Archive for the ‘“J Street”’ Tag

What, where, why and what next


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Nov. 5, 2009

Dear Friends of Israel,
You have a perfect opportunity to show your support of Israel, support for the Jewish people, and to thank the New York Mets (sounds strange, but it’s true!) for standing up against intimidation by defamers of Israel, posing as “civil and human rights” activists.
Left-wing internet activists have whipped up their followers to barrage the Mets players and leaders with demands that they cancel a pro-Israel event to be held at Citi Field on November 21st.  That union of haters includes those who actively encourage boycotts of and divestment from Israel,  ardent supporters of Yasir Arafat, and public figures who claimed Jewish “money” pushed the US into the war in Iraq.
BUT THE METS HAVE STOOD UP TO THOSE THREATS!  Let’s send them letters thanking them, let’s show that we won’t be intimidated and let’sgo to the event affirming our ties to and support for Hebron, and let’s share this information with everyone we know!
Say THANK YOU for rejecting the hate-monger organizations’ request to cancel the fundraiser for the Jewish Community of Hebron.  By standing with the Hebron Fund you are standing with the Jewish Community and with Israel.Thank you for stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run for truth and the Jewish people!
Mets contact info:
New York Mets
Citi Field
Roosevelt Avenue
Flushing, NY 11368-1699
(718) 507-8499

To participate at The Hebron Fund Dinner–
Saturday Evening, November 21, 2009 Caesar’s Club at
Citi Field, Flushing Meadow Park,  Queens, New York
Join us in paying tribute to the heroic Jewish Community of Hebron
and to our dedicated honorees:
Reception & Buffet Dinner    Couvert $300 per person   RSVP     Free Parking
For DINNER Information & Registration go to:

We need to be vigilant, keep your eyes open, keep us informed of important issues.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Activists to the NY Mets: ‘Racism ain’t amazin’! Strike out the Hebron Fund!’

From Adalah-NY:
New York, NY, November 4, 2009 – Eleven organizations from the US, Palestine and Israel have called on baseball’s New York Mets to cancel a November 21st dinner at the Caesars Club at Citi Field for the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund. The dinner is a fundraiser for Israeli settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank City of Hebron. In a letter sent to the Mets on November 3rd, the groups said, “The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the Obama administration’s call for a freeze in settlement construction, and that actively promote racial discrimination, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron.” Seven hundred Israeli settlers, living amidst 150,000 Palestinians in Hebron, are expanding their hold on the historic old city by driving out the Palestinian residents.
The groups added that “It would be a tragic irony for an event funding Israeli settlers’ violent actions and discriminatory policies against Palestinians to be held at Caesars Club which,according to the Mets, “sits directly on top of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda,” which was named “in honor of Jackie Robinson, the… great American who broke baseball’s color barrier.” The Mets and Major League Baseball promote Robinson’s legacy, including Robinson’s value of “Justice: Treating all people fairly, no matter who they are.” Mets owner Fred Wilpon has explained in the past that, as a 16 year-old, meeting Jackie Robinson was an experience that never left him. “As a kid, a nothing, he treated me with all of that dignity that he treated everyone else in his life.”
On the Hebron Fund webpage, clicking on the symbol which says “Give to Hebron” leads to adonations page on the website for the Jewish Community of Hebron which says, among other things, “keep Hebron Jewish for the Jewish people.” In a report on Hebron, the Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and ACRI have labeled the demands of Hebron’s settlers as “racist.” Hebron settlement leader Moshe Levinger, praised in a Hebron Fund dinner video, has been quoted saying,“The Arabs know to behave like good boys around us.” Hebron Fund Executive Director Yossi Baumol also made very derogatory comments about Arabs in a 2007 interview.
The signers of the letter include Adalah-NY, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Brooklyn For Peace, Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel), CODEPINK Women for Peace, Gush Shalom (Israel), Jews Against the Occupation-NYC, Jewish Voice for Peace, Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (Palestine), US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and WESPAC Foundation. The letter was cced and sent to Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Middle East Envoy George Mitchell, who has a history of involvement with Major League Baseball, and Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s wife.
The letter explains that reviewing last year’s and this year’s Hebron Fund dinner shows that some dinner honorees support violence and terrorizing Palestinians. In 1990, Noam Arnon, who is to be honored at the dinner, called three Israelis who were convicted of killing three Arabs and maiming two Palestinian mayors in car bombings “heroes.” In a video on the Hebron Fund website, 2008 dinner honoree Myrna Zisman pays tribute to Hebron settler Yifat Alkoby. Alkoby became famous worldwide in 2006 when she was videotaped in Hebron terrorizing and calling a Palestinian woman and girl “whores” who were caged inside their own home as protection from settler attacks. In another video featuring 2008 dinner honorees, three children who appear to be the honorees’ children are briefly shown holding guns and smiling.
All Israeli settlements violate international law, according to a broad international consensus. The Hebron Fund’s dinner invitation says, “Join us in support of Hebron and in protest of today’s building freeze in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank].” In a September, 2008 radio interview,the Hebron Fund’s Yossi Baumol explained, “There are real facts on the ground that are created by people helping the Hebron Fund and coming to our dinners.”
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius recently highlighted the Hebron Fund and noted that, “critics of Israeli settlements question why American taxpayers are supporting indirectly, through the exempt contributions, a process that the government condemns. A search of IRS records identified 28 U.S. charitable groups that made a total of $33.4 million in tax-exempt contributions to settlements and related organizations between 2004 and 2007.” The Hebron Fund has been the subject of complaints to the I.R.S. regarding its tax-exempt status. The complaints request investigations of allegations that it raises funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli organization Gush Shalom recently urged the National Lawyers Guild, an American organization, to encourage American tax authorities to strip US non-profits that support Israeli settlements of their tax-exempt status.


Today the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for  H.R. 867 condemning the UN Goldstone Report.  Here is the essence of that Resolution:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) considers the ‘‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’’ to be

irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy;

(2) supports the Administration’s efforts to combat anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, its characterization of the ‘‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’’ as‘‘unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable’’, and its opposition to the resolution on the report;

(3) calls on the President and the Secretary of

State to continue to strongly and unequivocally oppose any endorsement of the ‘‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’’ in multilateral fora, including through leading opposition to any United Nations General Assembly resolution and through vetoing, if necessary, any United Nations Security Council resolution that endorses the contents of this report, seeks to act upon the recommendations contained in this report, or calls on any other international body to take further action regarding this report;

(4) calls on the President and the Secretary of State to strongly and unequivocally oppose any further consideration of the ‘‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’’ and any other measures stemming from this report in multilateral fora; and

(5) reaffirms its support for the democratic, Jewish State of Israel, for Israel’s security and right to self-defense, and, specifically, for Israel’s right to defend its citizens from violent militant groups and their state sponsors.

And here are the ones who did not vote for it, either voting against it, voting present, or not voting:

—- NAYS    36 —






Carson (IN)



Davis (KY)



Edwards (MD)





Johnson, E. B.

Kilpatrick (MI)


Lee (CA)





Miller, George

Moran (VA)


Pastor (AZ)


Price (NC)



















Johnson (GA)




Lofgren, Zoe







—- NOT VOTING    30 —




Barrett (SC)


Brady (PA)



Davis (AL)

Davis (TN)

Deal (GA)

Gordon (TN)


Hall (NY)


Meeks (NY)

Murphy, Patrick





Pingree (ME)

Price (GA)

Sánchez, Linda T.







Z STREET on J Street, Day 2.  Oct. 27, 2009

Today class, we learned that it is imperative, it absolutely must, must, must happen that a Palestinian state be created in two years, no, scratch that, tomorrow.    In fact, this gathering of J Streetlings are speeding up the plans so fast that I’m afraid I may be rapidly aging as I sit here.  First the idea was J Street is “pro peace” and “pro-Israel.”  Then we learned that the whole pro-Israel part can be jettisoned if we can gain more adherents to the “presto Palestiners,” the ones who want not only to create a state called Palestine for a people they call Palestinians, but they want to do it now.  And during just the course of the last 40+ hours the timeframe literally went from indefinite, to two years, to NOW.

In fact, the whole peace process idea is outre’.  Chaim Ramon, former “Disengagement” cheerleader and vice premier under Olmert (yes, he of tongue thrust fame, but why is it that these “progressives” only care about sexual harassment when it is rightwingers who are doing the harassment? yecchhh.) told the crowd at the “Why 2 States? Why Now?” gathering that the whole peace process thing should not get in the way of removing more Jews from the land.

Two more points for now, one important and one truly repulsive.  The more important one is that the consensus here, at least amongst the presenters at this conference, is that it is the job of the Community Organizer in Chief to impose a solution on the “dysfunctional” parties (oow, yes, it is okay here not only to call Netanyahu dysfunctional, but for those who are not still stuck on the progressive scale at only a reading of 5, i.e. those who are still calling Abbas a true peace partner, the more advanced ones are comfortable calling him dysfunctional.  Or at least the PA political process is.)

So, here comes the march of the progressive hegemons, willing to use the power of the great and mighty United States, the super-duper power, to impose its view of what is best on the Israelis and the Palestinians, and to do so with teeth.  Sanctions, the crowd eagerly asked?  We’ll have to see where that conversation goes.

But perhaps the presenter who won the prize for most abnoxious Master of the Cerebral Universe is Bernard Avishai.  I can’t do his portrait justice right now, but let me just say that he was the ONLY presenter who rejected the description of what everyone claims makes it  worth the sacrifices Israel must make, is so that Israel remains Jewish and democratic ( because let’s not forget about the demography bogeyman.)  Nope, Avishai started to say that phrase and, quite deliberately, rephrased it as a “democratic state with a Jewish character.”  Great.  Now Israel is expected to make sacrifices like removing parts of its limbs for…RYE BREAD?  He was practically spitting about Israel’s intentional efforts to stifle “economic development in Palestine.”  Apparently for Avishai, Israel is truly the source of all evil in the Middle East.

Lots to write about the divergence between how J Street is being promoted by its leadership, and the direction the J Streetlings are taking it – they are rushing past

Oh, and one kind of amusing note.  As I traveled down the escalators this morning I heard several women complaining that most of the panels were  all men.  Apparently that was quite a topic on the sidelines because during one presentation one of the questioners called the panelists on  it.  So, same old, same old.  Even the progressives are controlled by white males.  But I did see plenty of women in the audiences.  And there were more women than men wearing kippot.  And more women than men with long gray ponytails. And I saw one participant wearing a rainbow kippa and a keffiya – she certainly was special.

more analysis over the next few days…

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, finally back home on Z STREET.


Here I am at the J Street Conference – it is now midday and although my head is spinning and there is so much to weave together, I’ll give you just some of the highlights:

Impressions from opening night:

– This new alliance of progressive Jewish Americans are here to tell you that they are the annointed ones who will bring peace to the Holy Land if only the world will shut up and let them work their magic.  Never mind that the magic is never defined beyond “two states for two people,” and that the goal is to “remold Israel into a state of social justice, a state where people do right” and where everyone will “model core Jewish values” of  “peace and outstretched arms to our neighbors.”

Hmmm.  Well, those are core humanist values, perhaps core progressive values, and values that many Jews hold dear, but those are not the core Jewish values.  And that’s the biggest problem with this whole J Street charade of representing the “New Jewish” response to the conflict in the Middle East.  Unless New Jewish means “not Jewish” in the same way that some people refer to the New Israel Fund as the “No Israel Fund.”  There is nothing inherently and solely Jewish about the J Street approach.  A perfect example of this was offered by Daniel Sokatch who is, not coincidentally, the new president of the New Israel Fund, a pea in the pod along J Street.

Here’s the shorthand for the issue, and later I will go into detail about how this theme plays out over and over again at this gathering.

Perhaps the best known biblical quotation, at least amongst non-observant Jews, and the one focused on by Sokatch,  is  “Justice, Justice Shalt Thou Pursue.” Deut. 16:20.   This is the very core of Judaism, he explained to those gathered in the Washington D.C. Grand Hyatt at the kick-off of the J Street conference.  But, perhaps unknown to Sokatch (maybe because all the lithographs and needlepoints only include these words), the phrase continues “so that you shall inherit the land.”  Yes, that really is a core value of Judaism, and the land is Israel.

The ultimate inability to differentiate between what these New Jews want to call Jewish values and what are actually the core values of Judaism, is offensive.  To say the least.

A few little tidbits from today’s sessions:

Hamas and Hezbollah must be included in the so-called Arab Peace Plan – a comprehensive regional plan that Israel must have forced on it by the wise Americans united under the Community Organizer in Chief.  And what will Israel get out of committing itself to a peace process not only with the Arab Palestinians, but one that also includes all of the other Arab countries in the region?    Yes, you heard it here (well, actually I heard it here, but I’m telling you), what Israel has to gain is: ‘THE FULL AND COMPLETE ACCEPTANCE OF ISRAEL IN THE MIDDLE EAST.”  Alvaro de Soto, the Former Chief Middle East Envoy for the United Nations.

From grotesque to repulsive:  In a panel on How Jews, Christians and Muslims Can Work Together For Peace, the moderator, Ron Young (co-founder National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace) made two simply astounding comments.  First, in his opening anecdote (they all start with anecdotes, not a bad strategy, except when it is a bad anecdote) Young said that he had just seen a film at Theater J called “Pangs of the Messiah.”  He told us he wants to make a follow-up film called, “Please Messiah, Stay Home.”  No joke.  Just a few moments later Young mentioned evangelical Christians, specifically Rev. Hagee , who Young said, “leads a group called ‘Christians United to Take Israel to Hell.'”   This panel couldn’t quite keep straight whether religion should be used to lead to a peaceful resolution or if it is religion that is the problem.  Interesting panel.  Actually, not really.

On to more sessions: Maybe “Iran: Is Diplomacy Working?”  or “Palestinian Economic Development: Path to Peace or Diversion? ” No joke.  They’re trying to fool the Arab Palestinians into forgetting about their oppression through the wicked wiles of economic development.  I think I’ll have to check that out.

Daily Bread Oct. 22 – Iran just says NO.”

List is updated as legislators (wisely) remove their names. AND A GROWING # ARE DOING SO! !


Please send a fax or make a phone call (or, last choice, send an email) to your elected official if on the list below.  The members of congress on this list are endorsing the J Street conference by lending their good name to an organization which claims to be “pro-peace and pro-Israel,” but is nothing of the kind.

Here is my letter.  Please produce your own version – it can be as few as 3 – 5 lines long.


Sen/Rep. ______,

The relatively new organization J Street, is currently using what it boasts is your endorsement to promote itself as a mainstream vehicle for positive change in the Middle East.  But the policies being promoted by J Street are not, as it claims, “pro-peace and, pro-Israel.”   In fact, the J Street conference with which your name is linked features a speaker who blamed Israel for 9/11, and a “poet” who equates the US with the Nazi regime.

Here are details of the conference J Street claims you support.

Muslim Public Affairs Council leader Salam al-Marayati will deliver a lecture at the J Street conference being held October 25 – 28th.  Al-Marayati publicly claimed that Israel attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and he has also publicly praised Hezbollah, a group on the official U.S. terrorist list.  Is this a “pro-peace” or “pro-Israel” organization?

The J Street conference will also feature Josh Healey, whose “poetry” equates the US with Hitler and his Final Solution plans.  He says “Guantanamo is Aushwitz,” and he also compared what happened to Anne Frank to the tragedy of Matthew Shepard.  Anne Frank died because of official Nazi government policy; Shepard died at the hands of malevolent individuals who were prosecuted by the US government.

J Street seeks effectively endless “negotiations” over Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, and refuses to identify a time when that tactic should be replaced with, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for, “crippling sanctions.”  Iran poses a direct and immediate threat to Israel and only later, but most assuredly, one to the US.

J Street also wants Jews banned from living in certain parts of Jerusalem, a policy that would be in flagrant violation of the Civil Rights laws if imposed in the United States.

Over the past week nearly a dozen US elected officials*, when provided with the information above, have removed their names from the list of those endorsing J Street and its October conference.

Your good name is your most important asset; don’t let that be damaged by an association with J Street’s wrong-headed policies.


  • Last week the following members of congress withdrew their names from the host committee for the J Street Conference Gala:

The Honorable Chuck Schumer (NY)

The Honorable Thad Cochran (MS)

The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

The Honorable Blanche Lincoln (AR)

The Honorable Leonard Boswell (IA-03)

The Honorable Michael Castle (DE-AL)

The Honorable Michael McCaul (TX-10)

The Honorable Mike Ross (AR-04)

The Honorable John Salazar ((CO-03)

The Honorable Ed Towns (NY – 10)

The Honorable Kay Hagen (NC)

Hon. Geoff Davis (KY)

Hon. Howard  Coble (NC)

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As I have written to so many of you, the time is right for us to recast the “pro-Israel” mold of apologies and appeasement to one of strength and conviction.

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