Jewish Herald-Voice (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 101, No. 31, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 22, 2009 Page: 2 of 36
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October 22, 2009
SWU questions J Street
positions and credibility
StandWithUs has concerns about J
Street, a new organization and lobby
whose goal is to change U.S. policies
toward Israel. J Street was established
in 2008 as a left-of-center alternative
to the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee. The upstart outfit is hosting
its first national policy conference in
Washington, Oct. 25 to 28.
J Street claims to be “pro-Israel”
and “pro-peace,” and to represent
mainstream Jewish opinion; however,
SWU has expressed doubts about
the group, as its positions appear to
undermine Israel and its search for
peace with security.
J Street’s views may contribute to
anti-Israel biases and misinformation,
SWU warns. Among concerns are
that J Street echoes many allegations
made in Stephen Walt and John
Mearsheimer’s controversial book,
“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign
Policy,” and denigrates mainstream
Jewish organizations across the
SWU has concerns about many of
J Street’s funders and advisors, who
have opposed Israel or have ties with
Arab governments that consistently
have been hostile to Israel. These
J Street supporters include one board
member who donated $10,000 and is on
the National American Iranian Council,
widely viewed as the unofficial lobby
in America for the current Iranian
regime. Others include Zahi Khouri,
a wealthy Palestinian businessman,
who considers AIPAC and Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
“enemies of peace.”
Another J Street donor is a board
member of Human Rights Watch, an
organization that has a history of
targeting Israel for unfair criticism.
Bias in the organization recently was
exposed after its “military expert”
was found to have a Nazi-memorabilia
fetish; in addition, the organization
has solicited funds from the Saudi
government, enticing the Wahabbist
kingdom by promising continued, one-
sided investigations of Israel. J Street
advisor Judith Barnett is known to
have worked for the Egyptian Ministry
of Foreign Trade, and became a
registered agent for Saudi Arabia.
J Street has drawn a moral
equivalence between the State of
Israel and the Palestinian terrorist
organization Hamas. During Israel’s
recent war against Hamas in Gaza, J
Street stated that it could not identify
“who was right or who was wrong.”
SWU questions why J Street would
equate the moral principles of Israel
with those of Hamas, whose founding
document calls for the murder of
Jews and the destruction of Israel,
and includes sections that echo the
notorious anti-Semitic publication,
“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
Most troublesome is that J Street
frequently endorses anti-Israel, anti-
Jewish narratives. J Street claimed
that Israel’s response in the war
against Hamas was “disproportionate”;
that the organization accepted the
discredited claims of the United
See J Street on Page 5
Volume Cl - Number 31
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Samuels, Jeanne F. Jewish Herald-Voice (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 101, No. 31, Ed. 1 Thursday, October 22, 2009, newspaper, October 22, 2009; Houston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth544111/m1/2/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .