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Members of Congress and Their Highly Selective Indignation

Stephen Flatow notes that a letter signed several weeks ago by 60 members of Congress shocks the conscience, or should. Here is his story :

Did you hear the shocking news? Sixty Congress members just signed a letter demanding that the Federal government stop the dismantling of any illegally built homes that have been built by Arabs. But they did not object to Israel’s continuing policy of dismantling illegally built Jewish homes.

The letter demanded that the American government not allow American-made equipment it supplied to Israel to be used in what they called “the ongoing home demolitions” of Arab homes. There was no mention in the letter of the Israeli government’s dismantling of Jewish homes and settlements it deemed “illegal.” Nor was there any mention of the demolition of houses belonging to the families of terrorists as an effective way to discourage would-be terrorists.

Who would have thought that in this day and age, members of Congress would stoop so low as to make policy recommendations based on the idea that one specific ethnic group should be targeted?

We were supposed to have given up the old practice of making policies based on the color of people’s skin, rather than the content of their character. Images of George Wallace standing in that schoolhouse door were supposed to be just a bad memory. Yet here we are, in 2020, with 60 Democrats signing a letter that echoes the attitudes of those dark times.

J Street played a major role in organizing the Congressional letter. In a December 10 press release, the group announced that “J Street supporters across the country are contacting the offices of their members of Congress and urging them to sign on to this important and timely letter.”

The letter was sent to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 16, bearing the signatures of 60 members of Congress, all Democrats. They urged the US government to prevent Israel from using American-made equipment in “the ongoing home demolitions and forcible transfer of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.”

The letter’s reference to “Palestinian civilians” indicates that J Street misled the members of Congress. Evidently, the J Streeters did not explain to potential signatories that house demolitions in Israel are not based on the race, religion, or ethnicity of the homeowners.

Israeli courts authorize dismantling illegally built homes on the basis of whether the homes were built illegally. The Israeli government does not have a policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. If it did, it would be doing quite a poor job of it, since 99.9% of Palestinian homes are still standing!

Both Jews and Arabs in the West Bank have illegally built homes. Some are on “state and waste” lands that are owned by the Israeli government, and from which permission for such building had not been obtained. In some cases Jewish settlers have wrongly claimed – as was the case with the settlement at Amona — to have bought the land they built on from Palestinians, claims that did not stand up in court. Individual houses, owned by Arabs and Jews – though mostly by the former – have been pulled down when the builders violated building codes so egregiously that only demolishment would discourage them, and warn others, from continuing to flout the law.

Clearly, J Street never informed these members of Congress that the Israeli government has been demolishing illegally built Jewish homes too.

On October 24, Israeli bulldozers destroyed two housing structures in the unauthorized Jewish community of Shevah Ha’aretz, near the town of Yitzhar. On November 26, the government sent tractors to level a Jewish housing structure near the community of Bat Ayin and to plow over an adjacent olive grove that had been planted by Israeli Jews and their Christian Zionist supporters. On January 15, the bulldozers were active in Yitzhar, destroying two more Jewish homes that were built illegally.

Had you heard or read about this Israeli destruction at Shevah Ha’aretz, near Bet Ayin, and at Yitzhar of Jewish houses that had been built illegally? No, of course not. It’s not something the Times or the Post or the BBC or any other part of the mainstream media would want brought to your attention. And while we hear constantly about the destruction of “Palestinian” olive trees by mad-dog Jewish settlers, have you ever heard of Israeli tractors plowing over an olive grove planted by Jews that the government considered “illegal”? No, you never have, until just now.

So why didn’t the Congressional letter ask Secretary Pompeo to make sure that no American-made bulldozers were used to smash those Jewish homes?

There are two possible answers.

One would be that those members of Congress are a bunch of racists who care only about the demolition of homes owned by one ethnic group and don’t care about the ones owned by another ethnic group.

But I don’t believe that. I believe that the signatories, except for a few die-hard Israel-haters such as Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, are simply unaware of the reality on the ground in Judea and Samaria. They are unaware because J Street misled them. J Street led them to think that the Israeli government has a racist policy of targeting Arab houses.Comment:

The Israeli government demolishes with equal firmness both Arab and Jewish houses that have been built illegally, or that for security reasons needs to be demolished. Some Arab homes have been built on state or waste land the Palestinians did not own. In other cases, demolitions may be carried out to enforce building codes and regulations that have been repeatedly flouted. The IDF also carries out house demolitions as a counter-insurgency measure to impede or halt militant operations. An Arab house may have been strategically built just above an Israeli settlement, from where those in the house could do the most damage to Jewish civilians living below. That could be grounds for its demolition.

House demolitions are also carried out to discourage terrorism. The demolition of houses belonging to the families of convicted terrorists is used both to punish terrorists and to deter future would-be terrorists, who might not want their families to suffer. As a policy, it seems to have worked, in significantly decreasing Palestinian terrorist attacks.

If J Street had fully informed these 60 Congresspeople about the situation, then the entire premise of the anti-Israel letter would have collapsed.

Racism has no place on Capitol Hill. There should be no discrimination between houses owned by Arabs or Jews, whites or blacks, or any other racial or ethnic groups.

J Street, the so-called “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby, should be ashamed of itself.

In 2005, the Israeli government demolished many houses of Israeli settlers who were transferred in accordance with the Israeli disengagement from Gaza. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said this was done by request of the Palestinian Authorities.

In addition to removing all traces of the Israeli settlements in Gaza, as demanded by the Palestinians, who might have used for their own purposes both the residential housing and the greenhouses left intact by Israelis, were they not so consumed with hate, Israel has routinely demolished “illegal” buildings put up by settlers in the West Bank — that is, “illegal” because their builders had failed to obtain permission from the Israeli state. Sometimes entire outposts have been demolished, if the Israeli government determines they were built “illegally.” Yet very little attention is given to these Israeli actions in the world media, for it would not do to deflect attention from what so many see as the only outrage, that committed by those oppressive Israelis, in destroying structures put up by the inoffensive Palestinians.

When Israel tears down “illegal” buildings or settlements put up by Jews, it does so either because the land on which the settlement was built turns out, according to scrupulous investigation by the Israeli officials, to be owned by Palestinians, or it is state land on which the Israeli government had refused to give permission for Jews to build. It may, for security reasons, want to prevent new Israeli settlements to be built too perilously close to Arab villages – given the enormous effort that might be necessary to defend their inhabitants in case of hostilities. Some settlements or outposts may actually weaken the state if they are likely to prove hellishly difficult to defend.

The government of Israel has not hesitated to remove settlers, and demolish their settlements if, after judicial decisions and appeals that go all the way up to the Supreme Court, they are given the go-ahead. Israeli decisions to demolish Arab structures are also subject to the same judgements and appeals.

In February 2017, Israeli forces began an operation to evacuate settlers from the West Bank outpost of Amona after the Supreme Court stated that it must be demolished by 8 February. According to the Supreme Court the outpost had been built on private Palestinian land settlers claimed they had bought; the land had been declared a “closed military area” by the government.

At Amona, it took thousands of Border Police to subdue a crowd of 10,000, who had come from all over Israel to protest the decision. But the sight of Israeli police violently subduing fellow Jews who were protesting the demolishment of Jewish homes did not make it to Western media; it didn’t fit the story that the media likes to present of ruthless Israelis demolishing, for no conceivable reason, Arab houses.

Perhaps some of those 60 Democratic Congressmen will take the time to find out more about the reasons for Israel’s demolishment of Jewish settlers’ houses, demolishments about which they appear not to have heard, which might provide them with a more nuanced view of the matter. And then they should have the decency to listen to the Israeli government’s explanation of the reasons for its demolition of a handful of Arab homes – an infinitesimal number, though you wouldn’t think so from the mainstream media reports — including gross violations of building codes, and erecting structures — without permission — on state and waste lands. Finally, the Congressmen should understand that demolishing the family homes of terrorists in order both to punish them and to discourage other would-be terrorists, does, in fact, work. It took the Israelis quite a while to fully comprehend, but now they do. They know that given their merciless and relentless enemy, there is no point in gentle persuasion or observing Marquess of Queensberry rules. This is the Middle East.

COLUMN BY

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Bernie trounced Hillary in NH Primary despite his Israel Hating Advisers

Bernie Sanders may have trounced Hillary Clinton in yesterday’s New Hampshire primary by a significant double digit margin with his Wall Street bashing and Swedish-style entitlement giveaways trolling for millennials and the economically disaffected.  However little known are his foreign policy advisers who are notoriously anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. Among them are Jim Zogby of the Arab American Institute, former Defense official Larry Korb and, of course, the Soros-funded operatives of J Street.

Adam Credo’s article in yesterday’s Washington Free Beacon article noted the views of these ‘foreign policy’ advisers, “Meet Bernie Sanders’ Israel Hating Advisers.”   You thought his stint in a left Socialist Hashomer Hatzair Israeli kibbutz in his 20’s would make him a lifelong Zionist defender of the Jewish State. As my mythic cousin Vinny from Brooklyn would say, FERGEDABOTIT. Just look at his brother who lives in the UK, a supporter of the anti-Israel pro-Palestinian Labor Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.  Bernie congratulations Corbyn on his victory winning the Labor Party leadership. The UK Daily Mail article  noted his email to Corbyn saying:

The Democrat presidential hopeful said he is ‘delighted’ to support a leader who ‘tells the billionaire class that they cannot have it all’.

‘At a time of mass income and wealth inequality throughout the world, I am delighted to see that the British Labor Party has elected Jeremy Corbyn as its new leader,’ he said in an email to Daily Mail Online.

‘We need economies that work for working families, not just the people on top.’

His words come after then Argentina’s President  Cristina Kirchner, since ousted by conservative successor Mauricio Macri, gushed that ‘hope has triumphed’ and that Corbyn ‘stands with Argentina’ in their anti-American stance.

Bernie also has a close friendship with notorious left wing anti-Israel advocate Noam Chomsky who endorsed him for President. They both share an Israeli kibbutz experience that in Chomsky’s case bolstered his Israel hating obsessions.

Watch this You Tube video of Chomsky’s endorsement of Bernie for President:

Note these comments from Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Yehudit Barsky, fellow at Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy in Kredo’s Washington Free Beacon article:

Sanders, who is Jewish and had family members slaughtered during the Holocaust, recently disclosed that his top foreign policy advisers include J Street, a dovish Middle East advocacy group that backs some of Congress’ most vocal critics of Israel, former assistant Secretary of Defense Larry Korb, and James Zogby, an Israel detractor who heads the Arab American Institute.

The inclusion of these advisers in the Sanders’ campaign, which has already come under fire for ignoring prominent Jewish-American political organizations, has prompted speculation from some that the presidential hopeful will pursue anti-Israel foreign policy priorities.

“Bernie seems to care very little about foreign policy, and so his views are shaped inordinately by advisers,” said Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, an advocacy organization. “And now we know who those advisers are. Two of them—Zogby and J Street—are leading anti-Israel apologists for terrorism. By his association with these extremist groups, Bernie fails the commander-in-chief test.”

“If advisers are a crystal ball to the future of foreign policy, then Sanders seeks a policy which doubles down on many of the failed assumptions that have undercut Obama’s policies,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and terrorism analyst. “America’s adversaries are real and are motivated by ideology rather than grievance. To rest American national security on the good will of anti-American despots and Islamists is never a good gamble.”

Zogby has accused the Jewish state of committing a “Holocaust” against the Palestinians and has referred to Israelis as “Nazis.” He has also described sitting members of Congress as “Israel firsters,” an anti-Semitic trope that implies dual loyalty to the Jewish state.
Zogby also has come under fire for exploiting the memory of the Holocaust for political purposes.

Zogby claimed in a 2010 blog post for the Huffington Post that “the plight of Palestinians is to the Arabs, what the Holocaust is to Jews world-wide.”
His comparison immediately drew outrage, with researchers from the UK Media Watch organization describing it as “grievously insulting.”
“Nothing that I could say to highlight his words would make them any more insulting or horrid than they are on their own,” a representative of that group wrote at the time.

“Zogby has two goals: to make Arab Americans more powerful than Jewish Americans and to be their preeminent leader,” Yehudit Barsky, a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy, wrote in a profile about Zogby’s anti-Israel attitudes.

J Street has faced similar criticism for its efforts to pressure Israel into making security concessions to the Palestinians that could endanger its survival.

J Street accused the Jewish state of “fanning growing flames of anti-Semitism” due to its efforts to stop daily attacks on civilians during Israel’s 2014 battle against Hamas terrorists.

The group’s leaders also have accused leading Israeli politicians of being racists.

We’ll see how Bernie Sanders fares in the upcoming Democratic primaries.  Given his radical background there was a reason why the media took to calling the city he was elected to serve the People’s Republic of Burlington.  With the FBI released a letter yesterday that Hillary is under investigation because of alleged confidential intelligence abuses using her private email server, you never know what can happen next in the 2016 Democrat Presidential nomination race.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Why are Jews Against Israel?

Jews Against Themselves coverWe have been an admirer of David Isaac’s commendable documentary series, “Zionism 101”.  It is a beautiful constructed graphic Baedeker  and comprehensive guide to the origins and evolution of religious and political Zionism.  We  count him among the leading defenders of Israel, the Jewish nation and the Diaspora,  the ‘galut’.  Thus, I found it in character for him to publish  a review of a new book of withering essays by University of Washington  scholar, Edward Alexander, “Jews Against Themselves”.  Isaac’s review of Alexander‘s collection of jeremiads, “The Enemy Within”   published in today’s  Washington Free Beacon excoriates these diverse ‘shadtlanim’  beyond the usual suspects.  Isaac pays tribute to Alexander withering and acerbic wit in these essays.  He writes:

Alexander describes “the new forms taken by Jewish apostasy in an age when Jewish existence is threatened more starkly and immediately than at any time since the Nazi war against the Jews.” He notes that there are always readers astonished to learn that Israel-bashing Jews exist. But precisely these home-grown haters are the ones who “play a disproportionate role in basic

Isaac notes Alexander’s  theme threading his  oeuvre  defending Israel against the usual and not so usual  suspects::

Alexander is a staunch defender of Israel, the foundation of which he calls one of the “few redeeming events in a century of blood and shame, one of the greatest affirmations of the will to live ever made by a martyred people, and a uniquely hopeful sign for humanity itself.” As an English professor at the University of Washington, he wrote books on moral exemplars of the Victorian period like Matthew Arnold. He could have remained in his ivory tower, but instead he has delved into the muck. With pen in hand—happily Alexander is a superb writer and wields a very sharp pen—he has taken apart Israel’s enemies in books ranging from The Jewish Idea and Its Enemiesto The Jewish Wars to The State of the Jews and The Jewish Divide Against Israel.

Alexander is not out to create a “systemic taxonomy” of the many species of anti-Israel Jews but he does give the reader a brief, dizzying list of them: “Jewish progressives against Israel; Jewish queers against Israel; Haredim against Israel; Holocaust survivors against Israel; children of Holocaust survivors against Israel; Jewish Voice for Peace; grandchildren of Holocaust survivors against Israel … and so on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”

Anti-semitic cartoon posted by Richard Falk on his blog.

One of the worst  Isaac cites  in his review of Alexander’s book for particular scorn  is Princeton Professor Richard Falk, a former special rapporteur on Palestine for the oxymoronic UN Human Rights Commission:

Unfortunately, Jewish defamers of Israel often occupy positions of influence. Take Richard Falk, a Princeton professor for 40 years, who served for six years as the UN’s special rapporteur “on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” In 2008 Falk issued a statement condemning Israel (which had finally reacted to years of missiles lobbed into its territory) for “war crimes” in Gaza. Alexander writes of him: “From his UN post Falk has relentlessly described Israel as Satan’s lair, called for ‘a legitimacy war against Israel,’ blamed the Boston Marathon bombings on ‘Tel Aviv,’ and then—in the summer of 2011—having exhausted his own store of verbal eloquence on the topic, posted on his ‘blog’ site a cartoon of a dog wearing a yarmulke urinating on a blindfolded female figure of Justice. If any single figure ever embodied the image of the UN as the center of the world’s evil, it is Richard Falk.”

Then there is J Street that we have conducted our own withering campaign against:

J Street is another example of the real-world impact of these internal enemies. The group boasts a “Rabbinic Cabinet,” Alexander writes, “whose members include supporters of Hamas’s relentless bombing of Sderot.” In lobbying to oppose Israeli policies, J Street has proven a useful tool in the hands of the Obama administration, which sends its highest officials to attend its conferences, presumably because it sees in the group a kindred spirit and hopes that the group will provide cover, as a self-styled “Zionist” organization, against charges of being anti-Israel.

Isaac  condemns the obscenity of Jewish  descendents of Holocaust survivors  misappropriating their memories in squabbling debates within the same family, as in the case of the Petos:

Such a one is Jennifer Peto, whose anti-Israel master’s thesis (briefly the focus of a 2010 media controversy in Canada) was dedicated to her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor: “If she were alive today, she would be right there with me protesting against Israeli apartheid.” Fortunately, her brother, David Peto, a Houston physician, sent an open letter to the press describing their real grandmother, a teacher at a Jewish orphanage in Budapest “who saved countless children from death at the hands of the Nazis.” She was “an ardent supporter of the state of Israel … [and] I cannot in good conscience allow my sister to misappropriate our grandmother’s memory to suit her political ideology.”

Then there are Israel-bashing Israelis that Alexander takes particular exception to:

One of the biggest surprises in Alexander’s book—at least to the uninitiated—is that there are Israelis who join in the defamation. One would think terrorist bombs and missiles would act as a reality check, but this is far from the case. Alexander quotes the Israeli writer Aharon Megged saying in 1993 that “Since the Six Day War, and at an increasing pace, we have witnessed a phenomenon which probably has no parallel in history: an emotional and moral identification by the majority of Israel’s intelligentsia with people openly committed to our annihilation.” Alexander observes that when the Labor Party took back the reins of government in 1992, they had absorbed the ideas of this intelligentsia. The result was the Oslo Accords, which gave the PLO’s Yasser Arafat a launching pad for attacks on Israel.

Along these lines,  Isaac asks  why the  Israel government  mindlessly  awards  the Israel Prize to Israeli Jewish self  haters:

While Alexander does not talk about this, the Israeli government itself is guilty of precisely such “honors, flattery and oily sycophancy.” The Israel Prize, the highest bestowed by the Israel government, has gone to some of Israel’s worst defamers: men like Yeshayahu Leibowitz who repeatedly referred to Israel’s government and soldiers as “Judeo-Nazis”; Natan Zach, a supporter of boycotts against Jewish communities outside the armistice borders of 1949; Ze’ev Sternhell, “only he who is willing to storm Ofra [a Jewish community between Jerusalem and Nablus] with tanks will be able to block the fascist danger”; Arik Shapira, who said his musical composition was dedicated to the destruction of Ofra , and a number of others of that ilk. What happens when the state gives its highest honor to those who call Israelis Nazis, justify Arab terrorism and advocate civil war among Jews? The prizes say that these people are the most cultivated; the highest achievers Israel has to offer. In giving these prizes to those who despise the state, Israel becomes an enabler and megaphone for its defamers.

Isaac ends his review of Alexander’s collection of 18 essays by reaching back into ancient history to show that  despite massive repeated   existential threats, Israel and the Jewish people have survived :

Israel is ringed by enemies, excoriated by “the world community,” and has to endure so many enemies within the Jewish world, it is helpful to end on a positive note. Alexander reminds us that “the first elegist to crow over the demise of Zion was a fellow named Merneptah, a ruler of Egypt who announced that ‘Israel is desolated; its seed is no more.’ That was in the year 1215 BCE.”

ABOUT DAVID ISSAC:

David Isaac is an editor at NewsMax.com and  the founder of a Zionist history site, Zionism101.org.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Exposed: Anti-Israel J Street Cabal behind Rabbis letter supporting Iran Nuclear Deal

Kenneth Bob Ameinu

Kenneth Bob, President of Ameinu and J Street Treasurer.

When we posted yesterday about the Ameinu open letter from 340 “leading American Rabbis” supporting the President’s Iran nuclear pact we noted the progressive socialist alliance anti-Israel background.  Late yesterday, the Zionists of America (ZoA) put out a news release revealing the usual suspects; the interlock with J Street, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), BDS-supporting Jewish Voice for Peace and Rabbis for Human Rights, “ZOA: Majority of 340 Pro-Iran Deal Rabbis are from J St & Other Israel-Hostile Groups.”   While  the ZoA claims that the signatories of the open letter in support of the Iran nuclear pact represent less than 6% of the roughly 5,000 American Rabbis, we note  that there  more than 600 rabbis in the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet. Further, the leaders of the Reform Movement in America are also allied with the J Street Rabbinic group.

The ZoA news release reported:

The majority of the Iran Deal Rabbis come from the Soros-funded J Street. (George Soros is a self-described anti-Zionist billionaire.) Liberal Professor Alan Dershowitz explained that J Street “always seems to be taking positions that are anti-Israel.” J Street U’s new student board president is an anti-Israel Muslim.

Ameinu (which is the group promoting the “340 Rabbis for Iran Deal”) is closely tied to J Street. Ameinu appears to be serving as a front group for J Street here – since J Street has been so discredited. Ameinu National President Kenneth Bob doubles as J Street’s Treasurer. Ameinu Vice President and Executive Committee Chair Judith Gelman is a member of J Street’s Montgomery County, MD steering committee. Ameinu and J Street recently ran together on the same election slate.

Other “340 Iran Deal Rabbis” include a board member of Jewish Voice forPeace (JVP). JVP is featured on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) list of the “Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in America,” and actively promotes anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

The Iran Deal Rabbis also include over a dozen significant contributors to the so-called “Rabbis for Human Rights” (RHR). RHR participates in
anti-Israel demonstrations and, along with other anti-Israel groups,launched a website with false testimonies accusing Israel of human rights
violations in Gaza. ZOA members witnessed an RHR Rabbi invent and widely publish false stories to demonize pro-Israel young people at the Israel Day  Parade Concert in New York several years ago.

187 (the majority) of the Iran Deal Rabbis are members of the “J Street Rabbinic Cabinet.”

12 of the Iran Deal Rabbis are members of the “J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Executive Council”

The Iran Deal Rabbis also include 2 (out of 3) of the J Street cabinet’s co-chairs

13 of the Iran Deal Rabbis are significant donors to the falsehood-purveying”Rabbis for Human Rights.”

Iran Deal Rabbi Linda Boltzmann is on the Board of Directors of the anti-Israel BDS group, “Jewish Voice for Peace.” Rabbi Boltzmann is known as a “pioneer lesbian Rabbi.” As a homosexual, she should be the first to condemn Iran’s horrendous human rights record, which includes Iran’s brutal executions of hundreds of innocent individuals for the sole reason that they are gay. Incredibly, she is fostering a deal that will give the Iranian regime hundreds of billions of dollars to continue its brutal oppression of gays and minorities.

Iran Deal Rabbi Arthur Waskom states that the people at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are “people I trust and admire and respect.” CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case (the case against groups that sent funding to Hamas). CAIR is also
among the top groups that ADL has frequently condemned for its anti-Israel activities.

The ZoA also cited the J Street, NIAC connections, that we have noted in previous posts:

J Street has financial and other ties to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), an apparent arm of the Iranian regime. Dissident journalist
Hassan Daioleslam revealed that NIAC serves as a lobbying group for Iran, and that NIAC’s president and founder, Trita Parsi, has a long-term close relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. J Street’s financial filings revealed that J Street’s initial funders included NIAC board member Genevieve Lynch. J Street’s first national conference held an Iran panel with NIAC head Trita Parsi and Iran apologist Hillary Mann  Leveret, who insisted that no sanctions be placed on Iran. At the J Street event, Leveret also condemned anyone who did not trust the Iranian regime as “reinforcing stereotypes of Iranian duplicitousness” and asserted that such “stereotypes” of Iran’s Mullahs were “fundamentally racist.” Leverett also compared Iran’s mullahs to Israeli rabbis.

FlyntLeverett_HillaryMannLeverett-300x187

Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett

Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett were a husband wife national security team during the Bush era.  He originally worked at the CIA and met her while they both worked on the National Security Council Middle and Near East Staff. Flynt broke with the Bush Administration over the Iraq War. While both originally opposed to Iran, they suddenly flipped for the dark side becoming boosters for the theocratic Khomeinist revolutionary dictators in Tehran. Check out her bio at The Race for Iran and Raveling to Iran.com.   Back in January 2010, we posted these comments from Ken Timmerman about this ‘power couple” in a C-Span Washington Journal interview:

When Timmerman was asked about the Leverett Times op Ed by the Washington Journal moderator he told the callers about the ‘real’ Leverett.  Flynt Leverett is an ex-CIA analyst who served in the Bush White House National Security Council as senior director of Middle East affairs. He broke with the Bush Administration over the Iraq war and alleged failure to conduct comprehensive negotiations with Iran. Timmerman dismissed that notion as being the ‘fiction’ of the Swiss ambassador to Tehran. Leverett is now a professor at the Penn State University School of International Affairs and director of the Geopolitics of Energy Initiative in the American Strategy Program at the Soros-funded New America Foundation.

Timmerman pointed out to the moderator that Leverett had promoted the false impression that Iran was supporting the US in Afghanistan back in 2001 to 2002. Timmerman noted that at that time there was satellite imagery of vehicles and aircraft crossing the Afghan Iranian border extracting al Qaeda foreign fighters and their families and as we now know bin Laden’s  extended family. The moderator went out of her way to note that Flynt Leverett had appeared several times on Washington Journal, as if that gave him some measure of credibility.

This episode illustrates the astounding cupidity of American mainstream media, who long ago lost the requisite due diligence conducting fact checking of the backgrounds of progressive groups that allege they represent the majority views of American Jews. But then the mainstream media appears to have become the megaphone for broadcasting the disinformation of the Administration. American media have abandoned what were traditional editorial standards of investigation into the representations by authors of what effectively is agit-propaganda. Our congratulations to the ZoA for disclosing the anti-Israel cabal of J Street, Ameinu, NIAC bankrolled by George Soros.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Victory for Zionism at University of California Irvine Campus

It’s official. The problematic President of the Orange County Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS), Shalom Elcott, has been ousted by the board – his contract was apparently not renewed. Notwithstanding he remains as a strategic consultant to the Chairman of the JFFS board. This marks an important victory for Campus Zionism on the controversial UC Irvine campus. Thus, ends a nearly decade long intrusion by Elcott working against the Zionist Anteaters for Israel (AFI) campus group.  AFI’s leaders like incumbent Sharon Shaoulian and alum like Reut Cohen and others have borne the brunt of assaults on their  campus activities  and free speech by Elcott with support from  his  appointed Hillel chapter campus director. Elcott’s dossier  was the subject of a June 2015 NER article, “How One Southern California Jewish Federation Undermines Student Zionism at a State University.”

A press release from the Orange County JFFS issued on Wednesday, July 22nd confirmed Elcott’s replacement:

The Board of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) announced today that it has appointed Dr. Lauren Gavshon, JFFS’ current Director of Clinical Services as interim President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Shalom Elcott as President and Chief Executive Officer

Elcott, a visionary leader who fundamentally transformed JFFS into the robust and diverse organization it is today, will continue to serve as Strategic Advisor to the Chair of the Board

Dr. Gavshon and her family have been involved in the local Jewish community for over 20 years, and she is well positioned to take on this expanded role,” said Daniel J. Koblin, Chair of the Board.

Our colleague, UCI adjunct faculty member, Gary Fouse on his Fousesquawks  blog wrote:

I know nothing about Dr. Lauren Gavshon, who is the interim CEO. The press release describes her as a bridge-builder. Heaven knows they need one over at the Federation after the Elcott reign.

Here is my question: If Elcott did such a great job, as the Federation is claiming, why the change? Why is there no reason given? Normally, something is said about a “retirement” or so-and-so wanting to spend more time with the family. One can read all kinds of things into this, but I will await further information coming out-as it surely will.

Hopefully, the new CEO will change the culture at the Federation and make it one that will truly represent all the Jewish students at UC Irvine especially the ones that choose to fight for Israel and stand up to anti-Semitism. Hopefully, the new leadership will speak out about anti-Semitism at UCI rather than try to sweep it under the rug. Hopefully, the new leadership will join the community in fighting the problem instead of trying to keep its members away from campus. Hopefully, the new leadership will support those who want to wave the Israeli and American flags in the face of pro-Palestinian demonstrators who disrupt pro-Israel events on campus. Hopefully, the new leadership will cut all ties with the insidious Olive Tree Initiative and denounce it for what it is; a thinly-veiled attempt to sway students toward the Palestinian narrative while masquerading as neutral.

Ms. Gavshon has a lot of work cut out for her as she tries to repair the mess left behind by Elcott.

We were glad to have helped in whatever way I to raise consciousness among Orange County co-coreligionists and Jews around the world about Elcott’s  cultivation of Israel’s enemies on the dime of the Orange County JFFS at the UC Irvine campus. One of Elcott’s  more troubling initiatives at UCIrvine was  diverting funds from a JFFS affiliate, the Rose Project , to fund student  trips sponsored by the left-wing  controlled  Olive Tree Initiative at UCIrvine. That led to an alleged inadvertent meeting in 2009 with Hamas leader on the West Bank, Aziz Duwaik, and Palestinian Legislative Council leader.  It has been almost five years since published an interview with  local Zionist activist and Ha’Emet blogger,  Dee Sterling about the plague of anti-Zionist activities on the Southern California campus.

Former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren  was scheduled to  give a speech at UC Irvine on February 8, 201, when it was disrupted  by campus members of the Muslim Student Union (MSU). That was followed by   the arrest, prosecution and conviction of 11 students, 8 from UC Irvine and 3 from UC Riverside for disturbing a public event   The legal action brought by the Orange County District Attorney triggered a one year suspension of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate by the Administration only to be reduced to 10 weeks by the retiring deputy Chancellor at UCI.  In the interim, Students for Justice in Palestine was formed as a placeholder for the suspended MSU.

Sharon Shaoulian

Sharon Shaoulin, President of Anteaters for Israel, UC Irvine

We produced a number of articles on the NER and our blog The Iconoclast about the misguided  helmsman of the JFFS of Orange County.  There was our joint effort with Debra Glazer developing A Pledge Against the Self-Destruction of American Jews to be signed off Jewish Federations against participation in anti-Zionist programs of  groups like J Street and Jewish Voices for Peace and unfortunately all too many fellow traveling Jewish Federations. Prescient, given the spike in Antisemitism in the EU, the Global BDS movement  and the great divide among fellow American Jews about Obama and controversial pact with Islamic Republic of Iran.

Besides Sterling, Fouse and Glazer there were others among the UCI faculty and local Orange County community activists exposing Elcott endeavoring to defeat campus Zionism. In the end with his ouster, perhaps a new day will dawn  for both Orange County JFFS and at UC Irvine.  Sharon Shaoulian, current President  and alum like Reut Cohen of Anteaters For Israel can quiet satisfaction that at least this nightmare is over.  They stood up to Elcott’s  bullying tactics, which we and others exposed, possibily resulting in the JFFS board  decision  this week to terminate his contract. Elcott’s ouster should be a warning to his minions at UCI Hillel and leftist allies of the anti-Semitic Muslim Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Olive Tree Initiative at UCI. Hopefully  Shalom’s brother David  Elcott at NYU’s Wagner College might arrange a permanent position for  him  with J Street. Professor Elcott is a member of the J Street Advisory board.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

J Street Launches Ad Campaign Promoting Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal [+Video]

You probably have seen our panel discussion on the J street Challenge and comments about the pro-Iranian lobby group NIAC board members, “J Street Challenge documentary and Informed Panel Discussion in Pensacola.“ We noted:

Former deputy Chief of Mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Lenny Ben David, revealed forensic analysis of the IRS tax filings of J Street. He noted the questionable funding by known enemies of Israeli both in the U.S. and the Middle East. Jeremy Ben Ami is exposed by Ben David apologizing for why he hid major funding for J Street from George Soros, who is fervently anti-Israel. A J Street board member, Genevieve Lynch, also sits on the board of Iran’s chief lobbying arm in Washington, the National Iranian American Council. Ben David also raised the question of why a Filipino woman living in Hong Kong underwrites almost a third of J Street’s budget.

In an earlier Iconoclast post we referenced a Breitbart News report on a former NIAC employee, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who was now an NSC staffer in the Obama White House:

Breitbart News in a March 31st, 2015 dossier article on Ms. Nowrouzzadeh reported:

Found that a person with the same name has previously written several publications on behalf of NIAC. According to what appears to be her LinkedIn account, Nowrouzzadeh became an analyst for the Department of Defense in 2005 before moving her way up to the National Security Council in 2014.

A NIAC profile from 2007 reveals that Sahar Nowrouzzadeh appears to be the same person as the one who is currently the NSC Director for Iran. The profiles indicate that she had the same double major and attended the same university (George Washington).

Critics have alleged that NIAC is a lobby for the current Iranian dictatorship under Ayatollah Khamenei. A dissident journalist revealed recently that NIAC’s president and founder, Trita Parsi, has maintained a years-long relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.

NIAC was established in 1999, when founder Trita Parsi attended a conference in Cyprus that was held under the auspices of the Iranian regime. During the conference, Parsi reportedly laid out his plan to introduce a pro-regime lobbying group to allegedly counteract the influence of America’s pro-Israel and anti-Tehran regime advocacy groups.

NIAC has been investing heavily in attempts to influence the talks in favor of an agreement with the state sponsor of terror. In recent days, its director, Trita Parsi, has been spotted having amiable conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s brother.

With the announcement of P5+1 nuclear agreement by President  Obama on Monday, July 14th, like night follows day, J Street is launching a multi-million dollar video campaign supporting the deal.  All while all  Israelis , many members of Congress and Americans support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s view that the pact is a dangerous  “historic mistake.” They have been joined by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates castigating the deal with Iran posing an existential threat in the Middle East and some suggest here in the US, as well.

The Algemeiner reported on this latest example of J Street revealing its promotion of the President’s outreach to a nuclear Iran:

The left-wing Jewish lobby J Street said Wednesday that it is building support for the Iran nuclear deal through a “multimillion dollar national campaign.”

“J Street wants Congress to know that, despite some loud opposition to the deal coming from Jewish organizational leaders, our polling suggests that a clear majority of Jewish Americans agrees with us and backs the deal,” J Street said in its announcement of a campaign “to make the case to lawmakers that the agreement reached yesterday advances both US and Israeli security interests.”

The campaign, according to J Street, “will launch with a 30-second advertisement highlighting the unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear and military sites under the agreement.

Algemeiner noted the comments of Lori Lowenthal Marcus, national correspondent for The Jewish Press and  Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic, a frequent interviewer of President Obama.

Marcus said:

While every other Jewish group which praised the negotiators who reached the agreement “did so for their (the negotiators’) efforts,” only J Street praised the actual content of the deal. On Tuesday, J Street called the deal “a major step forward that will make the world appreciably safer.”

Goldberg tweeted:

“If Israel’s elected leader, and the head of the opposition, oppose the Iran deal, can J Street support it and still call itself pro-Israel?”

Maybe that’s why MK Isaac  Herzog Israeli opposition leader of the Leftist  Zionist Union (Labor) Party said he would work with Prime Minister  Netanyahu’s coalition  to stop the Iran deal.  We wonder which Iranian  conduit funneled the money to underwrite the launch of the J Street video ad with the Orwellian title: “Good for America/Good for Israel”.

Watch the J Street ad on this You Tube video:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Obama, J Street and the American Jewish Divide

Former Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren is a native of West Orange, New Jersey best exemplifies the special relations between the two allies, Israel and the U.S. Ally-book cover jpgWith the publication of his memoir, Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide (2015), he has another best seller. Previous ones were Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2003) and Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present (2007)Having read Ally, I concur with praise from two pundits: Bret Stephens, the Tuesday Wall Street  Journal columnist of note, and Vic Rosenthal, a former resident of Fresno, California, now a Jerusalem resident whose Abu Yehuda blog  posts are a must read about an American  living in Israel.

Bret Stephens’ opening stanza in his June 29, 2015 WSJ column “The President Against the Historianexplains why Oren’s memoir is a must read:

Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, has written the smartest and juiciest diplomatic memoir that I’ve read in years, and I’ve read my share. The book, called “Ally,” has the added virtues of being politically relevant and historically important. This has the Obama administration—which doesn’t come out looking too good in Mr. Oren’s account—in an epic snit.

Vic Rosenthal in his July 2, 2015, Abu Yehuda blog post, Michael Oren is tired of American Jews, and so am I, addresses  the yawning  divide between Israel and American Jews, another of Oren’s themes in Ally:

Rabbi Eric Yoffie is offended by Michael Oren, on behalf of (non-Orthodox) American Jews. These Jews, like America’s “first Jewish president,” turn out to be very easy to offend: just suggest that Israelis are more qualified than they are to decide the future of their country.

Oren’s new book has offended both Yoffie and the Obama Administration, which has launched an all-out media blitz against him (as far as I know, Obama spokespeople haven’t called him a ‘chickenshit’ yet, but give them time).

Yesterday morning, I dialed into an Israel Project  (TIP)sponsored presentation by Oren. He told the listeners ,unlike the daylight between Obama and Netanyahu over the Iranian nuclear nightmare threat, that there is no daylight across the political divide in the  obsessive democratic cockpit of the Knesset. As Oren tells it, whether Likud, Zionist Union and even Arab parties, all Israel is united that Iran achieving nuclear breakout is “a very bad deal”. Further, he said while some  in the media, the Obama claque of  “senior officials’ and former aides have excoriated him for the early publication  of his memoir, he was heartened that they haven’t addressed the facts of what the Administration has perpetrated. Listen to this recorded  TIP presentation by Oren and the following Q&A.

Oren’s memoir has a lot to say about President Obama and his Administration acolytes isolating Israel over Iran and  Netanyahu’s vigorous defense of Israel  sovereign right of Israel to warn America and the untrusting world about Iran’s nuclear  threat and the very bad P5+1  deal. Perhaps  a  deal about to be announced in Vienna in a few days. Or if not simply kicked down the road.  All while Iran’s  Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei  and Mahdist acolytes of terrorism perfect the means of taking out the “little Satan”, Israel ,with one bomb and the “big Satan”, the  US, with a nuclear tipped ICBM.

Oren clearly takes pride that his well honed skills as a Columbia and Princeton educated historian who earned his PhD in Middle East Studies with the venerable Bernard Lewis.   Not bad for a pudgy dyslexic , pigeon toed 15 year old who shook the hand of the late Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin, when the latter was  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the US.  He exclaimed on that memorable occasion that some day he would be Israel’s Ambassador.  A late bloomer in high school Oren fulfilled his quest, slimed down hardened through rowing .  Equipped with his backpack he made aliyah to Israel to go through  grueling  paratrooper training  earn his coveted red beret along with an oath taken  to defend Israel on Masada with his IDF comrades.  He ends up in combat and later as a reserve officer during the Second Lebanon War as a military spokesperson to the foreign press.  Along the way he  meets his  American wife Sally Edelstein, a  Jersey girl, dancer and former San Francisco hippy groupie when she makes Aliyah to Israel and they ultimately form their Israeli family.

Ally  depicts what it was like for an American-Israeli to fulfill his dream as his adopted country’s Ambassador in Washington  Israel’s  interests in the byzantine politics of the Obama era from 2009 to 2013. After leaving Washington, Oren turns home to Tel Aviv to lecture, teach at Harvard and Yale and write his memoir.   Oren is now a member of the Kulanu party headed by former  Likud Communications Commissioner and economic reformer Moshe Kahlon.  Oren is a thinking liberal and  both he and the family are members of a Reform synagogue.  His memoir culminates on a dramatic note when he  and Sally attend  a  Bar Mitzvah celebration for 13 year olds at  Kibbutz Na’an, with one of his former Washington Embassy aides, Lee Moser, mother of  one of the bar mitzvah candidates when a red alert sounds, sirens wail and they scurry for shelter. He writes:

I held Sally’s hand and glanced over my shoulder over my shoulder just as two Hamas rockets roared in. Then with twin booms that rattled the tin overhang  and shook the ground below, the missiles exploded. Iron Dome interceptors, developed by Israel and funded by the United States, scored perfect hits. For moment afterward, as we emerged into the uncertain night, the glow of those bursts hovered over us, beaming like kindred stars.

All  of which brings  us to why he has frosted the J Street  fawning rabbinic leadership of the Reform Movement in America and  earned  both Vic Rosenthal’s and my admiration. This came on the cusp of having orchestrated a  recent viewing and panel discussion of the Americans for Peace and Tolerance documentary, J Street Challenge with Pensacola pro-Israel colleagues; Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm synagogue, Mike Bates, 1330amWEBY general manger of “Your Turn host and Florida State Representative Mike Hill, a U.S. Air Force Academy grad.

Vic Rosenthal notes a similar experience in his Fresno in his Abu Yehuda column:

We tried to bring the local Jewish community – the organizations, the synagogues and individual Jews – along with us. With a few exceptions, mostly people like us who had lived in Israel or had relatives there, we had to drag them kicking and screaming. Most of our pro-Israel events drew the same few supporters.

The local Reform temple was probably the most frustrating. A film critical of J Street, followed by a discussion? Absolutely not, it would be ‘divisive’! The Jewish Federation and Hadassah were better, but it was always easier to organize an event about Jewish culture than Israel.

Is Oren right that American Jews are more interested in helping others than their own? Certainly they were far more upset about terrorism in Charleston than Jerusalem, and far more ready to criticize our Prime Minister than their own Administration. The Reform rabbi threw himself into activities to help the poor and homeless. He is seen on TV on panels with the Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center. He is an outspoken advocate of liberal causes, but he did not give a sermon in favor of PM Netanyahu’s speech about Iran before the Congress.

In preparation for the recent J Street Challenge  Pensacola event, we culled excerpts from Oren’s Ally about his views on J Street  and its defenders inside the Obama Administration, illustrative of what  concerns Vic Rosenthal.

On J Street’s inclusion in Major American Jewish organizations meeting with Obama in 2009 p. 78

He promised to be more evenhanded in asking all parties, not just Israelis, to make sacrifices for peace. Yet the meeting would be remembered as a turning point in the administration’s approach toward the Jewish State.

Included for the first time with the mainstream Jewish leaders were the heads of Americans for Peace Now and the newly founded J Street, both organizations stridently critical of Israel and its traditional American supporters.  Their presence rattled the other participants, many of whom had been personally slighted by these parvenus.

The President concluded, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs”.

Commenting on the discussion, J Street founder Jeremy Ben Ami cited Obama’s ability to connect with the Muslim World and his immense standing in America and the World. “He was very clear that this is a moment that has to be seized and he intends to seize it.  By contrast the other American Jewish leaders emerged from the meeting concerned about Obama’s departure from the long standing principle of “no daylight” in U.S. –Israel relations.

On J Street’s promotion of the Goldstone Report that Maligned Israel in Operation Cast Lead in 2008 – 2009 p. 102

Though J Street refrained from formally endorsing the [Goldstone Report], activists in the organization escorted Goldstone to Congress for meetings with progressive members.  Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner told the UNHRC of America’s disappointment with the document’s double standards. But he also cited Goldstone’s ‘distinguished record of public service” and called on Palestinians to investigate Hamas abuses. This, for Israelis, was tantamount to asking al-Qaeda to investigate 9/11.

On the contretemps between the Israeli Embassy and J Street P. 107

Irksome was the embassy’s continued imbroglio with J Street. Unlike my predecessor, Sallai Meridor, who had shunned the lobby, I initially engaged it in a dialogue.  I had no illusions about the group, which received funds from anti-Israel contributors, supported every legislator critical of Israel, and stridently attacked mainstream American Jewish leaders. Though J Street defined itself as “pro-Israel” and “pro-peace”, its logo bore no connection to Israel whatsoever, not even the color blue, and portrayed other pro-Israel organizations as anti-Israel. Before becoming Ambassador, I chanced to meet one J Street board member and asked him why he had joined. “I’m uncomfortable with the special relationship,” he told me. “I want to normalize U.S.-Israel ties.”

Outrageously, J Street members hosted Goldstone in Congress and lobbied  against sanctions on Iran. These actions were deeply deleterious to Israel’s security – “they endangered seven million Israelis,” I said –and made interacting with J Street virtually impossible. Both the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] and the foreign minister [Avigdor Liberman] vetoed my participation in its annual conference.

On the Obama White House relations with J Street p. 108

J Street… fashioned itself as the Administration’s wing in the American Jewish Community. Obama acknowledged that fact by sending his National Security Advisor [former Marine General] Jim Jones, one of Washington’s most powerful officials to greet the organization. “I’m honored to represent President Obama at the first national J Street conference.  And you can be sure that this administration will be represented at all other J Street conferences…” Obama’s newly appointed advisor on anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, an early J Street supporter, issued her first denunciation not of anti-Semites, but rather of me for boycotting the summit.

Michael Oren’s Ally might be considered a 21st Century version of Emile Zola’s J’accuse.  Oren , like Zola in the fin de siècle Dreyfus affair,  addresses the calumnies of President  Obama, nurtured  in Muslim Indonesia, creating daylight isolating Israeli PM Netanyahu over nuclear Iran and recognition of a Faux Palestinian State.  Daylight promised  to Obama’s  Chicago anti-Israel confreres, Rashid Khalidi, holder of the Edward Said Endowed Chair on Modern Arab Studies  at Columbia and Ali Abunimah , editor of The Electronic Intifada blog, that he wouldn’t forget them. Oren chronicles how Obama delivered on that promise.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of President Obama and former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, July 2009. Source: White House Photo

U.S. Congress Passes “Landmark” Anti-BDS Amendment

What some consider as a “landmark” anti-BDS Amendment to the Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority legislation passed the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, June 24, 2015. Having passed both the House and Senate the legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature. That’s good news for Israel, bad news for J Street and Peace Now who opposed the anti-BDS Amendment. Clearly, the President’s overriding objective was completion of negotiations of a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement which gives the U.S. leverage in competition with China and encourages job creation and business in the U.S. J Street and Peace Now have been allies of the Administration promoting a Palestinian State that would divide Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. Those groups also support the looming P5+1 Iran nuclear agreement with a current deadline of next Tuesday, June 30th.

Among the principal sponsors of the anti-BDS Amendment were:  Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and members of the House  bi-partisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Representative Juan Vargas (D-CA).  The anti-BDS measure passed by Congress has garnered praise from mainstream American and international Jewish Groups:  AIPAC, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress.

As noted in a Times of Israel report:

The anti-BDS provisions in the trade authorization were directed toward free trade talks between the US and the European Union. The provisions require US negotiators to make rejection of BDS a principal trade objective in Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the European Union. These guidelines, sponsors hope, will discourage European governments from participating in BDS activities by leveraging the incentive of free trade with the US.

Rep. Roskam issued a statement saying:

Today, for the first time in nearly four decades, Congress sent legislation to the President’s desk to combat efforts to isolate and delegitimize the State of Israel. The recent wave of boycotts originating in Europe, including French telecom company Orange’s decision last week to sever ties with Israel, demands a robust response from the United States. This is that response. The bipartisan TPA provisions I authored are simple: if you want free trade with the United States, you can’t boycott Israel.

After today, discouraging economic warfare against Israel will be central to our free trade negotiations with the European Union. Congress will not be complicit in the marginalization of our ally Israel by watching these attacks from the sidelines. Instead, we have decided to fight back against the BDS movement and ensure the continued strength of the US-Israel relationship.

President Ronald Lauder of the WJC added:

The Senate today took a strong stand against the growing vilification of Israel. American values such as freedom and openness have triumphed over the blatant hypocrisy and bias of the anti-Israel campaigners. This vote marks a major defeat for BDS.

J Street and Peace Now opposed the anti-BDS legislation on the grounds that “the amendment plays into the hands of BDS activists’ claims by conflating boycott of Israel and boycott of products of settlements.”

The author of the Algemeiner article  on why  J Street and other groups opposed the anti-BDS amendment commented:

The impression one gets is that J-Street wants to maintain its ties to radical anti-Israel BDS groups like Jewish Voice for Peace but still wants to pretend to be pro-Israel.

Pro-Israel? Yeah, right.

The passage of the anti-BDS amendment should encourage the Israel Allies Foundation Jerusalem Call that worked with South Carolina State Rep. Alan Clemmons developing a state level model anti-BDS statue signed into law on June 4, 2015 by Governor Nikki Haley. In our 1330am WEBY interview with Dr. Daniel Williams, National Director of the IAF Jerusalem Call  he noted that the South Carolina model is being filed in 17 states, among them Ohio and potentially here in Florida.   J Street is the subject of a viewing of the Americans for Peace and Tolerance documentary, J Street Challenge, Saturday evening, June 27, 2015 at Brit Ahm Synagogue in Pensacola. A panel discussion will follow that includes Florida State Rep. Mike Hill, Mike Bates of WEBY’s “Your Turn”, Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm and this writer.  On Tuesday evening June 30, 2015, Rep. Hill and Guy Rodgers, Director of Operations for the IAF Jerusalem Call will be the principal speakers about support for Israel and the work of the group at Pensacola First Assembly of God Church.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.