J Street, the pro-peace, pro-Palestinian lobbying group, is having a conference this October that will feature a wide range of speakers -- from Salam Al-Marayati, the executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council to Bernard Avishai, author of The Tragedy of Zionism and The Hebrew Republic and Eli Pariser the former director of MoveOn.org. It's going to be super "pro-Israel," I'm sure. But the appearance of Salam Al-Marayati ought to raise a few eyebrows. Not only is he an apologist for Palestinian terrorism, but he pointed the finger at Israel for the murder of 3,000 Americans on 9/11 just hours after the Twin Towers fell. His quote, as it was reported in the New York Times:
''If we're going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.''
You can read more egregious comments from Al-Marayati here, courtesy of the ZOA. Looking down the list of speakers, I'm pleased to note that J Street failed to secure a single Republican for their conference. A few Democratic reps will speak, including the anti-Israel Donna Edwards, "His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein," know to most Americans as the Jordanian Ambassador, and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation. But not one single Republican. And compare this to the broad bipartisan showing at AIPAC events. There's a reason AIPAC gets members of both parties to attend their conferences: 1) they don't invite speakers who blame Israel or America for 9/11; and 2) AIPAC is actually pro-Israel.