A new Zionist organization declaring support for Jewish communities in all parts of the Land of Israel and opposition to negotiations with terrorists was formally launched last week. The group, going by the name Z Street, intends to "serve as an educational force" and "a proud banner" behind which Zionists can rally, according to its founding documents. The group's founders believe the current period is a "time of great danger to the Jewish State of Israel and, increasingly, to world Jewry," warranting the establishment of a new, unabashedly Zionist advocacy group.
"We need to show everyone that it isn't only those on the left who know how to organize," said Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a long-time Zionist activist and, with Allyson Rowen Taylor, a Z Street founder. Her point of reference, and the inspiration for the name Z Street, was the well-known Jewish-American far-left advocacy group J Street and its associated Capitol Hill political action committee.
J Street calls itself "the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement," while promoting demands for Israeli territorial concessions and multilateralism.
In contrast, in her inaugural blog post on behalf of Z Street, Marcus declared: "No more appeasement, no more negotiating with terrorists, no more enabling cowards who fear offending more than they fear another Holocaust. Z Street is for those who are willing not only to support - but to defend - Israel, the Jewish State." Members hold the "firm belief that there can be no compromises or agreements with, and no concessions to, any terrorist entity or any individual terrorists."
Furthermore, the organization's charter makes specific note of the right of Jews to live in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem and Gaza, all of which it calls "within greater Israel." Support for Israel's sovereignty, in the Z Street view, "necessarily entails adamantly opposing the dismantling of and/or handing over territory to any other entity or entities."
Declaring itself wholly volunteer and independent of any government, Z Street also intends to take a position identifying nations that fail to condemn terrorism against Israel as "active or passive supporters of a second genocide against the Jewish people." The group will reject links with any Israeli or Diaspora organizations or individuals "supporting the diminution or weakening of Israel either because of ideological conviction, animosity towards a strong, Jewish State, cowardice, or the misguided belief that compromise with terrorist entities can lead to peace in the Middle East or global peace."
Z Street's first major public act in the offline world is to be a pro-Israel rally at the White House on October 27, 2009. As noted by Jerry Gordon of The Iconoclast, that is the same week that J Street holds its first annual meeting in Washington D.C.