I took a lot of heat when I said during the Gaza war that “it is time that thinking people started calling J Street what it actually is—an anti-Israel group.” Since then, I’ve seen nothing that would encourage a reassessment.
J Street has frequently exerted itself to support purveyors of the worst kind of anti-Israel slanders, even anti-Semitic ones, such as when the group announced itself publicly in favor of an American performance of Caryl Churchill’s blood-libel play, Seven Jewish Children. In contrast, J Street has never once declared itself opposed to any libel against Israel—apparently, being pro-Israel means not only never criticizing Israel’s antagonists but actually giving them Jewish-branded aid and comfort.
So it’s no surprise that the group’s PR agency, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications, has been working to support Robinson’s award, writing in an e-mail that “not everyone is critical of President Obama giving the Freedom medal to Mary Robinson.” The e-mail goes on to provide supportive testimonials from two “prominent Jewish supporters” of Robinson. The bigger question is whether J Street will ever be critical of anyone who hates Israel. It seems unlikely.