I’ll be at the AIPAC National Convention in June 2008, because what other organization can gather together so many leaders of the American government – from both sides of the aisle – and from the Administration – for the primary purpose of talking about and supporting Israel. And until and unless someone else can fill that role, AIPAC has our clear support.
But that doesn’t mean that AIPAC always speaks in my voice. Sometimes my concern is heightened by certain positions AIPAC has taken, or its hardline on certain issues. If AIPAC follows its mantra, that it supports takes its cues from current Israeli government, what do we do when (a) the current Israeli government is either too hardline or too weak or too unethical [as happens from time to time] OR (b) the current Israeli government needs a little loving redirection or stern talking-too? In those times, the actions of an organization committed to speaking for the current government acts against that government’s own interest.
That’s why we must keep our eyes on the new J-Street Project, the new lobbying group and a political action committee, which supports Israel, but with a decidedly liberal outlook. (Read Haaretz’s discussion about it here. Shmuel Rosner blogs about it here.) The J-Street Project’s coffers are smaller; its membership roles are far overshadowed by its older cousin. Still, such diversity could be good for the American Jewish Community (many of whom see AIPAC positions as hardline conservative) and good for Israel.
Consider J-Street Project’s new video. Then you decide.
Will it make it? Will J-Street Project survive the test of time? What dangers are there to splitting the pro-Israeli lobby in America?
For now, sit back and watch. Great things may be happening in the Pro-Israel community!