Keep J Street Out of Conference of Presidents

J Street, which puts Israel's security second in its views on the peace process, should not be allowed to join the respected Conference of Presidents of Major US Jewish Organizations.

Ronn Torossian

OpEds Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

The extremist organization, J Street, must face rejection in its quest to join the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The Conference requires 66% of the current member groups of the organization to vote for J Street’s inclusion, which will come up for vote next week, April 30th in NYC.

The Conference of President's stated mission is "consensus policy, collective action, and maximizing the resources of the American Jewish community," in particular, "when events in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere affect the American Jewish community."

The stated goals of the Conference are: strengthening the special U.S.-Israel relationship; ensuring that Israel's interests are understood by policy makers, opinion molders and the American public; addressing critical foreign policy issues that impact the American Jewish community; representing the interests of organized American Jewry; and protecting the security and dignity of Jews around the world.[

That makes J Street's exclusion a no-brainer. J Street is far out of the American Jewish consensus – with viewpoints publicly opposing those of Israel's elected government, opposition to sanctions on Iran by the U.S. Congress; support for the U.S. administration’s demand to freeze construction in Jerusalem, and other positions dangerous to Israel  

As Israel’s own Ambassador Michael Oren has said, J Street “is a unique problem in that it not only opposes one policy of one Israeli government; it opposes all policies of all Israeli governments. It’s significantly out of the mainstream.”

J Street board members have met with Hamas, labelled a terrorist organization  by the U.S. and one that flatly and violently denies Israel's right to exist.

J Street is an extremist organization.  It supports major Israeli territorial concessions, including dividing Jerusalem, opposing military action against Iran if it fails to stop its quest to obtain nuclear weapons, and just today made a statement encouraging the American government to negotiate with Hamas. 

Tellingly, J Street opposed Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas terrorists in Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. Those terrorists had fired thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians. J Street backed the damaging and biased 2009 Goldstone Report on that operation (Goldstone has since expressed regret for that document), and urged the Obama Administration to support a UN Security Council resolution falsely condemning Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as “illegal.”

In 2012, Barukh Binah, the Deputy Chief of Missions at Israel’s Embassy said just prior to the J Street convention,  that this organization is harmful to Israel. He told them:  “We need you to stand with us. It is as simple as that and someone ought to say it. Internal activism is a central part of democratic society, but pressures on the elected government of Israel can present us with a problem, davka (especially) when we need you the most. I respectfully submit that this relatively new role lays responsibilities before you which I am certain have not been adequately considered.”

Lenin said that those who work against their own people’s best interests in support of their enemies are “useful idiots” – and that will be exactly what one might have to say about the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations if J Street is permitted to join.

On April 30th, J Street must be rejected – they are dangerous extremists, bad for Israel and the Jewish People.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, philanthropist & author.