Representatives of J-Street are planning to arrive in Israel early next week and meet – on Holocaust Memorial Day – with leaders of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. They plan to remain here for a week after that, closing their trip with a meeting with radical Israeli left-wing activists who speak out against IDF soldiers – on IDF Memorial Day.
J-Street is strongly in favor of a Palestinian state as the solution to the Arab threats Israel faces. It also supports placing Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem under PA sovereignty, an end to new Jewish construction in the eastern part of Jerusalem, and “sovereignty and management arrangements for the Old City and the Holy Basin that guarantees all Jews freedom of access and worship at the Wailing Wall.”
The Israeli government refuses to meet with J-Street, and the Israeli Embassy in Washington has imposed a boycott on the group. However, President Shimon Peres has scheduled a meeting with the group, and has received hundreds of requests – both on his Facebook page and via his office – to cancel it.
Among them is one from a group named “Officers in Reserves,” whose letter to Peres asks him to line up with Israel’s official boycott of the group. The letter states, inter alia:
“During the course of the J-Street visit, its representatives plan to meet with organizations such as Yesh Din, B’Tselem [and others]. As is known, these groups work day and night to create de-legitimization of soldiers and officers of the IDF. As officers and commanders in reserves on the front lines in the war against the various terrorist organizations, [we know that] the claims by these [left-wing] groups are themselves illegitimate and should be condemned. We have often found ourselves attacked on the legal and media fronts for actions we have carried out on behalf of Israel’s security – [whereas] the IDF is known around the world for its high moral standards.
“A meeting between the large and influential J-Street and these organizations, on the eve of Memorial Day for IDF soldiers, is not appropriate, and it would be correct for them to realize this and cancel it… We, the undersigned officers and commanders in the reserves, demand and request that you cancel your planned meeting next week with J-Street, thus giving a clear message that every activity or expression against IDF soldiers is illegitimate and should be condemned by the Government of Israel.”
Ayelet Shaked, of the pro-active Zionist organization Yisrael Sheli (My Israel), which has galvanized much opposition to the Peres meeting, explained:
“J-Street was involved in condemning Israel during Operation Cast Lead, asking the US Administration to cancel sanctions on Iran, and demanding that Obama not veto a UN condemnation of Israel – and now they arrive for a Holocaust Day meeting with PA leaders in Ramallah and a meeting with bodies that blacken IDF soldiers on the eve of IDF Memorial Day. Is there any limit to the cynicism and self-hatred…?"
"Its True and Dangerous Face"
The Im Tirtzu (If You Will It) organization expressed similar sentiments, saying J-Street’s planned itinerary “exposes its true and dangerous face.”