The Real Problem With J Street

The appointment of David Friedman to the position of US Ambassador to Israel, did not leave the American organization J street very pleased, especially when Friedman announced he would be working from Jerusalem.

Suddenly, the chorus of “yay!”s turned into a chorus of condemnation by my pro-Israel friends on the basis of this statement. Even the New York Times published an article stating that Friedman’s appointment was a travesty because he had the nerve to libel the “pro-peace” organization “worse than kapos.”

To clarify, “kapos” were Jews forced by the Germans to commit atrocious acts against their own people.

Keyword: forced.

J Street turned against its own people all by themselves. They didn’t need Nazis pointing guns to their heads to do that.

So technically, calling J Street kapos is wrong. It’s an insult to the poor kapos who suffered greatly while being forced to do terrible things to their own people, even their parents, grandparents, children, and best friends.

That is what Friedman means. It is a harsh analogy, perhaps even a bit offensive, and in my view doesn’t apply to most J Streeters who were guilt-tripped or suckered into it, but nowhere near as horrifying as progressive Jews say it is.

Let’s be real guys, J street isn’t about two states. Friedman would not have called them that if they were just a bunch of liberal Jews fighting for a two state solution. Heck, the Likud does not oppose two states. I don’t see Friedman having problems with them. I wouldn’t be against J Street if all they were about was advocating a two-state solution.

The truth is that J Street is about being the pet Jews of the disapora. About pointing out all of Israel’s wrongdoings and going, “See? I’M not like THOSE Jews!” It’s about putting being loved by the world over what is actually best for us, over defending our only homeland.

J Street is that snitch who screams about all your wrongdoings to not only your parents but also your aunts, uncles, cousins, your hairdresser, your manicurist, your dogsitter, your straight edge friend whom you know might judge you, and even that cute frum guy from shul who you’ve been trying to attract for the last few months.

When you do right J Street is quiet. You get an A on an exam in a class you’ve been failing? Quiet. You defend a kid at school who is being bullied? Silence. You win a medal for citizenship? Silence. You sneeze the wrong way and you get a 2-hour lecture.

“You can never learn from praise, only criticism can make you better, so praise is pointless.”

That’s J Street’s motto. It was also something my mother said to me several years ago when I asked her why she never praised me, and then she apologized and changed her ways and now she’s great. J Street has no plans to apologize anytime soon. Actually everything is Israel’s fault.

J Street is the teacher who picks on the kid who is already being bullied so bad, thereby encouraging the other kids to bully him and giving them ammunition because she wants the popular kids to like her.

J Street’s suggestions have always been stupid at best, dangerous to our existence at worst. It’s a bunch of Americans who have no idea what is going on other than what they see in the biased media and even more biased UN.

I don’t know any native-born Israelis who appreciate J Street’s unsolicited intervention. I even know Meretz supporters who think they’re too much and are armchair experts who don’t know anything but act like they’re the messiah and somehow repairing the world. It’s so patronizing.

To the credit of the J Streeters among my American friends, many don’t agree with everything J Street does and most don’t understand what J Street is really about and have bought into the massive Jewish guilt trip and the belief that it’s the only way to reconcile being pro-Israel with tikkun olam / the social justice trend.

But the truth is J Street isn’t out for what’s good for Israel. It’s out for what is perceived as good for America’s political and diplomatic interests. All the J Streeters I know even admit it: they are Americans first, Jews second (or to quote one of them from a private message, 54th)

J Street isn’t about bringing progressive values to Israel. We are already pretty progressive on our own. We can choose on our own what is best for us. We don’t need a bunch of social justice warriors an ocean away telling us what to do from their frame of reference when ours is very different.

We live in constant existential threat. Much of the world is actively trying to wipe us out. We are a people who have been betrayed and persecuted everywhere we went so we need a Jewish state. Those who are betraying us are now waging a diplomatic war against our existence and J Street is only helping them. America doesn’t have to deal with the danger of annihilation and every day. All it takes is one wrong move and we don’t get second chances.

An American or Westerner, who isn’t facing the threats from those who ideologically oppose our existence, will never understand, and should stop trying to impose naive, idealistic solutions on us from their vantage point.

That’s why we Israelis (and yes, I speak on behalf of every sabra I have ever spoken to on the topic with views ranging from Bayit Hayehudi to Meretz and everything in between), tell J Street:

Go home, bro, you’re drunk.



Lex is a trained comedy actor who is Montreal's second-favourite export aside from poutine.

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