“Pro-Israel” J-Street tries to raise funds by saying Israel is racist
By now you have read the story about the shelved plan to force West Bank Arab workers to go back to their homes using buses that stop at checkpoints.
After criticism from the left and the right, much of which was misinformed by the original Haaretz story, Netanyahu himself said he would not implement the plan.
On one level at least, Israel proved that it is against discrimination in buses against Arabs, even Arabs who are not citizens.
That should make leftist groups that claim to be pro-Israel very happy, right? The democratically elected government chose not to implement this plan. Even though there were serious security issues that the plan was meant to address, the Government of Israel overrode the plan. Everyone should be happy.
But that isn’t what happened.
J-Street sent out a fundraising email that tries to use this episode to paint Israel has a terribly racist society, and claiming that only pressure from American Jews can get Israel to be less racist, which it naturally is if it wasn’t for the wonderful people at J-Street:
Last year, Israel’s government considered a proposal that would have segregated key bus lines in the West Bank — some for Jewish settlers, some for Palestinians. The American Jewish community spoke up, and with so many voices opposed, the proposal was cancelled.
Or so we thought.
Now, with Israel’s new government, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is once again advocating rules that would result in segregation. He wants to separate Jewish Israelis and Palestinians as they go from Israel back into Occupied Territory.
Under Ya’alon’s plan, Palestinian workers going home at the end of the day would have to travel through the same checkpoints they used to enter Israel, forcing many far out of their way and onto Palestinian-only bus routes. His proposal is currently on hold, but he and others in Israel’s new government are pushing to reinstate it — permanently. That’s why we have to raise our voices once again.
Our values matter, and so do our voices. If we remain silent, the costs are high: further erosion of democracy, and even more international isolation. For Israel’s sake, it’s critical that the American Jewish community speak out again.
Add your voice and stand up for the Israel we believe in: one that supports our Jewish and democratic values.
Segregated buses? That’s just not okay.
– Jeremy Ben-Ami>
Of course, Israeli Arabs could ride on these buses, just as in last year’s plan. No Israeli citizen is being discriminated against. But because Jeremy Ben Ami wants to use this episode to cynically manipulate his audience, he consciously compares this story with segregated buses in the US in the 1950s.
That’s just not OK. And it proves that Ben-Ami does not love Israel at all, but instead goes out of his way to paint it in as horrible a light as possible.
That’s just not OK.