Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Friends Don’t Treat Friends This Way

 

The organization J Street has been a thorn in the side of Jews and Israel for quite a while. They purport to be pro-Israel, but many of the policies they support work to Israel’s detriment. Recently they held a conference that Ben Shapiro reported on; six of the Democrat presidential candidates attended the conference or sent videos in their stead:

This week, four of the top candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination—Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro and Bernie Sanders — gathered at the J Street Conference to explain why the United States ought to pressure the state of Israel to make concessions to terrorists, why the Obama administration was correct to appease the Iranian regime and why American Jews ought to value the opinions of Bernie Sanders over those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the future of Jewish safety.

Two other top Democrats — Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden — sent video messages in support of the group.

In contrast, all the candidates were invited to attend AIPAC’s conference and not one of them attended. Although AIPAC doesn’t always agrees with Israel’s actions or decisions, its commitment to Israel’s interests is straightforward.

If we assume that attending this conference was not in itself a statement, what did the candidates specifically say? Here’s Shapiro’s summary:

So it was no wonder that Bernie Sanders arrived at the J Street conference and quickly suggested aid to Israel be redirected to the Gaza Strip, run by Hamas, to the cheers of attendees. It was no surprise when Buttigieg suggested that the Iran deal correctly ignored Iran’s terrorist funding and ballistic missile testing, while also suggesting that America reconsider aid to Israel if Israel continues to build in disputed areas of Judea and Samaria. It was no shock when Julian Castro pledged to open an embassy in East Jerusalem for the Palestinians — despite the fact that no solution has been negotiated with regard to the final status of Jerusalem.

Elizabeth Warren added her two cents worth:

Warren stated that she would welcome the Palestinian General Delegation back to Washington and would reopen an American mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Warren also stated that she would resume financial support to UNRWA, knowing full well that these funds would be used to incite Palestinian terrorism against Israeli citizens.

Why should attendance at the conference and these comments be judged unacceptable? First, J Street is no friend of Israel. Here is a statement from its website, as an example:

J Street believes that Israel’s capital is in Jerusalem and will be internationally recognized as such in the context of an agreed two-state solution. We believe that the surest way to achieve that international recognition for the Israeli capital in Jerusalem is through a negotiated and viable two-state solution whereby– as outlined in the Clinton parameters and subsequent discussions between the parties– Jewish areas of Jerusalem are secured as the capital of Israel and Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem become the capital of the future Palestinian state.

Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for centuries, long before the Muslims built on the Temple Mount. To consider dividing it as part of a two-state solution is not acceptable. Attending a conference sponsored by an organization that works against Israel’s interests in this area as well as others is not acceptable.

In looking at the candidates’ comments, their suggestions to negotiate with terrorists is absurd. The Palestinians and the related terrorist organizations refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Notice, too, that there are no expectations of the Palestinians regarding the Israel/Palestinian conflict.

The farther the Democrats move to the left, the more their anti-Israel comments grow. Although they make statements about Israel being a friend of the United States, their criticisms essentially threaten Israel’s existence.

Friends don’t treat friends this way.

Published in Foreign Policy
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There are 17 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    Susan Quinn: In looking at the candidates’ comments, their suggestions to negotiate with terrorists is absurd.

    But, it has always worked out so well in the past. 😲

    • #1
    • November 1, 2019, at 11:46 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  2. Henry Racette Contributor

    The Democrats and the left are backing a bunch of losing ponies. Let’s hope people understand that a year from now.

     

    • #2
    • November 1, 2019, at 11:59 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The Democrats and the left are backing a bunch of losing ponies. Let’s hope people understand that a year from now.

     

    I hope so, too, Hank. I know that I probably have too much invested in this issue. But I’m tired of people favoring what they consider to be the “underdog” when the very existence of Israel is at stake. To me, that’s the bottom line.

    • #3
    • November 1, 2019, at 12:02 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. James Gawron Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: In contrast, all the candidates were invited to attend AIPAC’s conference and not one of them attended. Although AIPAC doesn’t always agrees with Israel’s actions or decisions, its commitment to Israel’s interests is straightforward.

    Susan,

    As you may remember I was very critical of AIPAC because they were so obsessed with “bi-partisanship” that they allowed increasingly anti-Israel policies be appeased without a gram of criticism.

    Now the chickens have come home to roost and not a single Dem candidate even wants to go to AIPAC. I recommend that conservatives don’t waste too much time or effort on AIPAC and make sure to spend some of their time with ZOA. With the Dems roosting at J Street it would be very appropriate. After the squad and Bernie’s madness there is no bi-partisan position possible.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #4
    • November 1, 2019, at 12:10 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  5. Henry Racette Contributor

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The Democrats and the left are backing a bunch of losing ponies. Let’s hope people understand that a year from now.

     

    I hope so, too, Hank. I know that I probably have too much invested in this issue. But I’m tired of people favoring what they consider to be the “underdog” when the very existence of Israel is at stake. To me, that’s the bottom line.

    No, I don’t think you’re over-invested in this issue — or, if you are, then I am as well. Israel is a tiny little toehold of western civilization in a backward and blighted region, and deserves our support and protection. She’s also a wonderful example of what people can do when they are fully invested in surviving and thriving.

    • #5
    • November 1, 2019, at 12:10 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: In contrast, all the candidates were invited to attend AIPAC’s conference and not one of them attended. Although AIPAC doesn’t always agrees with Israel’s actions or decisions, its commitment to Israel’s interests is straightforward.

    Susan,

    As you may remember I was very critical of AIPAC because they were so obsessed with “bi-partisanship” that they allowed increasingly anti-Israel policies be appeased without a gram of criticism.

    Now the chickens have come home to roost and not a single Dem candidate even wants to go to AIPAC. I recommend that conservatives don’t waste too much time or effort on AIPAC and make sure to spend some of their time with ZOA. With the Dems roosting at J Street it would be very appropriate. After the squad and Bernie’s madness there is no bi-partisan position possible.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    Great suggestion, Jim. People can learn about ZOA here .

    I think unless there is a monumental shift, the Dems are lost to us.

    • #6
    • November 1, 2019, at 12:19 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    No, I don’t think you’re over-invested in this issue — or, if you are, then I am as well. Israel is a tiny little toehold of western civilization in a backward and blighted region, and deserves our support and protection. She’s also a wonderful example of what people can do when they are fully invested in surviving and thriving.

    Thanks. You’ve brought tears to my eyes.

    • #7
    • November 1, 2019, at 12:20 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Zafar Member

    If J Street’s polling data is meaningful then the candidates are responding to their potential voters.

    It doesn’t seem to be straightforward for any demographic.

    • #8
    • November 1, 2019, at 5:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  9. MichaelHenry Contributor

    The State of Israel’s continued existence is miraculous. It deserves our support and assistance. But I have never understood how U.S. Jews continue to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, who do nothing but undermine Israel. Given the rise of anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere, I would think Jews in the U.S. would overwhelmingly support President Trump. He kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and returned the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, unlike previous presidents. Why do U.S. Jews continue to support a political party that does not support them or Israel?

    • #9
    • November 2, 2019, at 5:06 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  10. Zafar Member

    Irony:

    Back in the good old days, the line was that Jews couldn’t be trusted because they were loyal to a foreign power. In 2019, we can’t be trusted because we’re disloyal to a foreign power.

     

    • #10
    • November 2, 2019, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. cdor Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    If J Street’s polling data is meaningful then the candidates are responding to their potential voters.

    It doesn’t seem to be straightforward for any demographic.

    Yes indeed, I was just going to comment that J street probably better represents the views of the average Jew better than AIPAC, and certainly more than ZOA. Self-destructive is a term that just pops right up. 

    • #11
    • November 2, 2019, at 8:33 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    MichaelHenry (View Comment):
    Why do U.S. Jews continue to support a political party that does not support them or Israel?

    I asked this once of a Jewish friend. She said it was because it was the Dems who were avid defenders of minorities and the downtrodden and had been since Franklin Roosevelt. Jews, because of discrimination they’ve experience over the centuries, identify with minorities and the downtrodden, even very wealthy Jews. It was as simple as that. No argument could convince her otherwise.

    • #12
    • November 2, 2019, at 12:45 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Rodin Member

    Susan Quinn: Friends don’t treat friends this way.

    No they don’t. Ergo, they are not friends.

    • #13
    • November 2, 2019, at 1:54 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Gary McVey Contributor

    MichaelHenry (View Comment):

    The State of Israel’s continued existence is miraculous. It deserves our support and assistance. But I have never understood how U.S. Jews continue to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, who do nothing but undermine Israel. Given the rise of anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere, I would think Jews in the U.S. would overwhelmingly support President Trump. He kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and returned the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, unlike previous presidents. Why do U.S. Jews continue to support a political party that does not support them or Israel?

    Because they vote on lots of issues besides Israel, and on a number of them there’s strong disagreement. If, for example, we tossed the social conservatives (abortion, gay rights, etc) over the side, we might get more support from American Jews, but that’s purely hypothetical, because regardless of what political contest is at stake, most conservatives regard those social views as sacrosanct–so we should readily understand Jewish people who feel the same way from the other side. 

    People have asked, “Why do Catholics try to impose their views on abortion on others? Why can’t you just stick to what affects Catholics?” And the answer comes back, “Because if we acted that way, we wouldn’t be Catholics”. Same with the Jews; if they voted exclusively on what affects the Jews, they wouldn’t be Jews. They are God’s original social justice warriors. 

    • #14
    • November 2, 2019, at 5:25 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    MichaelHenry (View Comment):

    The State of Israel’s continued existence is miraculous. It deserves our support and assistance. But I have never understood how U.S. Jews continue to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, who do nothing but undermine Israel. Given the rise of anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere, I would think Jews in the U.S. would overwhelmingly support President Trump. He kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and returned the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, unlike previous presidents. Why do U.S. Jews continue to support a political party that does not support them or Israel?

    To put it bluntly, American Jews practice Leftism above all else. And plenty of them do not support Israel, since they are Palestinian sympathizers.

    • #15
    • November 2, 2019, at 5:37 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    MichaelHenry (View Comment):
    Why do U.S. Jews continue to support a political party that does not support them or Israel?

    I asked this once of a Jewish friend. She said it was because it was the Dems who were avid defenders of minorities and the downtrodden and had been since Franklin Roosevelt. Jews, because of discrimination they’ve experience over the centuries, identify with minorities and the downtrodden, even very wealthy Jews. It was as simple as that. No argument could convince her otherwise.

    As I said in my own comment, GWW, you are right. You provide the detail that I didn’t. Thanks.

    • #16
    • November 2, 2019, at 5:38 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    Same with the Jews; if they voted exclusively on what affects the Jews, they wouldn’t be Jews. They are God’s original social justice warriors. 

    Also beautifully said, @garymcvey. Thank you.

    • #17
    • November 2, 2019, at 5:39 PM PST
    • 2 likes