David M. Weinberg comments:

[Rather than simply] partnering with the mainstream Israeli political left to build support in Washington for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, . . . J Street has become . . . an organization that spends almost all of its time and money besmirching Israel, smearing AIPAC and other leading American Jewish organizations, boosting U.S.-Iran relations, and backing political candidates for whom promoting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement is a badge of honor.

J Street is not happy with Birthright because it, and many other trips that bring some 50,000 students on tours of Israel [every year], . . . “omit Palestinian narratives in their programming and erase Palestinians and the occupation from our collective consciousness.” I’m quoting here verbatim from J Street campus propaganda. . . . “These trips therefore perpetuate the attitudes and politics that help make demolitions [of the houses of terrorists] and occupation possible.” They might, God forbid, lead “our communities to feel no compulsion to speak out on behalf of Palestinian rights.”

J Street claims it wants to reform Birthright, but it hasn’t approached Birthright with thoughtful, constructive educational ideas; it’s just sought to sabotage the program. Dozens of campus professionals in the field tell me that activists from [the organization’s campus branch], J Street U, work assiduously to undermine Birthright recruitment drives. They make life hell for potential participants.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Birthright, Israel & Zionism, J Street

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University