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August 20, 2015 11:41 am

J Street Actually Opposes Iran Nuclear Deal , Too

avatar by Paul Miller

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J Street Founder and President Jeremy Ben-Ami. Photo: Wiki Commons.

J Street Founder and President Jeremy Ben-Ami. Photo: Wiki Commons.

After President Obama took office, J Street founder and executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami told the New York Times, “Our No. 1 agenda item is to do whatever we can in Congress to act as the president’s blocking back.” That may be the last truthful statement made by the progressive political organization.

Before the Administration announced the Iran deal last month, J Street had already written the press release and statement to donors praising the agreement. Their plan to deceive the Jewish community, lawmakers and media outlets was already set in motion.

Before the Iran debacle was announced, J Street put on a show and scheduled a conference call for the end of June to discuss the negotiations. I submitted a question and received a response a few days later.

Me: Cutting through political rhetoric: What constitutes a good deal for the security of the U.S. and Israel, and what would be unacceptable for the West and of course the Jewish State?

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J Street: Thanks for your message. We believe a good deal must prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and must impose strict inspections to ensure that Iran does not cheat.

Even the president and Secretary of State Kerry have acknowledged the deal only delays Iran from getting the bomb. Liberal icon and two-time Obama supporter Alan Dershowitz told me in a one-on-one interview for the New York Observer, “the deal assures Iran will get a nuclear bomb within ten years.”

By promoting a deal that most certainly does not “prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” J Street has gone back on its word (stop laughing), in fulfillment of its raison d’etre of serving as the president’s “blocking back.”

J Street and truth are mutually exclusive. For two years the organization denied receiving support from the anti-Israel movement’s bankroller, George Soros. In 2010 the Washington Times revealed that Soros and his children had donated $245,000 a few months after J Street was launched.  Acknowledging that his answers regarding Soros were “misleading,” Ben-Ami was eventually forced to admit that Soros had at the time actually given a total of $750,000.

“Misleading” (I’m being nice) is what J Street does. Desperate to be relevant on Capitol Hill, the anti-Israel crowd’s favorite “pro-Israel” organization went as far as to claim victory this election cycle when in reality they were the poster-child for progressive defeat.

Spend 20 minutes at their sparsely attended annual convention and you’d swear you were at an anti-Israel rally on a University of California campus. “Pro-Israel” would be the last words you’d use to describe their annual blame-Israel festival.

Every group, from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to Jewish Federation chapters from Boston and Philadelphia to Los Angeles and Chicago, have rejected this deal. Even the American Jewish Committee, which is not exactly a bastion of right-wing advocacy, came out against the agreement.

Mr. President, mazel tov on performing the miracle of unifying the Jewish community!

Is this monumental unity a threat to J Street?  From a public relations perspective, absolutely. Whether you call it the bastard child at the family picnic or the class clown who spends most of the school day in a corner wearing a dunce cap, J Street is not welcome in the Jewish communal tent.

But that doesn’t matter to them or their supporters.

The J Street crowd’s true religion is liberalism. Judaism is nothing more than their launching pad to commit unjust social justice and criticize the Jewish State.

Enter their specious public opinion poll.

In an effort to prove they are right and everyone else is wrong, Jeremy Ben-Ami sent out an email last month claiming that 60 percent of American Jews support the Iran deal.

No, Jeremy—they don’t.

The poll conducted by GBA Strategies for J Street never asks respondents (identified only as “1000 Jewish adults”) if they agree with the Iran deal that has actually been reached.  Instead, the survey asks:

As you may know, the U.S. and other countries have announced a deal to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran agreeing not to produce nuclear weaponsInternational inspectors would monitor Iran’s facilities, and if Iran is caught breaking the agreement, economic sanctions would be imposed again. Do you support or oppose this agreement?

But that is not what the P5+1 deal and Islamic Republic agreed to.

The agreement as reached does nothing more than slow Iran’s path to the bomb – and that is if Tehran actually abides by the deal. Good luck with that.

Heck, the way the question is worded, Benjamin Netanyahu would have said yes.

Once again J Street is finding those pesky facts standing in the way of victory.

J Street would ultimately be embarrassed by CNN and PEW polls showing opposite results.

When The Algemeiner wrote, “The more Jewish Americans know about the Iran nuclear deal the less they like it,” referring to a more recent survey conducted by Olive Tree Strategies for The Israel Project, revealing that when details are provided, the support number is 35 percent, with 51 percent believing Congress should reject the agreement.

J Street has become nothing more than a late-night joke.

Today we know from this month’s survey conducted by McKeon & Associates, American Jews want Congress to reject the deal by a 2-1 margin, and remarkably, the margin increases to 4-1 for Millennials.

J Street is a desperate organization: desperate to be relevant, desperate to feel righteous, and desperate to please its donors.

When the dust settles, the overwhelming majority in Congress will reject the Iran deal. But they will fall shy of the veto-proof number to override the president. J Street will claim victory against those whom they will label “the anti-peace crowd.” But the only object of J Street’s “peace” is to break the Jewish community into pieces and give anti-Israel and ignorant Democrats cover amongst the tribe.

Paul Miller is president and executive director of the news and public policy group Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought. Follow him on twitter @pauliespoint. This article was originally published by The Spectator. 

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