On Monday night of Presidents’ Weekend, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) premiered a new film, The J Street Challenge, to an audience of 400 at a theater in Miami Beach. It is the latest in a series of provocative films by Avi Goldwasser and Charles Jacobs.
These films include: Columbia Unbecoming, about intimidation of Jewish students by pro-Palestinian faculty at an elite university; Northeastern Unbecoming, a documentary about the hostility to Israel and Jews on the campus of Northeastern University in Boston:
… and the award-winning film The Forgotten Refugees – which explores the history, culture, and forced exodus of over 900,000 Jews from Middle Eastern and North African Jewish communities in the second half of the 20th century:
Watch the trailer for The J Street Challenge here:
The J Street Challenge makes effective use of J Street video, direct interviews with notable critics and archival footage, removing the mask from the face of J Street leader Jeremy Ben Ami. The film graphically shows the perfidy of J Street’s alleged “pro Israel” messaging versus its actions. The takeaway from watching this film is that J Street is misleading Jewish students on college campuses about its real intention — the isolation of the Jewish state. In her Arutz Sheva Israel National News film review, Phyllis Chesler, commented:
Jeremy Ben-Ami may be a far more dangerous and morally problematic traitor to his people than were any of the Judenrat leaders during the Shoah. I say this because no one is threatening Ben-Ami with imminent death (each kapo and judenrat leader was death threatened while in captivity). Ben Ami lives in the United States and is a free man.
Yet, in classic Orwellian style, he presents his organization as both “pro-peace” and “pro-Israel” when he is neither. He condemns Israel at every turn and he does so in an era when Israel is under existential siege and a Second Holocaust is fully underway in slow motion. Jews are being blamed for and physically attacked outside of Israel because of Israel’s alleged “apartheid” and “occupation” policies. Israeli civilians are also being attacked—blown up, knifed—inside Israel proper.
The war against the Jews and the Jewish state rages on as never before at the United Nations, the European Union, among intellectuals and academics, on campuses, and within international human rights organizations. The Big Lies and filthy propaganda may be found 24/7 on the internet and in well-made documentaries as well as in prize-winning feature films.
The J Street Challenge is short, powerful, and an absolute must-see.
Among the J Street critics included in the film are: Lenny Ben-David, Alan Dershowitz, Carolyn Glick, Daniel Gordis, Charles Jacobs, Richard Landes, Andrea Levin, Bret Stephens, Ruth Wisse, Josh Block, Roz Rothstein and Noah Pollack.
Professor Richard Landes of Boston University commented in the film that many of J Street’s supporters are engaging in feel-good “moral narcissism:”
[T]heir hyper-criticism of Israel functions as a way of showing their moral superiority. They contrast their own universalist concern for all the world’s people, with “small minded” Zionists who care only about their small tribe. J Street ally, Peter Beinert takes this to its logical extreme. Distorting Jewish prophetic tradition, he claims that Jewish values demand the creation of a Palestinian state at Israel’s pre-War 1967 borders, and the removal of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. J Street only blames Israel for the lack of peace and is notably silent about Palestinian terrorism and threats.
Lenny Ben David, former Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC reveals through his research into through IRS filings who funds J Street. Among those backers and partners are George Soros, and Muslim Brotherhood Front groups in the US, MPAC and the National Iranian American Council.
This film should be adopted by those who care about the future of Israel and the American Jewish community. It must be shown in Jewish high schools, temples and JCCs. It must be used to wake the Jewish community to the deception employed by J Street to exploit the idealism and naviete of many well intentioned young Jews.
There is the moral blindness among American mainstream Jewish organizations and leaders, who have adopted false belief in dialogue as the solution to all human conflicts. Take for example funding support for the Olive Tree Initiative by an affiliate of the Orange county California Federation, sending unwary UC-Irvine students who “accidentally” meet leaders of Hamas. Is this any different from J Street U sending Jewish student to pay homage at the grave of the late Yassir Arafat in Ramallah? The Palestinian Authority’s corrupt Holocaust-denying leaders are portrayed in The J Street Challenge film as honest men ready to make peace with the Jewish state. The film shows how these Arab leaders espouse peace to naive Jews in English and in Arabic they spout the classic Islamic doctrine of Jew-hatred and murder. Only one Jewish Federation in America, the Sarasota-Manatee Federation, had the courage to sign the a pledge against self destruction of American Jews through similar programs espoused by J Street and anti-Zionist ally, Jewish Voices for Peace in the BDS movement. There are Reform Temples and Federations in Nashville, Tennessee who defend dialog with local Muslim community leaders, among them are those who converted Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who became a homegrown jihadi. Bledsoe/Muhammad in June 2009, on his way to his fateful murder of Army Pvt. Andy Long at an Army recruiting center in Arkansas, firebombed the home of an orthodox rabbi in Nashville and shot up the home of a rabbi in Little Rock. (See the acclaimed APT production, Losing our Sons).
Chesler noted in her review the powerful J Street rabbinic cabinet. This makes it all the more important that members of the rabbinate who reject the moral perversion of J Street should be involved in promotion of the APT film. We refer to valued friends in this struggle, Rabbis Jonathan Hausman in Massachusetts, Aryeh Spero in New York, Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg in New Jersey and the venerable theologian and noted author Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein. They have been wrongly and unfairly criticized by their rabbinic colleagues for combating J Street, yet these stalwart rabbis are the Zionist truth tellers. Norman Podhoretz called this J Street perversion of Judaism the equivalent of “worshipping at the torah of liberalism.” See our Iconoclast post, “Why are Jews Liberals?.
There is an irony about J Street leader Jeremy Ben Ami’s family background. We have a copy of a Bergson Pageant, “We will Never Die” Program in Philadelphia circa 1943 courtesy of Rabbi Hausman’s late mother. In it is a picture of Jeremy’s father, Yitzhak, one of the six Revisionist Palestinian Jews who came to recruit a Jewish Army to fight the Nazis and to lobby Congress successfully to save the remnant of European Jews. We wonder what Jeremy father would say about how far his son has fallen promoting the isolation of the sovereign Jewish homeland and six million Jews who live there — an Israel providing a bastion for Jews endangered by degenerate anti-Semitic hatred in Europe and elsewhere.
Kol Hakavod to the APT team for producing The J Street Challenge. Now let’s do what we can to ensure that this production is viewed in local Jewish communities across America so that we can expose the perfidy of J Street and Jeremy Ben Ami.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.