Two sources from "with friends like these" but inverted:
a) excerpt from Speaking to J-Street, but for Who? by Thabit Al-Arabi / March 2nd, 2011
Mona Eltahawy who takes pride in being “the first Egyptian journalist to live and to work for a western news agency in Israel” was a big hit at this year’s J-Street gathering. This is a video of her opening remarks at the racist, Zionist group’s 2011 conference.
Eltahawy, unlike Ray Hanania and James Zogby, two other Arab-Americans who enthusiastically promote J-Street, does speak Arabic with native ability and closely followed the Egyptian revolution. Therefore, when she told the audience “not one anti-Israeli or anti-American sentiment was expressed” during the uprisings in Tunisia, and Egypt (11:40), she was knowingly making a false statement. While the immediate demands of the Tunisians and Egyptians were naturally focused on domestic issues, the tyrants’ relationships with the Zionist entity, and American support for these autocrats were on the minds of the millions who took the streets to demand not only an end to dictatorship, oppression, and poverty, but also subservience to the West and collaboration with Israel. This was clear to everyone who followed the uprisings, listened to the chants, read the signs, and paid attention to what people in the streets were saying. This is especially true in Egypt where American sponsorship and support for the regime was directly linked to the regime’s alliance with Israel which is a complete anathema to the Egyptian people. The suggestion Egyptians were unaware of American support for their tyrant or failed to understand the nexus between Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorial rule, and the regime’s relationship with the US and Israel is to assign them a level of naivete verging on contempt.
...Eltahawy ends her remarks by imploring the gathering to reach out to the Arabs and say “we salute your non-violence, we salute your freedom and dignity and we too will march for the freedom and dignity of Palestinians, and I guarantee you will be met with Arabs from every single country…and I will be there.”
For the purpose of this article we will ignore the racist implication that Arabs need to be encouraged to be non-violent, and Eltahawy’s confusion regarding the obvious differences between a struggle for freedom, democracy, and human rights against a domestic tyrant, and the resistance to a foreign colonial regime. It is, however, eerily bizarre to call upon a gathering dedicated to preserving a racist, exclusivist entity, built and maintained through the application of mass violence and the subjugation of an indigenous population, to encourage freedom and non-violence.
...Eltahawy’s remarks to the J-Street crowd were a series of lies, absurdities, and wishful thinking. She is not telling the truth when she says “not one anti-Israeli… sentiment was expressed” during the Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Moreover, when she tells the “moderate Zionist” audience that “I guarantee you will be met with Arabs from every single country…and I will be there”, she is promising something she can’t deliver. She might “be there”, but she will be there alone. As far as the Arab people are concerned Zionism will never be approached as anything, but what it is, a racist, violent, colonial enterprise the defeat of which is a prerequisite to peace. Speak for yourself Mona or better yet, Ikhrasi.
b) excerpt from J Street is liberating Jews from Zionism. So far so good by Philip Weiss on March 2, 2011
The good news from the J Street conference is that the organization made it a point to include the Jewish left, non-Zionist Palestinian solidarity activists, and this opening will have important consequences for Jewish life if not for the future of the Middle East.
To hear young writer Ilana Sichel say that she will not use the word Zionism because it has been "corrupted"... to hear Rebecca Vilkomerson urge the boycott of Israel so as to honor the "Arab spring" in the region... to hear Amjad Atallah speak of the two state solution giving way to ideas of a confederation or binational state... to hear human-rights lawyer Michael Sfard introduce artist Emily Henochowicz, half-blinded by the Israeli security force during a peaceful protest against the flotilla massacre last May, to wild applause... to hear Roger Cohen say that something inside of him dies when he hears the words peace process... to hear Daniel Ben-Simon, a member of the Knesset of Israel's Labor Party, say that the campaign against "delegitimation" is a dishonest attempt by Israel to manipulate public opinion around another enemy... to hear Mona Eltahawy say that the Arab revolutions will not stop at the border of Palestine, as the crowd roars... to hear J Street's Daniel Levy say at a plenary session, "[Avigdor] Lieberman is the bastard child of the demographic analysis of why we need to end the occupation, you cannot treat the Palestinian Arab public as a demographic threat and advocate full equality inside Israel" and a minute later, "I'm not convinced that [the two-state solution] is the only model"... Well, these were all very positive moments.
...the Arab revolutions have ravished young Americans, including J Street's youth. When Levy said, "you cannot be a friend of Arab freedom if you're on the wrong side of Palestinian freedom," he got his biggest applause.
...J Street is helping to liberate Jews from selfish blindness. The slogan for the conference was Giving Voice to Our Values, which was a clear reachout to the social justice tradition in the Jewish community. There were kids in the back of the hall with backpacks and pillows and sleeping on the convention floor, which is something you don’t see at AIPAC...I must say that it was stunning to hear young Ilana Sichel, who grew up in a Zionist family and edited the student magazine New Voices, declare that she is finished using the word Zionism.
On the word Zionism, I avoid it, I think it’s too unstable, too divisive a word to use it productively. Basically I try to talk values. I do think it's a bit of a red light for this demographic, for young 20s, 30s liberal Jews who are so used to the word Zionism being used by people, yes who I do think have corrupted it, but I see our energy as being too limited to spend so much time on the reclamation of the word rather than the embrace of the values.
Well, that was a dramatic moment I won’t soon forget.
I am saving you from all of J Street's more regressive messaging. Sichel spoke at the same time as Gershom Gorenberg, who emigrated to Israel from California 30 years ago, and pleaded with his audience to save the Zionist dream of a Jewish majority in the Jews' own land from the settlers’ project, but I had the sense that J Street trusts Sichel more than Gorenberg. It is planted at last in an American political space, and following an integrationist dream of minority rights in western society, and not a nationalist dream that turned out to be-- nationalistic!...J Street will follow Sichel, and separate young American Jews from Zionism, and stir up an urgent conversation inside the Jewish community about why it was swept by a messianic nationalist political project conceived by a Viennese newspaper feature writer who had little knowledge of political philosophy or religion but a grandiose view of himself as Moses and Christopher Columbus (Herzl). This is a vital project...
...Gorenberg has spent a lot of his recent journalistic career honorably combing archives to expose the Israeli government’s complicity in the roots of the settlement enterprise. But the project seems slightly deluded; Gorenberg does not make any connection between '67 and '48, no he is invested in 48 just as settlers are invested in Judea and Samaria, even as '67 and '48 get closer and closer in history's rear view mirror. And Bernie Avishai’s opposition to boycott based on a “global and cosmopolitan Israel” is not the kind of values statement that any young person wants to hang their sweatshirt on, it feels more like a rationalization of privilege.
I would contrast Avishai's statement with one by Israeli Assaf Sharon, a leader of the Sheikh Jarrah protests (protests that Avishai goes to): “We are putting an end to the distribution of privilege on an ethnic basis…. We refuse to settle for anything less than this and that’s what we are fighting for.” Now that was something to bring tears to your eyes.
So, J Street is a detour to a very dead end.