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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shorter Pollak: There are Israelis, and then there are Israelis, and I only want to hear from Israelis

Seven prominent Israelis, former security officials and diplomats, were welcomed at the White House yesterday. Their message: the 1967 borders are defensible and the absence of a two-state solution is an existential threat to Israel. Exactly the same message I have been presenting on this blog. It should come as no surprise that these knowledgeable Israelis were brought over by J Street. Surely, these Israeli voices are relevant and should be heard by the White House and anyone else interested in understanding the conflict.

Well, apparently Noah Pollak, from the Emergency Committee for Israel, who says it's the Israelis we should be listening to, doesn't want to hear from these Israelis. Here is what he says:
"I'm confused as to why former Israeli officials are going on a speaking tour in America," Pollak admitted in an interview. "It's Israelis first and foremost who find the idea of retreating to the '49 armistice lines dangerous, but as usual J Street doesn't actually care what Israelis think."
J Street's strategy, Pollak said, "is to get America to force Israel to do things Israelis believe are dangerous. It's pretty clear that [the group] doesn't have much respect for Israeli democracy. ... It's time for J Street to stop politicizing the U.S.-Israel relationship."
Say what? These Israelis do not think "retreating to the '49 armistice lines dangerous." And J Street does care what Israelis think. That's why J Street brought them over. But I guess these Israelis are not Israeli enough for Pollak's Israeli club. The only thing Pollak got right here is that he is confused. Sadly confused.

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