Jewish hawks in the United States are considering the formation of a new pro-Israel lobby that would compete with AIPAC and J Street.
The new organization, which has been tentatively called Z-Pac, would aim to dilute the influence of J Street, which is viewed as sympathetic to the Left. Its goal would be to serve as a genuine, right-wing alternative that would solicit influence and donations to counter the US administration’s attempts to pressure the government into accepting Secretary of State John Kerry’s diplomatic proposals.
“J Street supports a state of all its citizens, and AIPAC supports a two-state solution,” one Jewish activist involved in the venture said last week. “This has created a situation in which those of us who think that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be a disaster have no way to express this, and there is no organization that will communicate our protestations to the administration in Washington.”
In recent years, right-wing American Jews have become more convinced that J Street, the liberal-left lobby, has increasing influence on the Obama administration’s policies in the Middle East, with nothing to counterbalance its power. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, meanwhile, is considered an organization that will take its orders from the Israeli government, irrespective of the views of the US administration, while assuming an officially objective stance.
“What is needed is a real, genuine, active, influential and proactive right wing in the US,” said one organizer. “That is what we are examining right now.”
There are a number of key influential Jews who are financing the new initiative, some of whom have in the past contributed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s campaigns. Now they are mulling whether to throw their influence and cash behind ideas that conflict with the prime minister’s policies.
One of the key point men in this endeavor is Joseph Sabag, a Florida attorney who is known to be active in rightwing Jewish causes. There has also been communication with right-wing elements in Israel, including the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip as well as within the Likud, namely with Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.