Founded in 2007, the advocacy group J Street bills itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” and it is designed to counter the supposed right-wing leanings of major American Jewish organizations when it comes to Israel. It has paid particular attention to supporting the creation of a Palestinian state in all or most of the West Bank and Gaza, and to supporting the U.S nuclear deal with Iran. Surveying J Street’s recent positions and activities, Alan Baker finds little evidence that it is interested in supporting the Jewish state at all:
J Street has failed to welcome and promote the normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states, apparently because they downgrade the [importance of creating] a Palestinian state. The organization has actively lobbied against military aid to those Arab states that normalized relations. As such, J Street is clearly undercutting any genuine concern for Israel’s security and is, in fact, undermining Israel’s right to defend itself.
J Street has failed to call upon the Palestinians to stop completely the payment of salaries to terrorists, even though such payments violate internationally accepted counterterror conventions, as well as central commitments in the Oslo Accords.
J Street’s website is replete with anti-Israel propaganda and blanket, one-sided condemnations of Israeli security actions, presented out of context, all of which reads more like a summary of UN Israel-bashing resolutions. Its website even reproduces and attempts to fuel the false accusations claiming that Palestinians “living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza” do not have access to COVID-19 vaccines and have not been included in the Israeli government’s current vaccination plans.
While logical and substantive criticism of any particular action or policy by Israel may well be legitimate, J Street, by its actions and policies, has redefined itself as an anti-Israel organization. What is perhaps even worse is that through its activities and incitement, J Street is permitting itself to be a tool for use by Palestinian and European organizations hostile to Israel, which utilize its ostensible “concern” for Israel to bolster and enhance their own credibility and status.