The “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” group J Street today released two ads highlighting rhetoric from two far-right Republicans in Congress — Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Allen West (R-FL) — that the group says “isn’t pro-Israel.”
Walsh introduced a resolution late last year supporting a proposal that Israel annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank. “There is no such thing as a two-state solution, and no such thing as land for peace,” Walsh said. West, who co-sponsored the resolution, has offered his fair share of far right rhetoric on Israel too, saying last year that a two-state solution would mean an end to Israel.
The J Street ads single out the Congressmen’s claims, urging constituents to tell them “the two-state solution preserves Israel’s democracy and its security. Opposing it isn’t pro-Israel. It’s playing with fire.” Here’s the text of the ad on Walsh:
The Middle East is a tinder box, more than any place on Earth words matter and Congressman Joe Walsh is playing with fire. Walsh wants Israel to take permanent control over Palestinian territory. He called the two-state solution insane even though Israel’s last three prime ministers supported it. Walsh even says the U.S. shouldn’t broker peace. Tell Joe Walsh, the two-state solution preserves Israel’s democracy and its security. Opposing it isn’t pro-Israel. It’s playing with fire.
Reporting on the video’s this morning, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wonders:
Is it possible to make Republicans pay a political price by hitting them from the left for being too confrontational on Israel’s behalf, and too hostile towards Palestinians, when it comes to Mideast peace issues? The left-leaning group J-Street is launching a new experiment to find out.
J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami said in an interview with the New York Times back in May that “the assumption has always been that to run for office, you have to run to the right on this issue with a relatively hawkish view on Israel and the Middle East — the ‘Israel right or wrong’ position,” adding, “We’re changing that calculus. We are beginning to organize a very, very large network of people in the middle.”