Joe Lieberman’s Pastor

A quick update on John Hagee: According to various reports , Joe Lieberman is planning an encore at this July’s Christian United for Israel “summit” in Washington, delivering the keynote address. Last year he spoke at the same event and called Hagee an “ish elohim,” a man of God, comparing him to Moses.

John McCain finally had the good sense to drop Hagee, at least publicly; Joe is still ready to give his seal of kashrut to a brand of support for Israel that includes explaining the Holocaust as God’s way of chasing the Jews back to the Land. (In that light, it’s not surprising that Hagee does not want Israel to give up West Bank land for peace. Why should a few more Jewish shahids matter?)

Also reportedly scheduled to appear at Hagee’s fest is Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat whose district includes Riverdale.

J Street is running an online petition campaign to convince Lieberman not to go. Here’s the link . If you live in Riverdale, you might want to drop a line to Rep. Engel about his plans.

Read moreJoe Lieberman’s Pastor

Marching up J Street, Passing Marty Peretz in a Shtreimel

Much as I’ve come to disagree with Marty Peretz, I admit that I hesitate viscerally before criticizing him. Marty opened the pages of the New Republic to me in the 1990s. So attacking him feels like an act of ingratitude, if not a minor violation of oedipal inhibitions toward a one-time mentor. In his own blog, though, Marty appears to have thrown off all inhibitions. He’s turned obscene in print, figuratively and literally, as in his new screed against J Street. Even stranger, he’s exhibiting a definite ultra-Orthodox tendency in defense of his bellicose version of Zionism.

Read moreMarching up J Street, Passing Marty Peretz in a Shtreimel

Liberal Israel Lobby: Here, today!

J Street, the new lobby devoted to supporting Israel by supporting peace, goes public today. Here’s part of my column at The American Prospect:

Today’s public launch follows many months of organizing led by the new group’s executive director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, a media consultant and former Clinton administration staffer… Unlike existing Jewish peace groups, J Street is registered for tax purposes as a 501(c)(4) organization, meaning that it can operate fully as a lobby. A sister organization, J Street PAC, will endorse and raise money for candidates.

To win J Street PAC’s backing, Ben-Ami told me, a candidate’s position should be that “the single most important step to support Israeli security and U.S. interests is to reach a negotiated peace agreement,

Read moreLiberal Israel Lobby: Here, today!