Knesset c'tee to hold meeting on J Street activities

Kadima MK: "The fact that J Street fought against sanctions that the US wants to place on Iran is very, very serious in my eyes."

Danny Danon (do not publish again) (photo credit: Flash 90)
Danny Danon (do not publish again)
(photo credit: Flash 90)
The Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Public Diplomacy Committee will hold a hearing on the activities of left-wing American lobby J Street as early as next week, committee chairman Danny Danon (Likud) said Wednesday.
The Knesset plenum voted Wednesday in favor of holding a hearing on the group’s activities at the conclusion of a debate on the subject sponsored by MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima).
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Danon said that he plans to invite the MKs who participated in the J Street annual conference in late February, as well as Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni, to testify before the committee.
“What really interests me are the mutual relations between the Jewish world and the State of Israel,” Schneller said, explaining why he brought the topic up for formal debate in the plenum.
“The code that was broken is more serious than the content.
“The fact that J Street fought against the sanctions that the United States wants to place against Iran is very, very serious in my eyes, as is the fact that they acted against the American veto,” he said.
Schneller said that “if they say that if Israel accepts our radical left-wing diplomatic positions, then we love Israel – it is a conditional love. If you don’t accept our ideas, then we will support Iran or the Palestinian Authority. I don’t want love like that. Don’t love me at all.
“I asked for the hearing not because of the content of J Street’s beliefs, but because I want to look into the commitment of Jewish love and support for Israel. If they don’t love and support Israel, then they should not present themselves as pro-Israel,” Schneller said.
“American Jewish groups, Right or Left, should understand that they should maintain full solidarity for Israel overseas – and when Tzipi Livni or Haim Oron become prime minister, I will demand the same loyalty from right-wing groups.”
Schneller noted that “it is particularly frustrating because J Street does good things as well – they work on campuses, and some of its members are really Zionists.”
Schneller, however, was moderate in his comments in comparison to MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas), who blasted the organization from the speaker’s podium.
“Their sheer hatred toward the State of Israel and the government’s policies is more terrible than that of Israel’s worst enemies,” he said.
Most of Schneller’s Kadima cohorts, some of whom attended the recent J Street conference, were intentionally absent during the plenum discussion and vote on the subject.