Neocons Have Hijacked What It Means to Be "Pro-Israel"

But a new lobbying group, J Street, will reframe the debate.
On the 60th anniversary of Israeli independence, the new American-Jewish lobbying group J Street is calling for peace in the Middle East through peaceful, diplomatic means.

For far too long, the neocons, Christian evangelicals, and conservative Jewish leaders have defined what it means to be "pro-Israel" in our country. They have purported themselves as the only friends Israel has in the U.S.; they have dictated U.S.-Israeli policies; and they have erroneously painted Bush as Israel's staunchest friend in Washington. By perpetuating the myths about what it means to be "pro-Israel," the neocons have suggested that you can't be simultaneously pro-Israel and pro-peace. Well, the dovish J Street is here to change the definition of the term.

J Street wants the U.S. government to take a stronger hand in putting diplomatic pressure on the Israeli government and other Arab nations. They believe the neocons have undercut Israel's longterm security. And they feel that Bush has basically been a cheerleader when it's come to Israel, when what he should have been was a referee, brokering peaceful Arab-Israeli negotiations and compromises.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.
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