I write a lot about the term “pro-Israel,” since it is a highly-charged and problematic term used often with impunity. Regardless of what I think it means, it is clear that it is a subjective term that is often attempted to be passed off as an objective one. Even just saying that a working definition of “pro-Israel” is support for the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state is unclear and debatable and thus demands qualification. So it is important to be critical of its usage and continue to ask the questions: what does it mean to support Israel? Is it support for a state, an idea, a government, a specific party in the government, etc.? (The same applies by the way for the question of what it means to be “pro-Palestinian.”)
So I was happy to discover that J Street has started a campaign asking people to go on camera and state what being “pro-Israel” means for them. While I have issues with J Street and have certainly been known to criticize them on this site, I appreciate the fact that they are at least asking the question, and allowing members of the community to express themselves. Here are a couple of the videos – they are slated to be presented at their upcoming annual conference at the end of this month. (Its still unclear whether Ehud Olmert will give their keynote address since they aren’t confirming it on their website yet).