So Much For Getting Tough When Toughness Is Needed

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 10, 2009

There is a reason so many American Jews look askance at an outfit like J Street. That reason is outlined quite nicely here:

Israel’s highest-ranking female soldier, Brig. Gen. Yisraela Oron, was sounding all the right notes for her J Street hosts.

At the tail end of a U.S. tour for the left-wing pro-Israel lobby, Oron was lending her considerable security credentials to its platform: a two-state solution, territorial concessions by Israel and a robust U.S. peacemaking role.

The conversation with a group of reporters then turned to Iran and its nuclear potential, and Oron was unequivocal: yes to engagement, but on a timetable that would be tied to punishing sanctions.

“The thing that worries me and that worries other Israelis is that it is not limited in time,” Oron said as the faces of her J Street hosts turned anxious, adding that “I’m not sure I’m expressing the J Street opinion.”

She was not. J Street explicitly opposes a timetable and has reservations about proposed additional sanctions.

Yeah, Heaven forbid that we take seriously the possibility that Iran might actually have nuclear weapons. Look, the last thing I want is a war that involves the country whence both lines of my family came, the country where my mother and father were born and spent much of their lives. But if an organization is not even going to entertain the possibility that timelines and sanctions may be needed in order to ensure that Iran lives up to its international obligations and refrains from destabilizing the region and the world with its pursuit of nuclear weapons, then there is no reason why that organization ought to be taken seriously.

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