What is J-Street?

After posting these remarks from the recent J-Street conference (J Street President Ben-Ami and Dennis Ross) and this critical video, several GTJ readers felt that J-Street had been depicted unfairly.  GTJ asked these viewers to submit a video that they felt better portrayed J-Street.  They sent this video today, and true to our word, we are posting it as part of a continued discussion.

GTJ neither refutes nor endorses this perspective.

11 replies
  1. Jon H
    Jon H says:

    This video is pretty much garbage that would barely be fit for a political campaign. Jstreet had the opportunity to address the real and legitimate concerns about their organization and it made a fluff piece that is nothing more than five minutes of we love Israel and we also want peace. It fails to:

    Address why it continually supports Iran over Israel, or why it supports Iran at all. You would think an organization so concerned about civil rights would be a little more concerned about a country where the Citizens have virtually no rights.
    Its failure to recognize under what situations Israel has the right to use force to protect itself.
    The continued smuggling of weapons by Hamas and other terror groups.
    What they feel Hamas and Fatah have to do in a peace deal to be fair with Israel.
    Why they lied about being funded by someone who is viciously anti-Israel and how having him as a major contributor affects their organization.

    Basically thats five minutes of my life I am not getting back. But for an organization so often engaging is misdirection and double speak, I can’t say I am surprised at the result.

  2. Gedalyah
    Gedalyah says:

    A controversial group to say the least. I personally don’t support JStreet for a number of reasons. One of which is JStreet’s support of UN resolutions damning construction in “East Jerusalem” while the UN patently ignores real human rights violators, Palestinian hate propaganda, and horrors like those committed on the Fogel family. There is a difference between criticism and what JStreet seems to embody.

    Make sure you watch the original video post: http://www.gatherdc.org/2011/03/short-video-from-j-street-conference/

  3. Mike
    Mike says:

    I’m with Jon and David. J-street doesn’t care about Israel’s survival as a Jewish state. Its a organization that appeals to Jews on the left who probably think being Jewish means eating bagels and lox.

  4. Barak
    Barak says:

    I`m Israeli who belong mostly to the left Zionist side of the political map.

    Right now I`m not support J-street they talking two ways and i not feel their
    perspective origin come fropm “what good for israel” point of view.

    I feel they not willing to dirty their hands for israel and they talk alot in terms of
    we American jews them Israelis… (I see it as “we”)

    J street have no other practical approach to constrictive issues as investing in projects in the galil and the negev , its very easy to say “No to the settlements” but what in practice J street suggest other then talk high about jewish values?

    J street put too much weight to UN resolutions instead ask what is good for Israel.
    Ignoring the rooted hate in the arab world and in Palestinians schools
    starting to measure israel acts from 1967… which is morally wrong.

    I believe that divided jewish community will weaken the ties with israel and the jewish community it self

    I believe that the terminology J street using belong to the inside of israel debate and not outside.

    Two state solution can be not relevant tomorrow or maybe israel will have to go for more wars, not sure J street is the group that will stand with israel.

    if your values you carry its what you call the new Zionism,the only way to implement it is to come live in Israel ,J street does not mention one word about it .

    I have many more points to write but some overlap and its make me tired to express my self in english, I welcome every American jew to come make aliyah even only for few years and vote by herhis values.

    some time i think what if all the money J street invest in thier organiztion will
    go to tickets for the time Israel have elections… 🙂

    maybe one day i will also support J-street
    right now they too milky,disconnected and basically not Zionist from my point of view.

    Happy purim
    good luck to us all !

    • Scott
      Scott says:

      Thank you for such a reasonable, well-argued response, and for not immediately resorting to “self-hating Jews” accusations.

      • David
        David says:

        “Immediately resorting” is not correct. I base my opinion upon watching J-Street since its inception. It’s not an “accusation.” It is closer to a statement of fact. Israel needs Jewish and non-Jewish supporters. J-Street supplies anti-semites with a “see, even the Jews don’t support Israel” excuse for their anti-Zionism (read: anit-Semitism).

  5. Ben
    Ben says:


    Where are you getting your evidence about the religious demographics of J-Street? You made it up. It’s strange that you think religious observance should be a requirement of Israel supporters considering that so many right wing zionists are secular.


    Anti-Semites don’t need any help. Al Qaeda, Hamas, Nazism, the Inquisition and the Crusades exist or existed before J-Street. The idea that J-Street is fomenting Anti-Semitism demonstrates an alarming ignorance about modern and historical sources of Anti-Semitism.


    Your central criticism of J-Street’s zionism — “the only way to implement it is to come live in Israel” — could apply to any other diaspora based group with a position on Israel, from J-Street and AIPAC to Jewish Federations, which regularly raise money for Israel. Suggesting that any Jew living outside of Israel has no ability to “implement” a plan contradicts empirical evidence.

    • Barak
      Barak says:

      Sorry Ben,
      for the long term you cant implement values by spreading money to this group or another,same as you cant be good parent to your children by using skyperemote control.
      J street bashing the settlers movements ,but in practice the settlers
      much more active on the ground and love Israel then J street can be .
      why ? because they come here .

      I say it as some one who not agree with the settlers and have very based criticisms about them.
      J street must look on the mirror and ask why the Israeli Zionist left wing in Israel are so weak and learn from their mistakes.

      If j street want to be relevant it must take more action on ground just as settlers movements do.
      example for more active Zionist left movement in Israel:

      I`m sounds talking “High” on you and I`m sorry for that but that how things work here.
      And i`m not ask from you to transfer your life to Israel, but leting you know
      in practice, there is no option to be “left” Zionist outside of Israel its matter of 1 or two generations and your ties to Israel are gone .

  6. Jon
    Jon says:

    The fact that Jstreet just came out against a letter condemning the murder of that family in the West bank should show everyone that this is a group who would actually supports the terrorist. I would be ashamed to be associated with this group, but I highly doubt these people really have any understanding of morals when it comes Israeli’s being allowed to live.



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