What to make of J Street, the Israel Lobby of the Left that has created such heartburn in the American Jewish Establishment? Jim Besser, the Jewish Week‘s veteran Washington correspondent, offers a fine, well-balanced guide for the perplexed in advance of the organization’s upcoming national conference.
That J-Street has sometimes been its own worst enemy can hardly be doubted. Well, OK, there are enemies–yo, Bibi!–that are probably worse. But it has got one big thing going for it: Most American Jews are closer to its take on Israel policy than they are to the Establishment’s. Whence the heartburn.
If the Establishment really wanted to undermine J-Street, it would find a way to appeal to the American Jewish lumpen-liberal-laity. But that would mean distancing itself from the Netanyahu government. And that would be intolerable.