Archive for October 24th, 2009

Mark Udall and J Street

View From a Height has learned from a very reliable source that as of now, Sen. Mark Udall will not be removing his name from J Street’s Dinner host committee.  His reasoning is as follows:

  1. Udall is reluctant to bring more attention to the controversy by removing his name
  2. Sen Udall will not attend the dinner, nor endorse or support J Street as an organization
  3. Udall doesn’t want to embarrass General Jones
  4. The press covering the issue seems interested in embarrassing the administration

My reactions:

  1. This is about as weasily as it gets.  By staying on the host committee, he leaves open the option of endorsing them in the future if it’s worthwhile, if indeed being on the host committee isn’t already in effect an endorsement.  Staying on it certainly supports J Street as an organization.
  2. The administration’s sending Jones has accomplished its goal of stopping the bleeding.
  3. What press inquiries can he be referring to?  The coverage has been on Powerline, the Weekly Standard blog, and the Commentary Magazine blog, Contentions.  The Washington Post finally has a piece on it in tomorrow’s paper, but the MSM appears to be several weeks behind the curve, as usual, but is unlikely to be seeking to embarrass the administration.
  4. If the administration hadn’t sent Jones and invited J Street to host its conference call, while excluding the WZO, it wouldn’t be embarassed.
  5. Adding more attention?  If there already are press inquiries, then the attention’s already there.  If there aren’t, then he ought to be able to slip out un-noticed.  One would think that with the WaPo finally picking up on the controversy, Senator Udall may be overstating his national importance, a truly bipartisan condition not unknown to senators.
  6. Senator Udall was one of 76 (or 71, accounts differ) Senators who did sign a letter back in August urging the administration to back off its pressure on Israel for a settlement freeze.  This suggests that, like a number of those listed on the host committee, he was placed there by staff who didn’t examine J Street’s positions very carefully.
  7. Unlike most of the other mainstream Jewish organizations, including AIPAC, J Street has an explicit and unapologetically partisan domestic political agenda, tied to a PAC.  It is banking on enough liberal Jews being seduced by its heroic (in their eyes) liberalism that they are willing to marry themselves to that agenda, while overlooking or excusing its harmful positions vis-a-vis Israel.
  8. It is also banking on liberal Jews’ unwillingness to defer to Israel on matters of its national security, while more hawkish American Jews have generally done so for dovish Israeli governments.  Here it’s important to recall that J Street is an American political organization, not an Israeli one, whose job it is to lobby the American government.  It’s one thing to argue that dovish policies are wrong, another to argue that a dovish American administration should actively undermine a determined Israeli government
  9. So J Street’s goal is threefold.  It aims to promote the left-wing agenda domestically, weaken American’s support for Israel, and divide the Jewish c8mmunity in America in order to do so.

J Street’s donation to the state party is an emblem of its alliance with ProgressNow and the far left-wing of the Democratic party. Just as  ProgressNow began small, and built into a major force in the state, J Street will try to do the same.  People who judge their eventual effectiveness in legitimizing their views about Israel by their current size are underestimating them.

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