Thursday, October 08, 2009

# Posted 7:57 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

J STREET CRITIC TO KEYNOTE J STREET CONFERENCE: I was pleasanly surprised to see that Rabbi Eric Yoffie will be one of the keynote speakers at the J Street convention later this month.

Rabbi Yoffie, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, describes himself as a dove who welcomed the founding of J Street as an alternative to AIPAC. Yet when J Street equated the actions of Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Yoffie lashed out, writing,
[J Street's] words are deeply distressing because they are morally deficient, profoundly out of touch with Jewish sentiment and also appallingly naïve.
It's saying a lot when a prominent dove echoes the standard conservative criticism of J Street.

So what will Rabbi Yoffie say at the J Street convention? Has there been a reconciliation? Have J Street's actions since January persuaded Yoffie that he judged the organization too soon? Or did J Street actually invite an unrepentant critic to address its conference? I'm genuinely curious.

My opinion of J Street hasn't changed. As far as I can tell from a recent NYT Magazine profile of the group, the same team is still in charge of the organziation. Since then, J Street has been rewarded with an invitation to the Obama White House. Not exactly an incentive to change.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
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