The latest screed comes compliments of former AIPAC lobbyist and diplomat Lenny Ben-David. So, the answer is very.
The attacks against J Street have been non-stop recently. All timed to cast doubt and rattle participants in J Street’s first national conference that convenes Oct. 25 – Oct. 28. All because the organization dares to confront conventional theory on what it means to be pro Israel, as well as the roads that must be traveled to obtain a two-state solution, which includes confronting Israeli occupation and settlements, neither of which are in Israel’s long term interest. J Street’s stance against harsh sanctions against Iran has drawn particular criticism from the right.
The “poet controversy” has Haaretz opining: Five days ahead of the leftist pro-Israeli lobby J Street’s first National Conference in Washington, D.C., the controversies continue to mount. Coming after Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren refused to attend the conference; something that inspired a demand from Josh Marshall that Israel appoint a new ambassador.
But to give you an idea of the desperation of the anti J Street crowd, all you need do is take a walk over the “J Street Jive,” whose purpose is “Tracking Israel’s Jewish Defamers.” It’s a website devoted to smearing any progressive Jewish American who is willing to stand up to AIPAC, daring to offer forward thinking theory. MJ Rosenberg has become a favorite target of the anti J Street crowd, even though he is a stalwart supporter of Israel and an “Israel-firster” by his own admission, which anyone who has read his writings or knows him at all (which I do through the conferences and meetings we both attend) can easily see. MJ being guilty of having the courage to stand up for Chas Freeman (proud to have joined him and others on this one), as well as daring to publicly challenge conventional wisdom about Iran.
Consider this a heads up about next week’s J Street national conference, which I intend to check out. Expect all rhetorical hell to break loose. That Obama’s NSC adviser Gen. Jim Jones will be giving the keynote has simply given the anti J Street smear merchants new energy.