Response

07.16.12

Letter to the Editor on J Street

Peter Beinart comes to the defense of J Street's strong opposition to Presbyterian divestment, arguing that You Got to Do What You Go to Do. But he misses the mark. You see, Beinart offers a false dichotomy: either J Street supports Presbyterian divestment or it does not. And since it cannot support it, it must oppose it. But hey, what about taking a pass? Or is J Street compelled to make a statement on any and every Israel/Palestine that comes to the public's attention?

There are some that believe that an inside the Beltway strategy is useless because Congress is so hopelessly in love with Israel's occupation. But most do not seek to undermine the activists that work inside the Beltway. They choose to act where they are most effective. This is not what J Street did. Uninvited, J Street came to Pittsburgh to undermine anti-occupation work.

The fact that some BDS activists are for one state solution is irrelevant here and no more than a red herring. First, because the BDS call itself does not refer to one or two states, and secondly because the specific divestment resolution being discussed by the Presbyterians in Pittsburgh was strictly occupation-related and further, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has been on record as a strong supporter of  a two-state solution. J Street was undermining the efforts of anti-occupation activists struggling to pass a resolution in the context of a two-state solution.