J Street Radicalization: by Benjamin Binum
We all know about J Street. They refer to themselves as "pro Israel and pro peace." Yet somehow they come down on Hamas' side in every controversy. At one point they were even in Rashida Tlaib's corner. That lasted until she rejected the "two-state solution." They then dropped their endorsement but still offered her best wishes.
Judging from their latest conference though, J Street may be moving closer to Tlaib's point of view.
A session about the “Impact of Identity” was doomed from the start when a J Street introductory speaker accused Jews of upholding “white supremacy quite often.” Reflecting this position, the session name had been changed from discussing the “African-American Jews’ Relationships with Israel” to a more accusatory title, “Black Jews are still systematically excluded from Jewish life, especially in the Palestine conversation in our Jewish communities.”
[The original description of the event was titled “Impact of Identity: African-American Jews’ Relationships With Israel” but was changed. ]
Thereafter, panelist April Baskin said that white supremacy is “woven into Jewish life in America.” She also said there are things she “hates” about the Jewish community—including her belief that Jews have a “propensity” to “complain.”
These claims regarding Jews and white supremacy from the J Street speakers, however, do not reflect the historical evidence. Jews were prolific activists against white supremacy and racial injustice, but there was no pushback from the audience on this claim by Baskin.
Later in the session, Baskin declared her support for the disgraced Tamika Mallory. Mallory’s downfall culminated in early 2019 when when it emerged that she maintained a close relationship with the anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan. Mallory, the ex-Women’s March leader, refused to condemn Farrakhan and even posted a picture calling the anti-Semite “the GOAT (greatest of all time).”
Some of their other speakers were also questionable for a self-declared "pro-Israel" organization, including Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat and Bashar Azzeh, Member of PLO Palestine National Council & Central Council.
How long will it be before J Street drops all pretense and finally comes out as what they truly are; anti-Israel and anti-Jewish? We'll know for sure when they start offering excuses for supporting Tlaib.