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Emergency Committee for Israel Writes Dennis Ross Before Upcoming J Street Address

5:24 PM, Feb 24, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Emergency Committee for Israel executive director Noah Pollak has written a letter to Ambassador Dennis Ross, urging him to use his upcoming address to the liberal lobbying group J Street “to explain why the Jewish State is not just one of our closest allies, but a country that fully deserves the admiration and moral support of all Americans.” If Ross does just this – express his support for Israel – he may not be received well, but “There are few moments when someone with [Ross’s] experience and credibility is invited into the anti-Israel echo chamber and provided an opportunity to dispel myths, combat falsehoods, deliver much-needed moral clarity – and state clearly that the United States stands with Israel.” 

Emergency Committee for Israel Writes Dennis Ross Before Upcoming J Street Address

Pollak also notes the myriad anti-Israel speakers scheduled for J Street’s conference, many of whom have called Israel an "Apartheid" state, accuse it regularly of war crimes, and support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Here are just a few examples: 

  • Edina Lekovic, of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who was a managing editor of a magazine that praised Osama bin Laden as a “freedom fighter.”
  • Maen Areikat of the PLO, who denies there was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and accuses Israel of “state terrorism.”
  • Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian leader who said that Israel has “a full-fledged Apartheid system” that is “much worse than what prevailed in South Africa,” and that Israel has been “ethnically cleansing” Palestinians since 1948.
  • Jessica Montell, executive director of B’Tselem, who says that “the situation in the West Bank is worse than apartheid in South Africa” and that Israel’s policy toward Gaza is a “siege.”
  • Rebecca Vilkomerson, who runs the BDS group Jewish Voice for Peace. She has said, “Just as in Apartheid South Africa’s day, Israel’s society seems to be turning more bluntly racist and repressive.” She says her organization “speaks out for Goldstone, and we speak out for BDS campaigners.”

Quite a crew. Of course, J Street operates under the self-delusion that it’s a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby. If that’s the case, why can't it bring moderate, mainstream people to its conference? Why does it instead provide a platform to some of the most deranged, hateful, and fringe critics of the Jewish State? J Street's conference makes it clear that it has failed in its original mission to become a "rival to AIPAC." Instead of trying to be influential, today it is merely being destructive. Maybe it should change its slogan from "pro-Israel, pro-peace" to simply, "the Delegitimization Lobby."

Here’s the full text of Pollak’s letter:

Dear Ambassador Ross:

You have devoted your career to helping Israel find peace with her neighbors. In high-level positions in administrations of both parties, you have been a leading presence in the peace process for over two decades. Because you possess such a detailed knowledge of the conflict and the attempts to resolve it, you are capable of distinguishing between truth and falsehood, helpful criticism and destructive activism.

It is thus with some surprise that I learned you would be speaking at this year’s J Street conference. Speaking, that is, before a group that has worked diligently over the past three years to become a voice for weakening the U.S.-Israel alliance, for pressuring Israel to accept policies that Israeli voters have rejected as dangerous, and perhaps most important, for giving Jewish support to a global campaign of delegitimization directed against Israel and Zionism.

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