J Street Won't Say Which Candidate it Lobbied in Waxman's District

J Street Won't Say Which Candidate it Lobbied in Waxman's District

Rabbi John Rosove, national co-chair of the Rabbinic Council for the left-wing J Street lobby group, posted a fierce defense of the group on Monday, which he said the Los Angeles chapter of J Street had delivered in person to “one of the leading candidates” running to replace Rep. Henry Waxman (D) in California’s 33rd congressional district. However, Rabbi Rosove declined to mention which of the 18 candidates met with J Street.

Apparently, at a meeting arranged by J Street, the unnamed candidate had asked Rabbi Rosove: “Why does J Street support BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) against Israel?” The candidate also inquired as to why J Street is viewed as the “anti-AIPAC lobby.”

Rabbi Rosove, who is the Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood, contends in his post that J Street never supported BDS against Israel, that “the charge was wholly untrue and was being spread in order to discredit J Street’s pro-Israel bona fides.” 

He adds that the description of J Street as an anti-AIPAC organization “comes from the media that seeks a simplified message in an essentially complex and nuanced Middle Eastern policy debate.”

Rabbi Rosove closes by posting about a dozen news articles in defense of J Street’s work. 

Breitbart News reached out via e-mail to Rabbi Rosove to inquire about the identity of the candidate with whom J Street met, and he responded: “It’s not important. What was important is the distortions of J Street’s purpose and record that is being spread by right-wing Jewish advocates who want to control debate.”

J Street has not yet made an endorsement in the 33rd district race, according to its political action committee website.

J Street does not officially support BDS, but has invited supporters of BDS to major events, and has in fact functioned as an alternative to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the mainstream pro-Israel lobby group. Renowned attorney and pro-Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz claimed the J Street stifles moderate and pro-Israel debate in an article published earlier this year in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz:

When J Street invites BDS supporters and those who oppose Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people to speak at its events, it claims that it does not necessarily support these positions, but that it believes in encouraging its members to hear views that are different from its official positions. This is total nonsense. J Street only wants people to hear views to the anti-Israel hard left of its position. It categorically refuses to allow its members to hear views that are more centrist and more pro-Israel, such as my own.

Dershowitz added: “Moreover, J Street has accepted funding from sources–such as George Soros–who are openly anti-Israel, and have kept this fact secret so as not to alienate its centrist supporters.”

The unnamed candidate will face off against 17 others running for the 33rd District Congressional seat in the upcoming California primary on June 3rd.

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