Despite the fact that the only Arabs in the Middle East who did not demonstrate against tyranny and lack of democracy in the past weeks since the Middle East erupted, are those Arabs living within Israel including the Palestinian Arabs. Its utterly amazing how this significant development didn’t make any of the 2400 participants at J Street’s annual conference last week stand up and ask, how can this be so? Being the true believers that they are, they the supporters of J Street simply cannot allow reality to threaten their biased and false belief system that they have created. This ideological edifice, built up lie after lie uses the language of Zionism to push an anti-Israel agenda in the same manner that Jews for Jesus use the language of Judaism to hide the fact that they are Christians. The recent developments in the Middle East have done nothing to facilitate a badly needed introspection and reevaluation concerning the group's view that barring Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem and expelling all Jews living beyond Israel's 1949 armistice lines from their homes is the single issue that has prevented peace in the Middle East. They have not been fazed by one iota of remorse as hundreds of millions of Muslims outside of Israel have taken to the streets at personal risk to demonstrate for basic human rights. J Street has shown us all that as much as her leader Jeremy Ben-Ami is far to the left of mainstream American Jewish supporters of Israel, his constituency of 2400 conference attendees are beyond the pale. For Arnold Moses, a typical J Street rank and file activist who came to the conference from Reston, Va. voiced the opinion "They're too kind to the Israelis," he said of J Street. "Obama's too soft on Israel. The Palestinians need to get out of the jail they're in."
These statements made during the conference enjoyed the support of the J Street rank and file. This might also explain why many audience members applauded when a questioner on one panel asked why the United States doesn't impose economic sanctions on Israel if Israeli settlements in the West Bank are a violation of the Geneva Convention. It's why they clapped when panelist Marwan Bishara, an Al Jazeera political analyst, wondered aloud why Dennis Ross, the Obama administration's senior envoy on Middle East issues, was invited to the conference at all. It is why the introduction of New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, a fierce critic of U.S. aid to Israel, drew enthusiastic whooping before he had even uttered a word.For this crowd, the Israeli government is to blame exclusively for the lack of peace in the Middle East. Their main beef is with Israel, not with the Palestinian Arabs.
Ben-Ami wasn't entirely comfortable with every speaker at the conference. But stated that he and his organizations are committed to having an open conversation, including with parties with which it disagrees. That's why, he said, he invited Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization classified by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the top 10 anti-Israel groups in the United States and which promotes the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement targeting Israel, even though, Ben-Ami says, he and J Street are against the BDS campaign. Yet despite these claims of having an open venue of discussion at the J Street conference, the only Jewish voices that were absent from the conference, where those on the right side of the political spectrum. Even centrist voices were few and far between. Their absence became glaring as panelists at session after session agreed with and applauded one another, outdoing one another is criticizing Israel's policies in the West Bank and advocating for more pressure on the Israeli government as their way of forcing Israel to do the right thing. These “true believers” at J Street will continue to ignore and deny that the only “core” issue is accepting Israel’s right to exist no matter how many Arabs demonstrate against Arab tyranny. Israel would love nothing more than to have free and democratic neighbors surrounding her, and would want to be a partner during this momentous period in the Middle East. However J Street supporters will claim that this partnership is impossible, they must remain the “true believers” that they are.
The price of moderation
Supporters of two-state solution have sown seeds for the de-legitimization of Israel. Future historians will be baffled as to how such a manifestly disastrous and unworkable concept came to be so widely and warmly embraced. They will be mystified as to why - despite the fact that the two-state solution entailed devastatingly detrimental consequences for all involved, it became the acknowledged hallmark of refined reason.
The point that many well-intentioned pro-Israeli advocates seem be to missing is that it is precisely "moderate supporters of the two-state solution" that have in large measure sown the seeds for the de-legitimization of Israel. While initially this contention may appear somewhat counter-intuitive, the logic behind it is unassailable. For, once the legitimacy of a Palestinian Arab state is conceded, the de-legitimization of Israel cannot be avoided. The chain of reasoning for this is clear: If the legitimacy of a Palestinian state is accepted, then necessarily any measures impeding its viability are illegitimate. However, since Israel's minimum security requirements necessarily obviate the viability of Palestinian Arab state, the continued existence of Israel threatens the possibility of the emergence of a viable Palestinian Arab state. And so was born the demonization and delitigimization of the State of Israel.