A response to Nathan Diament

April 15th, 2009

J Street was founded, in part, to broaden the conversation in our community about what it means to be pro-Israel, making Nathan Diament’s claim that we brand those who disagree with us as “traitors” not just wrong, but ironic too. Our goal is to encourage American Jewish leaders to express their opposition to Lieberman's positions and statements that run directly counter to Jewish values and American interests.  Conversely, if they support those positions, then they should equally and proudly embrace them.  We’re more than happy to debate Mr. Diament on the merits of loyalty oaths in a democracy or of land-for-peace negotiations.  It doesn’t serve our community well, however, to duck the debate on substance by making up false and misleading accusations against us. By standing up for our values in the face of Mr. Lieberman’s blatant demagoguery and racism, we hope to spark a vibrant dialogue that has long been missing from our community when it comes to Israel. To argue that we have gone "too far" underscores the great deal of work we still have to do.