Either J Street has finally taken leave of its senses, it’s social networking staff contains a closet Aipac-er, or someone’s hijakced their Twitter account. Otherwise, how to explain that J Street’s official Twitter account calls me “disgusting, racist, and crazy?” Not to mention that the tweet in question comes to the defense of Adam Holland, a notorious pro-Israel blogger who’s taken aim previously at Israeli critics like Max Blumenthal, Stephen Sizer and me of course. Holland, a trustworthy hasbara mouthpiece “of very little brain,” has never said a kind word ever about J Street in his blog as far as a quick Google search determined.
So how else to explain this? Has Holland or a friend hacked J Street’s twitter account? Does J Street have a closeted staffer who’s either a friend of Holland or working for Aipac or Andrew Breitbart?
Before I wrote this post, I wanted to give J Street a chance to explain itself so I called a local Seattle staffer. He in turn inquired of the east coast staff but could not get a response. I want Jeremy Ben Ami to tell me whether this is J Street’s new style of political infighting. Because if it is, now we have a better idea of who and what we’re dealing with among the so-called liberal Zionist caucus.
So barring an official J Street response I’m going to have to assume that J Street has officially lost its mind and gotten down and dirty by attacking the rest of the progressive Zionist blogosphere on behalf of Adam Holland, a very good friend of Aipac.
All I can say is that J Street should be careful which dogs it lies with as it certainly will wake up with fleas.
What’s ironic about all this is the origin of the contoversy involved my critique of an Aipac-funded Congressional junket and a further critique of Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Jerusalem Post pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian op-ed. So if this turns out to be an official J Street tweet they’ll be attacking me for attacking Aipac, which makes a whole lot of sense…unless they wish to be considered Aipac-left or Aipac-lite. Which is it, I wonder?
I’m not surprised at a thin-skinned liberal Zionists like Gershon Gorenberg, Alex Stein, and outright pro-Israel hacks like Adam Holland lying about me. But to have J Street join the chorus is, well…astonishing.
To be clear, I’ve harshly criticized (and earlier, supported) J Street in the past, but I’ve never called it anything worse than irrelevant. This tweet is a significant escalation of the ideological war between the liberal pro-Israel crowd and those to their left. If this is the way they choose to play I relish it. It will show J Street baring its fangs, a not so lovely image it would prefer its larger public not see.
Daniel F. says
“If this is the way they choose to play I relish it.”
In this age of nepotism and corruption in Israel your work is important,more than I care to admit and as your work also serves to increase awareness of Palestanian suffering among Israelis then it also serves the interest of peace.
If ugly accusations are made against you by J Street or other Jewish groups you must defend yourself,as you must defend yourself against any unwarranted or extreme criticism but please do not relish it…see it only as a necessity.
Richard Silverstein says
Yes, you’re right. I wish this hadn’t happened & I hadn’t had to get down in the dirt w. J St. & Holland. That I don’t relish. But often one must do what one prefers not to do to maintain one’s honor & self respect.
I agree with your remark about J Street’s irrelevancy. J Street has always linked its “strategy” to the Obama administration’s cynically mouthed professions of support for two states. But once it was clear that Obama really had no intention of lifting a finger in behalf of a real Two State solution, George Mitchell resigned, the Goldstone report and a slew of US vetos at the UN all came to pass, J Street should have formulated a new strategy independent of Obama. Yet it still clings to the belief — do they really still believe it? — in two states brokered by an irrelevant administration that was out of town when Netanyahu took literally over congress. Next month at the UN we’ll know with certainty how Obama really feels about two states. And J Street may as well close up shop the day after.
“All I can say is that J Street should be careful which dogs it lies with as it certainly will wake up with fleas.”
Which, of course, may be the reason they have disowned you!
Richard Silverstein says
I never laid down with J St. I’ve been critical of J St. & it in turn has never been close to me. The fleas I’m afraid will transfer fr Holland to J St. having nothing to do w. me. Yr snark is captivating. Try again. Better luck next time!
There is a legend in my culture (I’m sure it’s in other cultures too) of a self-hating, hungry crow, who after seeing how pigeons being coddled and pampered, decided to be a pigeon so he can have a piece of their meal. He dyed his feathers white, and went to intermingle with the pigeons, they found out the truth about him, they furiously kicked him out of their group. When that crow attempted to return to his old group and have some of their food, they did not recognize him, because he dyed his feathers white, and so, they kicked him out too, whereas, he remained hungry, and desolate, trusted by neither side.
The point?…this sorry-A$$ waste of skin Toy-town Mob, called JStreet, reminds me a lot of that crow. Who is just as hungry for money and wealth, they are willing to dye themselves in any color order to satisfy their hunger, even if it means selling out of their principles. If this attack is deliberate on their end, then that’s one more feather in your Hat, Richard, from a handful of cowards that are too afraid to take a position. If it was a mistake (as I would doubt) and someone has indeed hacked the twitter, then this goes to show you, what kind of a Joke that cannot properly run a twitter account. Either way, JStreet, as you put it, is irrelevant.
Are you Iranian by any chance? (Not that you necessarily have to be, in order to have such wonderful stories in your culture.) It is just that I came across a delightful book called: “The merchant and the parrot” by a psychotherapist of Iranian descent who uses traditional tales to explain things to his patients.
Go to the link. It contains some fine examples of what he means.
No, actually my parents are both form Iraq, but I was born in the UAE. Ethnically, I like to classify myself as an Arab.
Because of my homeland’s Proximity to Iran, Turkey, and the rest of the Arab world, story-telling has become an intricate part of the Region’s cultures, and some has been exchanged from one nation to the other.
As to J-Street, Ali may have a goo0d hungry-crow analogy. J-Street, is neither pigeon nor crow, falls between the stools (to mix metaphors), and acts in its own interest, but not in any perceptible way to advance peace, justice, non-violence, etc.
As to Jess Jackson, Jr., JP article, I fault it for three points:
 He has “bought” the idea that Palestinian resistance is primarily violent and he seems to know nothing of the long-term non-violent protests that have taken place and been put down very violently indeed by Israeli in-security forces.
 He calls for non-violence but doesn’t dream of asking the Israelis to be non-violent. Not even in regard to peaceful, non-violent public demonstrations — those that MLK would have approved of.
 He says the USA will do this and that, but does not offer advice to the USA or ask IT to change plans or policies. Why not ask the USA to vote FOR UN Membership for Palestine? Why not question (severely) the idea that this UN vote could damage ANY USA interest (or any USA interest which can be discussed openly in public)? I, for one, can think of NO USA interest which would be damaged by a USA vote FOR Palestinian statehood and UN Membership. (US politicians, on the other hand, have AIPAC to fear. USA politicians sacrifice the world and USA interests to their own interests in re-election.)
Knowledge of violent put-downs of peaceful demonstrations would be a big increase of my understanding of the plight of the Palestinians. All I see in (my) news is violent retaliation to violent acts. Could you help me out with some links to these atrocities?
delia ruhe says
J-Street has turned out to be such a wishy-washy organization. When its birth was first announced, I could not have been happier. Then came its first convention, where delegates outdid one another professing their love for Israel. For me, this was a clear sign of the organization’s inability adequately to critique Israeli policy. That has turned out to be the case.
And the Israeli elite has made it very clear that they will not endorse any organization that fails in its unconditional love for Israel and its policies, and has given J-Street the cold shoulder. I suppose the only way for J-Street to prove its love for Israel is to denounce Israel’s critics.
J Street is attacked by the right and by the left. One wonders, exactly who supports them then.
They are a bit like President Obama 🙂
Jumped into the scene with a with a big splash, and managed to rouse the wrath of supposed friends and foes (presumed or otherwise)
Parah Salin says
Congratulations, you must be bothering someone. There should be a medal for this.
A former Jstreet bigwig, Hannah Rosenthal who now works for the State dept. announced last week that they were giving a $200,000 grant to MEMRI. When she first took the position the normal neocon crowd did a lot of tut-tuting and tried to run her out especially after she made a statement after Oren wouldn’t speak at their gathering.
Now Eliot Abrams is singing her praises that she’s coming around. There must be a convergence some of goals or perhaps some shuffling of the staff.
It seems like most of the human rights group eventually homogenize, or succumb to soft coups which then act as front groups to absorb the energy they once stood to direct.
if eli lake is criticizing you, you’re kicking some butt!
Richard Silverstein says
And to think that I wrote a post defending Hannah Rosenthal when she was attacked by the pro-Israel Know Nothings! Ugh.
truly beginning to feel sorry for you richard
you are getting bashed all over the net , example here
quote : All in all he and those like him are vile puppets who have sold their souls to the devil.
if I were you I would double any defences you have in situ
Richard Silverstein says
Ah but there are good folks everywhere coming to my defense as well like Max Blumenthal, Mondoweiss and Gabriel Ash. I don’t always agree with everything these folks write nor they what I write. But at least they have some moral & intellectual consistency, unlike J St. & MJ Rosenberg.
And do you think a comment in an obscure website bothers me? I’ve read far worse.
I don’t know whether you meant yr comment as nasty snark or as a satiric joke. But if you were even half serious, I find yr comment offensive. I hope you weren’t.
” I don’t know whether you meant yr comment as nasty snark or as a satiric joke. But if you were even half serious, I find yr comment offensive. I hope you weren’t. ”
you find anything coming from any of us as ” offensive ”
richard , Left Right or Centre , you just dont like us period .
we are all ” racists ” ” rolls eyes ”
we are not all racists richard
but you are really pissin off the racists amongst us and ”
if I were you I would double any defences you have in situ ”
Rabin didnt listen , he thought he was untochable , who are you in the sheme of things ?
You are close to incoherent and can’t type (no schools in your kibbutz?) but you do manage to get in a threat with your reference to Rabin. What a nice specimen of an Israeli you are. People like you give your country a wonderful reputation.
Richard Silverstein says
You’re repulsive–and banned. I don’t let anyone talk about threats to me, even implicitly, even in jest. And to think that this liar claimed he was Hadash in an earlier comment. My ass.