The Conspiracy

Cutting through the rhetoric: J Street is centrist, not leftist

I got about halfway through this Boston Globe editorial before I realized what seemed so remarkable about it to me: This editorial is the first thing I’ve read in the press that acknowledges that J Street is really a center/center-left organization.

It’s not radically leftist to promote a two-state solution, which is at the heart of what J Street wants. They’re not in favor of BDS. They’re not in favor of a binational state. They are in favor of peace, and end to settlements and–at the core of their ideology–they’re in favor of two states.

Which is literally about as center as it gets. There are two groups of people. Both want their own state. In the middle of those two groups and their desired states is a solution in which both get their own state. That’s the center option.

Yet, most journalists–left, right or not–seem to be hellbent of discovering the most radical people who have anything good to say about J Street and giving them a platform.

JTA’s Uriel Heilman couldn’t even manage to begin his story about the 2011 J Street Conference with anything but the right’s attempt to paint J Street as radically leftist, putting that rhetoric front and center in his article:

The detractors of J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying organization, like to portray the organization’s leader, Jeremy Ben-Ami, as so far to the left of mainstream American Jewish opinion as to be out of bounds.


  1. The J Street You Don’t Hear About « New Voices - April 6, 2011

    […] It is centrist to oppose settlements. A couple of columnists–including JJ Goldberg and Jesse Singal–have made this point, and it bears repeating as long as other mainstream Jewish groups treat […]

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