April 2014 Archives

J Street denied

This news is good enough to drag me out of semi-retirement.

BREAKING: J Street Rejected by American Jewish Umbrella Group in 'Big Tent' Litmus Test

April 30, 2014 6:23 pm

JNS.org - In what many observers will see as the de facto expression of mainstream U.S. Jewry's outlook on J Street, the membership of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Wednesday voted 22-17 (with three abstentions) to reject the membership application of the self-labeled "pro-Israel, pro-peace" lobby.

The 42 Conference members in attendance in New York--nine were absent--exceeded the quorum of 38 needed to hold the vote. J Street needed a two-thirds affirmative vote to gain membership.

Apparently in expectation that the vote would go in J Street's favor, Jonathan Tobin wrote earlier today:

Were J Street to be denied entry to the Conference it would, however, be a huge public-relations coup and allow it to milk the situation for sympathy and depict its critics as seeking to silence a voice for peace. But its potential entry into the Conference would be confirmation that rather than a significant force on the Jewish scene, J Street is just one more insignificant Jewish group among a welter of such organizations whose infrastructure consist of little more than a staff and a mailing list.

I would respectfully disagree.  ZOA President Mort Klein put it well: an umbrella group can have a large tent, but that does not mean a universal tent.

There was a very interesting analysis by Shmuel Rosner here.

And, wow!  I really have been a slouch.

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