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(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Questioning motives of J Street
I’m motivated to write this letter in response to two Letters to the Editor entitled “Praise for J Street conference, concern for the future” and “J Street remains committed to Israel’s security.” I question the motives of J Street and I struggle to understand how Jews support this organization.

J Street’s endorsement of the McCollum legislation makes me suspicious of its motives. This legislation is based on falsehoods, relying on suspect sources that have been dismantled by evidence.

The putative motivation of the legislation is the protection of Palestinian children allegedly harmed by Israel in various ways. Should we infer that Israel arrests, imprisons and interrogates Palestinian “children” because they are Palestinian children? This is nothing but a blood libel, plain and simple. The facts do not support these claims — claims that Israel’s enemies are trying to codify into law. Where is the proof that military aid to Israel is used to demolish Palestinian homes and harm innocent “children”?

To illustrate the distorted bases justifying this legislation, the bill partially quotes from the State Department’s 2016 Annual Report on Human Rights Practices that “noted the renewed use of ‘administrative detention’ against Palestinians, including children, a practice in which a detainee may be imprisoned indefinitely, without charge or trial, by the order of a military commander or other government official. ” What is omitted here is that the State Department’s report references that it was NGOs that reported an unverified increase — amid a rise in terrorism by Palestinians during that period. Context is important.

The McCollum bill completely skirts that Israel is operating under the provisions of the Oslo Accords, granting Israel responsibility for the administration of Area C on the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. It is responsible for the approval to construct and demolish illegally built structures. These actions are subject to Israeli court review. Israeli court decisions have sometimes reversed demolition orders.

The McCollum bill is a bad faith effort to smear Israel and the Jewish people through a sham concern for Palestinian “children,” some of whom have been 17-year-olds who stabbed to death Israeli civilians, recruited by Palestinian adults to be “soldiers” in their ongoing war to eliminate the Jewish state.

Much of the unverifiable information substantiating the basis for this legislation comes from the Defense for Children International – Palestine, an organization accused of being linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization. Financial Institutions such as Citibank, Arab Bank and Global Giving have closed DCIP’s accounts.

That this legislation is based on discredited sources, unverifiable numbers and claims and disreputable allies should have raised concerns among supporters of J Street enough to withhold support. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
No, the problem is not an “erosion of Jewish values,” as one writer stated in her letter. As we have seen in the latest battle with Hamas, the problem is that the other side is committed to war.

Annette Kolski-Andreaco
Pittsburgh

A wake-up call on antisemitism
Two thumbs up for Rabbi Avram Mlotek’s op-ed, “How a ‘wokestorm’ is misleading a generation about Israel” (June 11). His piece should be a wake-up call to all of us. We must stop being complacent, or antisemitism will only explode. The silence of some of our government officials, such as Charles Schumer and Jerry Nadler, to mention a few, is deafening. Wake up people, speak up — especially for the many that won’t or, even worse, can’t.

Bernita Barnett
Mt. Lebanon

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