Here in Washington DC the J Street conference rolls on. It’s pretty thrilling to be around many like-minded people but also accepting that the mainstream view on Israel/Palestine is still imagining a Jewish state that doesn’t exist (democratic, free for all etc).
Here’s a collection of key links about proceedings: here, here, here, here and here. The smearing continues. Here’s Mondoweiss on the general atmosphere (I generally share his view but I’ll be writing a number of pieces over the coming weeks that say far more):
The main tedium of the… conference is having to listen to Jews handwringing about Israel at panel after panel. J Street feels at times… like a halfway house for ardent Zionists. They’ve been hooked on Zionism for years and they come here to handwring in a comfortable space. I find this stuff boring and upsetting too. It’s like, how long do the Palestinians have to wait for you to figure out how you feel about the Jewish boot being on their necks? I thought you were the smartest people in the world. This doesn’t take a long time to figure out; they just murdered 300 Palestinian children in self-defense and are ethnically cleansing Jerusalem. But the people who handwring are in agony. They talk about the Jewish “transformational” piece– the identity piece– and how hard they worked on atrocities in Darfur, and how it didn’t jibe with their work on Israel/Palestine.
And they say they worry about their funders if they speak out. Yes let’s talk about money. They talk about excommunication, too.… I’ll get you quotes in days to come.
A bunch of Jews… are way past the handwringing. God bless J Street for having the full Eastern European skirt that we can get under. There’s a lot of us on the left here.
But the leadership is to the right. Or positioning itself to the right. Against BDS, and in love with Israel. Everyone who goes up to the podium starts out by declaring their love for Israel.