Is There Anything Funny About Abbas Going to The UN? Watch J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami TONIGHT on COLBERT, and We’ll See
I just wanted to share some exciting news: I’m on my way to New York to appear on tonight’s episode of The Colbert Report (11:30PM EST on Comedy Central)!
Israel politics and the conflict are making headlines everywhere this week; at this crucial time for our movement and this issue, I am excited to make the case for a two-state solution to a wide national audience (albeit against one of the toughest “news anchors” on tv!).
Wish me luck!
In what was nominally a review of Jeremy Ben-Ami‘s new book, “A New Voice for Israel“, in an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post titled ” J Street’s Soft Sell for the Uninformed“, Isi Leibler pulled out every argument to discredit J Street as not being “pro-Israel” that has been used over the past two years . His arguments use half-truths, lack of context, and every mistake that J Street has ever made (and there have been a few) to malign the organization. He trots out Gaza, Goldstone, UN vote, blah blah blah. His conclusion can be summed up as follows:
The dividing lines between J Street and mainstream Jewish groups are not its views, but its efforts to convince Americans to encourage President Barack Obama to pressure the Israeli government. It is surely unconscionable for trendy American Jews to canvass their government to force Israel to act contrary to its will regarding national security, with potential life-and-death repercussions. J Street justifies this on the grounds that Israelis need “tough love,” comparing us to children on drugs who must be pressured into doing what’s good for them, or impounding the car keys of a drunken friend…
The list of J Street’s anti-Israel initiatives is endless. Most are either ignored or played down in Ben-Ami’s misleading book, which could well serve as a case study of Orwellian double-speak, topped by the dishonest manner in which it portrays itself as “pro-Israel”.
I sent a Letter to the Editor of the JP in response to the column that essentially said:
“This is a fantastic* piece of satire. Some of the facts presented are undoubtedly true – but many of them simply repeat previous criticisms of J Street which have been shown to be half-truths or simply taken out of context. Since, I doubt that Mr. Leiber is ill-informed about these matters, they are either thinly veiled political polemics, or meant to be viewed in a satirical context. I assumed the latter because there was a clue that clearly gave it away. He writes that “in Ben-Ami’s misleading book, which could well serve as a case study of Orwellian double-speak, topped by the dishonest manner in which it portrays itself as “pro-Israel”.” Once I read that I realized that he had written a piece filled with facts that were either “ignored or played down” that he meant the entire column to be read as a mobius strip of so-called Orwellian logic.
* Merriam-Webster Online: Definition of FANTASTIC
1 a : based on fantasy : not real”