Syria Crisis Highlights Rift Running Through J Street
Among the many political fault lines unearthed by the debate over American military intervention in Syria, one touched directly on the internal rift running through J Street, the left-leaning pro-Israel lobby.
The group has prided itself in the past for “having the president’s back” as he seeks to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. But in this case, the group decided to turn its back on U.S. President Barack Obama’s drive for congressional approval of a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Syria.
Since hundreds of civilians died in a poison gas attack near Damascus August 2, the group has put out two statements condemning Syria’s government. But it has taken no decision on whether to support the president.
J Street’s decision to sit out the Syria debate was reached only after the group failed to agree internally on whether to back or oppose the call for military action — a failure that reflects the built-in tension between J Street’s broadly progressive activist base and its pragmatic leadership, which tends to hew closer to mainstream communal sentiment within the pro-Israel community.
Read More: @ haaretz.com
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