Goldblog reader Noah Kulwin writes:
Although the person who wrote you about how J-Street provides "cover for Jews who dislike Israel" is totally off-base and slightly paranoid, there is an argument to made as to whether or not groups like J-Street should exist at all. This is not specific toward J-Street, as the Zionist Organization of America (which is fairly conservative) does similar things on the other side of the aisle. Organizations like AIPAC that support the strong American-Israeli relationship (as well as a two-state solution) should begin to be defended more vigorously then criticized so brazenly like they are by foreign policy "realists" like Walt, Mearsheimer, and Co.
J-Street, Americans for Peace Now, etc., are all organizations that do have their own niche within the entire spectrum of opinions on the Israeli situation, but there are domestically based Israeli organizations that do much of the same thing. We don't have PACs that dictate how the Spanish deal with Basque separatists, nor do we have organizations that dictate foreign policy to the government of France or Austria. B'Tselem is an excellent example of such an organization that is based in Israel that covers Israeli issues.
It's perfectly acceptable to be concerned about the wild expansion of settlements, as well as the fact that ultra-right wing nut jobs control important parts of Israeli government. But let the Israelis be the ones to apply the checks and balances of democracy to their own society. It is the obligation of Jews the world over to care for the Jewish state and what happens to it, but that doesn't mean that they should influence what goes directly on inside it, until they place a greater stake in it (like have one of their kids make aliyah, or make aliyah themselves).