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September 10, 2012 4:01 pm

Dershowitz: J Street Stands Against Obama’s Israel Policies

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President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during a bilateral meeting. Photo: White House.

J Street, the Washington based lobby which calls itself “The Political Home for Pro-Israel, Pro-peace Americans” is no longer on the same page as President Obama on the most vital matters of the U.S. – Israel relationship, particularly the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, according to Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.

“J-Street may have started out as a group to support the President’s polices but it’s gotten now so large and so hard left that it now stands in opposition of the president’s policies on Israel,” Dershowitz told The Algemeiner.

In 2009, J Street Founder Jeremy Ben Ami told James Traub of The New York Times Magazine thatOur No. 1 agenda item is to do whatever we can in Congress to act as the president’s blocking back.”

Speaking with The Algemeiner days after the Democratic National Convention last week in North Carolina, Dershowitz said that J Street’s opposition to using military force against Iran to stop the country from acquiring a nuclear weapon, even as a last available resort, is an example of the group’s detachment from President Obama and is born out of a necessity to placate individuals on the far left of American politics.

“I think it has changed,” he said, when asked about the President’s involvement in highlighting J-Street soon after it was founded, being the first to invite them to a meeting at the White House with Jewish leaders,  “I think in an effort to broaden the base of J-Street, Ben-Ami has given in to the hard Left, and so that for example, you can’t find a clear statement in J-Street policy, a clear statement that says that the United States should not permit Iran to develop nuclear weapons even if it requires military action. I think that he knows he’ll lose the hard left supporters if he says that, so he is engaged in a high wire juggling act and he’s going to fall flat on his rear end.”

J Street was contacted by The Algemeiner for this piece but did not respond to a request for comment.

The lobby says that it opposes an Iranian nuclear weapon but states that sanctions have brought Iran to the negotiating table with world powers, stating that Iran chose “even to propose concessions in the context of those negotiations”.

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