Originally published April 22, 2020
While the country is shut down over the Wuhan virus plaguing the planet, the Presidential election trudges on. After Bernie Sanders quietly exited the race, former Vice President Joe Biden picked up the remaining endorsements from the holdout Democrats, including his former boss Barack Obama. More notable, however, is the first ever endorsement by the radically anti-Israel advocacy group, J Street, which endorsed Biden over President Trump last week.
“At a time when the threats to our core values both at home and abroad have never been more serious,” J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami said, “All of us in the pro-Israel, pro-peace community know that the path to a better future begins with defeating Donald Trump at the polls.” The statement from J Street says that “[t]o date, the group has committed $240,000 to the campaign through pledges from its leaders and contributions to a nominee fund, which will now be transferred to the Biden campaign. It intends to raise over $1 million for the campaign by Election Day,” and another $5 million spread out to 175 congressional races. J Street has consistently spent millions of dollars during each campaign cycle for the past decade ($5.1 million in 2018), and all of their contributions are to Democrats.
Biden was thrilled with the endorsement. “I’m honored to have earned J Street’s first-ever presidential endorsement,” Biden said in a statement sent to The Daily Beast. “J Street has been a powerful voice to advance social justice here at home, and to advocate for a two-state solution that advances Middle East Peace.”
It’s not surprising why J Street broke its long tradition of not endorsing a presidential candidate: President Trump has been too pro-Israel and is too close to their sworn enemy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has led Israel for 11 years. Trump moved the embassy to Jerusalem, left the UN Human Rights Council, appointed Nikki Haley and David Friedman as ambassadors to the UN and Israel (respectively), recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel, declared that the settlements in Judea and Samaria weren’t illegal, stood solidly against Palestinian terrorism, and left the Iran Deal. Even more than this, Trump unveiled his Peace Plan, which recognizes facts on the ground and creates a Palestinian state, something that the Palestinian leadership and J Street do not want, despite constantly professing the opposite.
If the Palestinians have a state, then J Street and Mahmoud Abbas have to deal with governance, not war. War is simplistic, especially when the enemy, Israel, is smarter, better equipped, and well organized. Governance is difficult – exponentially so when governing terrorist groups – which is why the Palestinians, J Street, and the political left in the United States and Europe dismissed the plan before it was even publicly presented. Nobody in that group truly wants a Palestinian state. If they did, Israel would be much further down the list of problems to be solved for the Palestinian people.
J Street’s unwavering opposition to the continued prosperity and security of Israel has been its core principle since its founding. They lobbied against the Taylor Force Act, which withholds American aid to the Palestinian Authority when that money is used to pay families of terrorists. They support “targeted BDS,” which is a slightly more politically-correct version of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. They side with the UN’s relentless targeting of Israel time and again. When blaming Israel for Palestinian problems, they selectively ignore decades of history, like the Oslo Accords, the peace offers by Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, and the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, all of which could have led to a Palestinian state.
J Street’s annual conference is attended by top Democrats who make ridiculous promises to resounding applause. The most egregious example was in October 2019, when Bernie Sanders stated that he would redirect the $3.8 billion in military funding, which the United States gives to Israel, to Gaza. Essentially, Sanders would have taken money from a missile defense system and given it to the terrorists who are shooting the missiles. Thankfully, Sanders is out of the race, but the sentiment remains entrenched in the Democratic Party. To earn his supporters in November’s election, Joe Biden will have to make strong anti-Israel gestures to the left wing. His acceptance of the J Street endorsement is the beginning of that.
As Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said, “J Street has done more to turn young people against Israel than any organization in the whole of history. It will go down in history as one of the most virulent, anti-Israel organizations in the history of Zionism and Judaism. It has given cover to anti-Israel attitudes on campus and particularly its approach to Israel’s self defense.” This dangerous and controversial anti-Israel organization is giving millions to Democrats in 2020, which they will happily accept, even if it means throwing America’s greatest ally in the Middle East under the bus.
Moshe Hill is a political analyst who has written for The Daily Wire, the Queens Jewish Link, The Jewish Link of New Jersey and JNS.org. He is regularly featured on ‘The Josh M Show’ podcast. Subscribe to www.aHillwithaview.com for more content from Moshe Hill. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/ahillwithaview and follow him on Twitter @TheMoHill.