The Battle to redefine “Pro-Israel”
By Ted Belman
I was the first to describe the coordinated effort to redefine “what it means to be pro-Israel”. This coordinated effort now has the public face of J-Street.
A few weeks ago the Washington post published 5 Myths About Being ‘Pro-Israel’ by Jeremy Ben-Ami, its Executive Director. I tore into it in J-Street is setting up strawmen and speaks for a small minority and so did Jamie Kirchick, in The New Republic, in Who does the new Israel lobby really represent?
Now the Jewish Policy Center has published an article by Noah Silverman in inFocus entitled, The Battle to Define ‘Pro-Israel’. It adds important depth to my article and I recommend it. Noah Silverman is the director of congressional affairs for the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Silverman started by commenting on the House vote to authorize the war against Iraq.
[..] The numbers (of those voting) made it clear that the final outcome of the vote would not have changed if Jewish votes had been cast differently. They also fed a growing frustration among Israel’s critics that even left-leaning American Jews do not toe the “progressive” line on the Middle East. Indeed, those who seek to undermine the “special relationship” between Israel and America, fault the leading American Jewish institutions – chief among them the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) – for their unwillingness to align with the views of non-Jewish “progressives.”
The denizens of academia, the media, and left-wing Middle East advocacy groups complain that the traditionally “liberal” Jewish community has wrongly backed “right-wing” Israel policies. The objective of these Jewish critics and their non-Jewish allies is to discredit Jewish organizations that are out of step with progressive dogma and that defend Israel. Often, they target AIPAC, which rarely diverges from Israeli policy, and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which includes 51 organizations that hold a spectrum of views. Indeed, the Left has applied itself with great energy to redefining what it means to be “pro-Israel.”
This is an excellent and informative article.
He ends it with this paragraph,
Whatever their Middle East policy views, American Jews run a grave risk by aligning with the likes of Moran, Walt, and Mearsheimer. With such fellow travelers, “progressives” who seek to “radically redefine” what it means to be “pro-Israel” risk aiding those who would undermine the special relationship that American Jews have painstakingly nurtured for 60 years.