Here’s an exciting development — J Street, a new, progressive, Israel- and Mideast-focused organization has launched. The main idea behind the outfit is to address the paradox that most Jewish Americans have liberals views on the issues, including such matters as West Bank settlements and the need for a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and yet the most politically influential members of our community take a very hawkish line on US policy throughout the entire region. Meanwhile, neoconservative foreign policy in America has, despite its “pro-Israel” orientation, produced nothing but disastrous results for the United States and Israel alike.
A lot of the traditional peace camp outfits are lending support to this effort, but what sets it aside is the J Street PAC which will do the kind of spadework in terms of fundraising that’s traditionally been lacking. Meanwhile, they’re also trying to build a MoveOn-style list of supporters that will be able to weigh-in on controversies as they arise, and also make the point to nervous politicians that they shouldn’t just assume that ever donor or volunteer they have with a Jewish-sounding name is committed to the Sheldon Adelson political agenda.