Here’s a short little story about J Street – the supposedly “pro-Israel” advocacy group that supposedly supports Israel, even if their student group can’t bring itself to use the label “pro-Israel” in their self-description.Yesterday, the Russian Prime Minister was visiting with Mahmoud Abbas and declared that his country – which is a member of the Quartet, by the way – continues to adhere to their acceptance of the Palestinian state declared by Yasser Arafat in 1988.
In case anybody hadn’t noticed, there is no Palestinian state despite that declaration and the fact that approximately 100 nations accepted the declaration of that state. In fact, just 5 years later the Palestinians would enter into negotiations with Israel for the Oslo Accords, in which they were to negotiate a deal with Israel, outcome unknown other than peace between the two sides on the basis of UNSC resolutions 242 and 338.
Ha’aretz and Jerusalem Post both reported that while Medvedev, Russia’s PM, announced the re-support of the Palestinian statehood declaration, he did not specify whether he included eastern Jerusalem in the area under discussion. Today, meeting in Jordan with King Abdullah, Medvedev allayed any such confusion by specifying that “East Jerusalem” was to be the Palestinian capital.
This is an important issue because the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter are all inside eastern Jerusalem. In other words, the holiest sites for Jews as well as the heart of Jewish settlement in the ancient land of Israel, is in this area which he has announced shall belong to the Palestinians. To remind everybody who has forgotten, the Palestinian leadership at the PA just last month denied any Jewish connection to the Western Wall or Temple Mount, announced that not a single Israeli would remain in any Palestinian state and they have spoken of returning to the status quo of pre-1929 in Jerusalem at the Western Wall when Jews were restricted from praying at the wall while sitting, blowing their shofars or coming in large numbers.
Russia wasn’t the first to announce support for this state. In the past several weeks, a number of Latin American countries including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile have also all announced recognition of a Palestinian state on “1967 Borders including East Jerusalem.” There were no borders in 1967, because the Arabs refused to accept borders in their armistice agreements with Israel back in 1949, but no matter, this is the language used by the international community today.
Then, yesterday, the Palestinian delegation in Washington, DC, which is not an embassy because there is no state of Palestine, hoisted a Palestinian flag into the skies of the US capital. This, of course, to announce their intentions as other countries begin to recognize their non-existent state. The Palestinians are predicting that they will announce a state in August or September of this year and are busy convincing the international diplomatic community to support this announcement. Of course, the language they use is that of “1967 Borders including East Jerusalem.”
Is so happens that US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a strong supporter of Israel and when the Palestinian flag was placed outside their mission’s roof yesterday, she came out against it stating the the move was,
“part of the Palestinian leadership’s scheme to manipulate international acceptance and diplomatic recognition” of their future state.
The lawmaker charged that U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration was rewarding the Palestinians, whom she accused of refusing to negotiate with Israel while seeking “shortcuts to statehood.”
“Governments worldwide will interpret such actions as tacit U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state. These actions send precisely the wrong message to foreign governments…”
Of course, she is absolutely right.
So what did J Street do today to support Israel as the Palestinians seek to steal away Judaism’s holiest sites from the state of the Jewish people? No, no, no, they didn’t blast the Obama administration or the Russian administration, just in case you were wondering.
No. What J Street did was put out a press release attacking Ros-Lehtinen,
The new Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen seems to see nothing wrong with taking large campaign contributions from Irving Moskowitz, a notorious funder of settlements in East Jerusalemâ€™s Palestinian neighborhoods.
Moskowitz actively works to derail the chances for a two-state solution by funding Jewish settler housing in the middle of Palestinian neighborhoods – and has been condemned by both Republican and Democratic US Administrations for undermining the prospects of peace.
With the two-state solution hanging by a thread, what a terrible signal it sends for an American political leader to be so cozy with a far-right political funder whose actions undermine the foreign policy of the United States and makes a two-state solution harder to achieve.
Let’s review that for a minute. They call it “East Jerusalem,” not eastern Jerusalem, as Israel and Israel’s High Court refer to the area. They call Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem “settlements” even though they supposedly support Israel which annexed the city. They attack Moskowitz, and by extension Ros-Lehtinen, for “derailing” the chance for a two-state solution even though it is the Palestinians who refused Olmert’s offer two years ago and have refused to negotiate since. And then they complain that somehow her actions undermine the “two-state solution hanging by a thread” even though it is the Palestinians with their attempt to circumvent the Oslo Accords and 17 years of negotiations who are undermining the two-state solution.
Looking at J Street’s website, there isn’t a peep about what the Palestinians are doing right now, or a criticism of the Obama administration for permitting them to walk away from negotiations and permitting them to hoist the flag of the state they were supposed to negotiate for. There isn’t a peep on their site about unilateral Palestinian efforts to circumvent Oslo Accords or to gain a state that includes Judaism’s holiest sites without coming to any compromise with Israel as per 242 and 338. There isn’t a word of criticism for the countries that have accepted this state.
J Street is only concerned about one thing: attacking a politician who said that raising the Palestinian flag over their mission in DC is emblematic of the Palestinian efforts to evade peace talks and recognition of Israel while gaining a state.
J Street is not Israel’s friend. J Street may as well sign on as the Palestinian lobby in DC.
UPDATE: The day following publication of this post, J Street announced that it supports the Palestinian draft of a UN Security Council resolution condemning any Israeli settlement activity. Of course, the draft refers to “1967 Borders” and therefore includes Jerusalem.