Whose line is it, anyway?

J Street and NIF equatedMany thanks to the iconic Yaakov Kirschen aka Dry Bones, whose comics grace our right column. This is the first time I have directly posted in response to one of his cartoons. It brings up an essential question for Israel advocates. Who is within the consensus of Advocates for Israel and who crosses the line?

When planning Five Minutes for IsraelI knew there had to be some guidelines. For example, I have no problem ridiculing, denigrating or otherwise insulting enemies of the Jewish State, Ahmadinijad, Khaddafi, Galloway or Chavez. Giving the same treatment to Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Abbas or Achmad Tibi would require more thought. Still I have no doubt I’d sleep at night.

The red line for me would be Barak Obama and Sarah Palin†. If, and this would mean really serious thought, I felt this site needed to be critical of either I would make every effort to criticise the specific statement or policy and avoid personal attacks. This is because I am well aware that there are strong supporters of both who are also strong Israel advocates; members of the Democrat and Republican Parties who are equally committed and that attacks against some politicians tends to bring out the worst from commenters. The credibility of the site plummets.

That said, I don’t know what to do about J Street. Do they fall within some concensus or are they as accused a heavily funded, slick attempt, marketing driven front for Israel’s enemies? The ‘as-a-Jews’ so beloved by the Destroy Israel lobby. “See, we can’t be accused of antisemitism. Here is an academic, a Holocaust survivor, a pretty girl, a fading celebrity who will tell you, about the evils of Zionism, speaking as-a-Jew“.

In years of Israel Advocacy, I have often stood with people when we were both aware that safeguarding the future of Israel was the only issue we had in common. I am not alone in this. We did this because we were aware that unity or even the slightly over optimistic, perception of being united was our greatest strength. Whether J Street intends it or not, it would be very hard to stand with them.

Just a final word for those who find it hard to accept that an organization that appears to appeal to mankind’s best intentions and clearly has some well-meaning, credible supporters can’t possibly be over the line. What did the World Peace Council, World Federation of Trade Unions, World Federation of Democratic Youth, International Union of Students, Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization, Christian Peace Conference, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, International Federation of Resistance Movements, International Institute for Peace, International Organization of Journalists, Women’s International Democratic Federation and World Federation of Scientific Workers have in common? They were all ‘peace and human rights’ organizations heavily infiltrated and financed by the Soviet Communist Party when it still had the means.

J Street has too many Arab and Muslim donors for an organisation that claims to be pro Israel and pro Jewish. That doesn’t prove J Street has crossed the line but it certainly makes one think.

Gordon Brown and David Cameron, Netanyahu and Livni or Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott. Insert any democratic opponents you wish. The point is the same.

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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