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Posted at 2:30 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Is J Street still relevant?

By Jennifer Rubin

Yesterday, by a voice vote, with no time requested for opposition on the floor, the House passed a resolution opposing a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians. H.R. 1734 reads, in part:

Resolved, by the House of Representatives that Congress--

(1) reaffirms its strong opposition to any attempt to establish a Palestinian state outside the negotiating process;

(2) strongly and unequivocally opposes any attempt to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations or other international forums;

(3) calls upon the Administration to continue its opposition to the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state;

(4) calls upon the Administration to affirm that the United States would deny any recognition, legitimacy, or support of any kind to any unilaterally declared `Palestinian state' and would urge other responsible nations to follow suit, and to make clear that any such unilateral declaration would constitute a grievous violation of the principles underlying the Oslo Accords and the Middle East peace process;

(5) calls upon the Administration to affirm that the United States will oppose any attempt to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations or other international forums and will veto any resolution to that end by the United Nations Security Council;

(6) calls upon the President and the Secretary of State to lead a high-level diplomatic effort to encourage the European Union and other responsible nations to strongly and unequivocally oppose the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state or any attempt to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations or other international forums; and

(7) supports the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the achievement of a true and lasting peace through direct negotiations between the parties.

AIPAC was understandably pleased and released a statement praising the resolution:

AIPAC applauds yesterday's passage of a House resolution supporting a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while discouraging efforts to circumvent that process. The resolution passed by voice vote.

AIPAC supports the House's call for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its strong opposition to efforts to seek recognition of a Palestinian state outside of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.

None of this should be all that surprising, save for one interesting detail. J Street -- the leftwing group that lied about its funding by George Soros, helped to mount a defense of Richard Goldstone and, under a "pro-Israel" banner, repeatedly excoriated the Jewish state -- opposed the measure.

In a statement the group explained that it could not bring itself to support the resolution. So what's the problem? The statement frankly is puzzling. J Street objects that it didn't underscore the "urgency" of a two-state solution (but it actually did, in item no. 7) and that it didn't support the administration's efforts to work out a peace deal (but it actually did, in one of its findings that stated, "Whereas Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stated on October 20, 2010, that 'There is no substitute for face-to-face discussion and, ultimately, for an agreement that leads to a just and lasting peace'). And the J Street crowd objects that the resolution didn't mention settlements by the Israelis. True, but neither did it mention the Palestinians' refusal to recognize a Jewish state or halt incitements to violence.

So what is really going on here? J Street has nowhere to go politically since the administration stopped publicly condemning Israel over its settlements and has shown zero interest in an "imposed" peace deal, a favorite gambit of the J Streeters. Is J Street, which entered the scene as an "alternative" to AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups, still relevant? It is hard to see how.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 16, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  American Jews, Israel  
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Comments

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. The complete irrationality of asking Israel to return to the pre-1967 cease fire lines can be seen by anyone who has visited Jerusalem in the last 10 or 20 years. One of the main attractions today is the ultra-modern shopping center just outside Jaffe Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem that is visited freely by Jews, Arabs, and Christians with no sign of trouble. It is located in the no-mans land that use to exist when Jordanian and Israel forces faced each other in the divided Jerusalem.
When the Palestinians and other Arab and leftist organization demand that Israel withdraw from the Old City, they obviously have never visited the Jewish Quarter, a beautiful modern sector of the city.
Most Jews, except for perhaps the supports of J Street, would never consider leaving the area around the Western Wall.
There is one prayer that all Jews and many Christians say numerous times: If I forget Jerusalem may my right hand forget ....

Posted by: stanbroch | December 16, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"the House passed a resolution opposing a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians."

They have the right to declare themselves a nation,just like we did a long time ago. Such a declaration is often an inconvenience to the powers that be,but does the language of our Declaration of Indedpendence apply to Palestine or not?

Posted by: rcaruth | December 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Of course the Palestinians can declare whatever they want (just as an Egyptian minister geclared thar Israel was respunsible for shark attacks in the Red Sea). In both cases, no-one has to take them seriously.
And yes, J-Street is useless, except as a mouthpiece for Soros and the Saudis.

Posted by: Jacquesh3 | December 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

From today's Post:

"Each week, Mahmoud Habbash, the Palestinian Authority's minister of religious affairs, sends an e-mail to mosques across the West Bank. It contains what amounts to a script for the Friday sermon that every imam is required to deliver.

The practice, part of a broader crackdown on Muslim preachers considered too radical, shows the extreme steps the Palestinian Authority is taking to weaken Hamas, its Islamist rival, as it seeks to cement power and meet Israel's preconditions for peace talks.

The Palestinian policy drew little notice when it was launched last year. But it has been enforced with particular vigor in recent months and, analysts say, has been a factor in Hamas's declining strength in the West Bank."

Abbas needs Israeli recognition of his authority as the leader of the Palestinians, in his battle with Hamas. This is probably why he will not declare statehood, which would short circuit his existence both figuratively and perhaps literally as well.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 16, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Of course the Palestinians can declare whatever they want (just as an Egyptian minister geclared thar Israel was respunsible for shark attacks in the Red Sea). In both cases, no-one has to take them seriously.
And yes, J-Street is useless, except as a mouthpiece for Soros and the Saudis.
Posted by: Jacquesh3

I'm going to rephrase your comment. Of Course Palestine can declare themselves a nation. Many nations will take them seriously,but America and Israel will not. And JStreet is useless to the Likud regime.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 16, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Palestinian demand for statehood outside the framework of peace negotiations is a direct violation of the Oslo Accords which established the Israeli Palestinian peace talks in the first place.
This is not at all surprising since the Palestinians have been violating their solemn committments to Israel and the US since day one of the negotiations. Besides that, the Palestinians have never ever seen the negotiations as having any point anyway since they have always operated under the premise that the peace talks were just another front in their war to destroy Israel.
I have to assume that President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the entire Middle East section of the State Department all know this too. But in the face of overwhelming and vivid evidence to the contrary they still, after 15 years of disappointment, failure, diplomatic embarrassment, and worst of all, thousands of dead Israelis and Palestinians due to Palestinian terrorist violence, carry on the charade that the Palestinians want a real peace settlement with Israel.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 16, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

But in the face of overwhelming and vivid evidence to the contrary they still, after 15 years of disappointment, failure, diplomatic embarrassment, and worst of all, thousands of dead Israelis and Palestinians due to Palestinian terrorist violence, carry on the charade that the Palestinians want a real peace settlement with Israel.
Posted by: Beniyyar

I don't see the connection. If Palestine wants to become a sovereign nation,what has that got to do with Israel or the US? That's like saying that the US should not have become a nation,because that process violated various understandings and legal processes that we had with England.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 16, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

To rcaruth, the Palestinian's under Yassir Arafat signed the Oslo Accords which stated clearly that Palestinian statehood could only be achieved by negotiations with Israel and would not be unilaterally declared. At the same time nor would Israel unilaterally annex any territory either.
The Palestinian demand for statehood outside of negotiations with Israel is therefore a violation of their own signed committment not to do so.

Posted by: Beniyyar | December 17, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

The Palestinian demand for statehood outside of negotiations with Israel is therefore a violation of their own signed committment not to do so.
Posted by: Beniyyar

So you're telling me that some agreement signed by a monster like Arafat should prevent the Palestinians from having their own country,that's ridiculous.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 17, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

President Obama Arab- Israel policy failure.

Obama diverted the focus from the basic issue:
!! Arabs refusal to recognize the Jewish right to a independent state in the 3500 years old homeland is the key peace blocking factor!!
It was in 1947 and in 2010:
As a result of his policy the Palestinians are avoiding negations.
For years Palestinians and Israeli negotiated with some with some achievements and some drawbacks.
Recorded on Oslo agreement, President Clinton+ Barak+ Arafat cape David summit and Taba discussion/
PM Barak on Taba negotiations made an unprecedented offer to Arafat in exchange for a :
****formal letter stating that the conflict is over and no additional future requirements will be made****:
---The Palestinians open the deadly terrorist war against Israeli civilian---
------------
Wikileake disclosed: Arab leaders demand USA to stop Islamist Iran by any means without any connection to Israel.
Obama required Israel to give up major heritage and security assets, pretending that this is a key issue to form a coalition with Arabs states against Islamist Iran NUK's.
Obama knew first hand that his linkage is incorrect.
The politicians and people willing to contribute to a long standing peace are advised to require:
1: Arabs recognition of:
- Jewish right for their single state: Israel
-Palestinian right to create the number 23 Arab state.
2: Muslims governed by Arabs.---Jews and others governed by Israel.
-Israel will hand over to Palestinian government land inhabited by Arabs from Israel and the Jews from settlements will be governed by Israel.
-Arabs and Jew will remain in their current homes nobody will have to move physically.
3: Defining the boarders.
4: Solving the Refugees issue- Both Arabs and Jews from Arab countries.
5; Put and end to the Jews hate teaching and preaching in Arab world.
6; Arabs end of conflict declaration.
No additional issues are open for conflict continuation.
Background:
Every group of people prefers to be governed by their own.
Artificial boarders or imposed boarders are major reasons to conflicts.
Examples|::
Canada-French want their state: Belgian Flames want separations. Basques in Spain.
Czechoslovakia partition in 2 states
Irish and Scotts want independence from UK .
Tibet and China.
The many wars in Africa because tribes have been separated or united by Europeans in artificial state.
Kashmir- Cyprus- Kurds in Turkey and Iraq.
The Balkan wars.
The USSR partition into many states. Current wars in Russia.

Posted by: mordechayariely | December 17, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Is J Street still relevant? "Still"? I don't understand.

The Palestinians will never unilaterally declare statehood for the same reason they have never accepted any of the dozen Israeli offers to recognize a Palestinian state. The only state the Palestinians want is one that includes every inch of land from the Jordan river to the sea, and where the only Jewish inhabitants are corpses. Declaring statehood would mean declaring recognition of a border with Israel, and they just won't do that.

Posted by: Larry3435 | December 17, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Is J Street still relevant? "Still"? I don't understand.

The Palestinians will never unilaterally declare statehood for the same reason they have never accepted any of the dozen Israeli offers to recognize a Palestinian state. The only state the Palestinians want is one that includes every inch of land from the Jordan river to the sea, and where the only Jewish inhabitants are corpses. Declaring statehood would mean declaring recognition of a border with Israel, and they just won't do that.

Posted by: Larry3435 | December 17, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

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