Sunday, December 11, 2011

UC Berkeley's Jewish Student Union Rejects J Street


At a Nov. 16 general meeting, the union voted to deny membership to the Berkeley chapter of J Street U, the college division of the left-leaning and often controversial Israel lobby.

This cannot be a very good sign on the long-term viability of this group. If they cannot even get support from Berkeley's Jewish students then just who on G-d's green earth is going to support them?

Jacob Lewis, co-president of the pro-Israel student group Tikvah and one of those casting a “no” vote, said, “J Street is not pro-Israel but an anti-Israel organization that, as part of the mainstream Jewish community, I could not support.”

I do not know that J Street is "anti-Israel" so much as they are stuck in the 1990s, praying that the Oslo "peace process" is still in effect and that the Palestinians actually want peace and a negotiated settlement rather than victory over the Jews.

Lewis, 20, said he had been suspicious of the group ever since attending a J Street U event last year. The guest speaker was Assaf Sharon of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement in Israel, which aligns with east Jerusalem Arabs who claim Israel is encroaching on their neighborhoods.

What's this? J Street backed Arab claims over Jerusalem above Jewish claims? That's hardly surprising, actually, since J Street wants to give the eastern section of Jerusalem to the PLO as a base for operations and as a capital of its forthcoming terror state. Tell me, is there any Palestinian organization that actually advances Jewish claims over Palestinian claims? Of course, not. Jewish progressives are the only people on the planet who tend to favor their rivals over their own people... because they think it is the right thing to do.

Writing from his perch at Ha'aretz, Bradley Burston clutches at his pearls in an article entitled "When Jews in Berkeley vote to cut support for Israel." Needless to say, Jews in Berkeley did not vote to cut support for Israel. They voted to cut support for J Street precisely because they, like many, many Jewish people around the world, do not consider J Street to be a pro-Israel organization at all.

Burston writes:

The choice is up to you -- you can be welcomed as a Jew, or you can speak your mind on Israel.

What hogwash.

Thankfully Zach, of the Huffington Post Monitor, has some words for Mr. Burston:

This is left-wing victim cringing at its best. No one is disbarring any Jew from being part of the JSU as individuals from being welcomed, they are rejecting J Street as an organization. Like other left-wing bloggers before and after him, Burston is saying that every viewpoint on Israel must be honored and given encouragement, no matter how outside the mainstream. And if you disagree with him about that, you're a fascist.

I was never particularly comfortable with J Street and I am not the least little bit surprised to find that the organization is sputtering in preparation for its final demise.

Or so we shall see.

{One can hope.}



  1. Burston is a Sgt. in the IDF and made Aliyah. I think he has a lot more relevance than any of us do in commenting about Israel and Israeli security. I would hesitate before making such brash remarks as Zach of the Huff Po monitor or anyone of us on these blogs.

    In reality until we make Aliyah and actually put ourselves on the line, we have no cause to talk to IDF veterans about "clutching pearls" because honestly, until we do at least what Mr. Burston did all that is, is just a bunch of hot air.

  2. "An intellectual ghetto, walled off from debate, bricked up against nuance, a trompe l'oeil of democracy, of openness, of communication?"
    Er, a little bit over the top I would suggest, just like most of the material from a place called a "Special Place In Hell." Sounds like an archetypical dKos diary title (minus a swear word.)

  3. No offense, but that is nonsense.

    The fact that one serves has limited application, at best, when it comes to matter like this.

    Why does Burston presume that because these people see differently, they diminish support for Israel?

    As to J Street, I wrote a diary that perhaps shows a bit why some wonder believe as they do.

  4. Little Known Fact about J Street

    The J in J Street stands for Jim Baker.

  5. Hey VB,

    don't get me wrong.  I am sure that Bradley Burston is a knowledgeable and caring guy on questions regarding Israel, but that doesn't mean he can't sometimes be mistaken in his opinions.