Monday, July 25, 2011

Coalition member JVP receives nod in Jewish mainstream press

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a coalition member of the US Campaign, and the leader of several US Campaign-sponsored initiatives. The following article excerpt gives JVP some credit for offering many members of the Jewish Left in the United States an irresistible alternative to J Street and the Jewish political establishment. Read the full article on

J Street, the book—expect more controversy

By Ami Eden,
July 19, 2011

If there’s one thing J Street is good at, it’s getting attention.

Supporters, critics and relatively neutral observers all have conspired -- with plenty of prodding from J Street’s own aggressive communications operation -- to shine an intense media spotlight on the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization. The result has been waves of positive attention and tough scrutiny, often out of proportion with any actual accomplishment or misdeed.


It is true, as [J Street founder and president Jeremy] Ben-Ami asserts in his book, that some right-wing and centrist critics of his organization have launched vitriolic and distortion-filled attacks against J Street and its leaders, often working to blackball them from various forums.

And he’s also right in arguing that many of J Street’s main policy positions -- a Jewish state in Israel, a demilitarized Palestinian state, borders based on the 1967 lines with land swaps, no Palestinian right of return, a compromise on Jerusalem -- fall well within the Israeli and Jewish mainstream. To boot, J Street has criticized Palestinian incitement and worked with other Jewish organizations to head off anti-Israel boycott campaigns."

" the end the organization’s biggest challenge could well come from the left.

During the past year, one could make the argument that the upstart Jewish Voice for Peace has emerged as the main challenger for the hearts and minds of Jews on the left who feel alienated from Israel and the Jewish establishment. That’s bad news if you count yourself as a pro-Israel activist.
You don’t like J Street’s policies? Jewish Voice for Peace supports some boycotts and divestment measures targeting Israel and takes no position on whether it backs a two-state solution.
You don’t like J Street’s tactics? JVP activists heckled Israel’s prime minister at another Jewish organization’s conference.
By comparison, Ben-Ami’s talk about Zionism, support for U.S. aid to Israel and opposition to the BDS movement sound downright establishment. And if JVP's influence and popularity grow, it might not be long before establishment folks start telling themselves that maybe J Street wasn’t so bad after all.