Is J Street a Left-Wing and Pro-Israel Organization, or Simply an Anti-Israel One?

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.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israel and the Diaspora, J Street, Palestinian statehood

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict