A recent poll found that 56% of Israelis support continued construction over the green line. If this finding was not enough evidence that Israeli public opinion stands in opposition to Obama’s vision for the Middle East, another poll shows that only 6% of Israelis view his administration as pro-Israel. Apart from the initial question (who are these 6%??), the impression these polls give is that by pushing its view on Israel, the White House is once again undermining Israel’s sovereignty.
In comes J Street. Using its position as a group that allegedly represents American Jews, the organization characterized the first poll as “politically motivated and distorted.” From their comfortable armchairs in the West, the so-called “pro-Israel” lobby decided the results are “a good example of the half-truths and lies… injected into the debate.” J Street did not carry out any statistical analysis that found fault with results. They just don’t like the results.
Instead, they point to an older poll, which included the possibility of sanctions, to show that there is support for “acquiescence by Prime Minister Netanyahu to U.S. demands.” Setting aside the worrying implication that Israeli capitulation to the U.S. would a positive development, J Street has no say in the matter.
I strongly disagree with J Street. However, regardless of their views on Israel and the region, J Street’s self-proclaimed position as “pro-Israel,” as well as representative of the American Jewish community does not grant it a right to influence Israeli policy. They are merely observers to “the debate.” As I’ve said before, American Jews can easily make their opinion matter, by leaving comfortable American suburbia and joining the forefront of modern Jewish life – in Israel. Until then, their words are little more than a waste of breath.