Friday, October 16, 2009

J-Street Strikes Back at the Smearers

A smear campaign against J-Street has been launched by – who else? The Weekly Standard, Commentary and the Standwithus crowd. They are telling their supporters to hound the members of Congress who are part of the J-Street Gala's Honorary Host Committee and get them to withdraw. So why not? Hey, it's a free country, isn't it?

Sure, and if they played by the rules, that would be fine. But their rules include smearing and guilt-by-association. Remember how they went after Obama? Now they are saying that because one of the many speakers at the J-Street Conference, Salam al-Marayati, made a remark on radio suggesting that Israel should be on the lists of suspects for the 9/11 attack. He did this on September 11, and then immediately apologized for it the next day and on the same radio show.

So why is Salam al-Marayati speaking at J-Street? Because of something which he does not apologize for – his support of the two-state solution. In an op-ed he wrote for JTA

"The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a key issue of U.S.-Muslim world relations. My position on the conflict -- and that of MPAC -- centers on the two-state solution whereby Israel and Palestine exist side by side with security and opportunity. I believe also that the injustices that the Palestinian people have endured for more than 60 years, as well as the ongoing occupation that started in 1967, must be addressed and rectified through negotiation, not violence. Middle East wars have not resolved anything in the 20th century or in the first decade of this century"

In other words, the man is as extreme as…Barack Obama and Bibi Netanyahu!

Oh, did I tell you that al-Marayati's support for the two-state solution is not mentioned in the smear campaign.

Please read the appeal below, and contact the congresspeople. I am sick of the McCarthyite tactics of those who still worship at the feet of Joe McCarthy. You don't like al-Marayati? Don't go to hear him speak. Attack him publicly. But withdraw from the conference because of that?

Only a neocon could sink so low.

Yesterday, in a classic "Swift Boat" move, the Weekly Standard magazine - dubbed the "neocon bible" by The Economist - launched an attack on our conference and the whole pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. [1]

They're working the phones - calling the offices of every one of the 150-plus members of Congress on our Gala's Honorary Host Committee to frighten them away from associating with J Street. The most infuriating part is that their thuggish smear tactics are having an impact -- already 5 members of Congress have pulled off of our Host Committee.

This is exactly how the neoconservative far-right of the pro-Israel community has - for decades - imposed strict boundaries of acceptable political conversation on Israel in this country. Cross them and prepare to feel the full effect of their smear machine.

Enough. Not this time. Today, the mainstream majority goes on offense.

If you're getting this email, you've got a Senator or Representative on our Honorary Host Committee. Will you call them right now to thank them for signing on to our Host Committee before the Weekly Standard guys get to them?

Click here to call your member(s) of Congress using our easy-to-use call-in tool. We'll connect your phone directly for no hassle and no extra cost.

So what's causing our political opponents to become so totally unhinged?

It's the whole pro-Israel, pro-peace movement's growing influence.

We've got an exciting conference planned that starts in just 9 days, and over 1,000 people are slated to attend.

The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy profile on us, showing that even top national media outlets are recognizing the change that's coming to our issue. [2]

We're showing Congress that political support exists from those of us that believe supporting Israel's future as a Jewish, democratic homeland means supporting President Obama's balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Don't let these neoconservatives and their Swift Boat tactics win the day. Call your representative today and make sure they hear from the mainstream majority.

Click here to call your member(s) of Congress right now. Our easy-to-use tool will connect your phone directly for no hassle and no extra cost.

Thanks so much for all you do.


Isaac Luria

Campaigns Director

J Street

October 16, 2009

[1] "The Neocon Bible, The Weekly Standard." The Economist, September 2005.

[2] "The New Israel Lobby," by James Traub. The New York Times Magazine, September 9, 2009.



Ed M. said...

You realize it's going to work, right?

Eric said...

The same way the birthers and tea-party worked to revitalize the GOP. By eventually delegitimatizing themselves

Y. Ben-David said...

J-Street is a self-proclaimed "pro-Israel" organization, right? Now, I see that Richard Silverstein and M J Rosenberg are going to the conference. Anyone how has read their blogs will note that neither of them ever has a good word to say about Israel...for them and many Jewish "progressives", it is the incarnation of evil. Both want Israelis involved in the Gaza war to be put on trial for war crimes.

They are going to be at this conference demanding sanctions on Israel and war crimes trials for Israels. Mr Congressman who sees this is gonna ask himself "these people are 'pro-Israel'? Israel's worst enemies say the same thing...I know they say they are pouring all this fire and brimstone on Israel 'for its own good', but their actions are indistinguishable from those of Israel's enemies". Thus, Mr Congressman is going to realize that identifying with J-Street is very problematic from a political point of view.

Thus, I believe, J-Street has no future as a major player. The people who are supporting it simply have too many differences, because some really do support Israel, while others hate it with a passion (this is what they say in their is not a secret) and simply view J-Street as a vehicle for an American Jew who feels this way to express his political inclinations.

Gibson Block said...

Suggesting that Israel was responsible for 9/11 is really shocking in a peace partner.

He obviously (to some extent) sees Israel as a bad, enemy state.

Not much different than we see many non-western, non-democratic states that have sponsored terror.

To accept him, you then have to see that this doesn't rule out his seeing Israel as an enemy with whom he can reach a liveable compromise.