Hadassah Magazine received a large volume of correspondence in response to the interview with Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder of J Street, in our last web edition. Following is a representative sample of those letters, which were overwhelmingly critical of our decision to run the interview.
My grandmother used to say, “Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.” Hadassah Magazine has certainly proved this adage with the publication of Jeremy Ben-Ami’s views. J Street is the enemy of the State of Israel, right up there with Hezbollah and Hamas, because they are the enemy within the Jewish people. I am a proud Zionist, from a five-generation Hadassah family and supporters of Israel since my grandmother’s aliya in 1896 to her marriage to my grandfather, a Petah Tikva Jew, in 1904. I realize that Hadassah Magazine is not an in-house organ but it is the face and voice of my organization. I am ashamed that the award-winning magazine, a pre-eminent Zionist voice, would lower itself to give credence to our enemies.Hadassah has been an integral part of AIPAC and its leadership since its inception. We are a Zionist organization and proud of it. Don’t spoil our record by giving space and validity to the far-left views of J Street.
Hadassah National Board Member
How Hadassah, of all organizations, can give any semblance of legitimacy to J Street and Jeremy Ben-Ami is beyond belief! Simply put, if we were to listen to [J Street] and implement all of their wishes, Israel would cease to exist. They are modern day Hamans in very slick “pseudo-intellectual” clothing that have the most virulent hidden and real anti-Israel agenda, not to mention their dubious financial backing.
As two-time Founders; Annual Keepers of The Gate; and generous local chapter supporters, it was very disappointing, to say the least, seeing J Street and Ben-Ami’s dribble even referred to by our beloved Hadassah.
Joel P. Loeffelholz
New Orleans, LA
You certainly gave J Street a lot of publicity. As I read it—quickly and not rigorously—it seems the narrative has changed and George Soros is admitted as being a 7-percent donor.
Was Ben-Ami asked who his foreign donors are? Who are his other major donors? Now are you going to do the same for Z Street and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch?
Why even give a platform to anyone from J Street? Yes, there may be two sides to an issue of looking out for Israel’s best interests. But J Street is not either side…it is against the best interests of Israel.
Barry “Bazza” Wernick
Extremely disappointed that Hadassah would profile and highlight J-Street and its founder. A Zionist organization and J Street simply do not go together. J Street is not a pro-Israel group, and you are marketing the organization by showcasing Jeremy Ben-Ami on your site. Perhaps Hadassah could reflect on leadership and the implications of its actions?
J Street is totally anti-Israel and anti-Jewish and you should not support [it]. Please look at who funds J Street and you will see what I mean.
I am deeply disappointed to see that Hadassah Magazine has given Jeremy Ben-Ami a platform to voice his ideology and philosophy about what Israel should do. I heard Ben-Ami when he came to Denver to speak to a very left-wing department at the University of Denver and found his presentation to be inconsistent, untrue, full of holes and deliberate misinformation. He is certainly someone I would be very leery of supporting, believing and trusting. The fact that George Soros, who has never given a dime to Israel, but gives money to J Street, should be a further red flag; Soros is no friend of Israel. By featuring Ben-Ami in your magazine, you further legitimize J Street. In fact, J Street mentions nothing about what the Palestinians [continuing] to incite their population against Israel. J Street is undercutting Israel’s position and really should trust the Israelis to do what is in the best interest of their country and not put additional pressure on Israel. I think the wool has been pulled over Hadassah Magazine’s eyes, and as a Zionist organization, it is incumbent upon you to be better informed on these issues.
I am disappointed that you are giving Jeremy Ben-Ami “air time.” J Street is a dangerous organization with dubious funding and backers, and they are part of the delegitimization of Israel. Their self characterization as the “only pro-peace pro-Israel organization” is misleading both because their impact is anti-Israel and it’s not as if AIPAC or ZOA are “pro-war.” If I were not already a life member of Hadassah, I would be thinking seriously of dropping my membership. As it is, I am very disappointed in the evolution of Hadassah.
Roberta Walter Goodman
Why not put Z Street with J Street? That would be fair reporting. This is not. How dare you give this anti-Zionist a venue to voice his ideas. You are doing an injustice to the State of Israel.
In his interview, J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami conveniently omits an important truth. To quote Barry Rubin’s essay, “Palestinian leadership is not, and has never been eager for any resolution. Its top priority has been total victory, possession of the entire land, with Israel’s disappearance from the map.” That is what is said to its people in their language. Is the acknowledgment and acceptance of the legitimate state of Israel by the Palestinians as part of a two-state solution a priority of J Street?
Long Beach, NY
Your interview with Jeremy Ben-Ami gives additional legitimacy to an anti-Israel organization that disguises itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace.” Shame on Hadassah!
Interesting to note that your e-mail ‘lure’ for the latest issue of Hadassah Magazine suggests that two different views will be presented in some sort of balanced manner. But Rubin is obviously representing Hadassah here, while the challenging questions posed to Ben-Ami (not posed to Rubin) suggest that they are foreign to Hadassah’s concerns. If you wonder why some of us, nurtured on Hadassah with our mothers’ milk, feel so distanced from you, this is a perfect example. For shame!