March 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm
This morning, J Street Vice President for Policy and Strategy Hadar Susskind issued the following statement:
J Street is horrified to learn of the massacre in Itamar that has left an Israeli couple and their three children dead. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ loved ones.
We unequivocally condemn this atrocious attack and hope that Israeli and Palestinian security forces will swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.
And then Jeremy went equivocal:
From: "Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street"
Date: March 18, 2011
Subject: Knesset debates J Street, Itamar, 116 reps stand for peace
The second J Street conference ended just over two weeks ago, and we’re still feeling the energy and the powerful boost the event gave to the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.
At the same time, we know that we are witnessing a world in turmoil. From Libya and Bahrain to Japan to state capitals across the country, we stand with those who are struggling for peace, dignity, and safety across the globe. As our thoughts and prayers go out globally, there is much going on in Israel and here that affects our work...
The tragic murders in Itamar this past week were the latest bloody chapter in the seemingly never-ending tragedy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We, of course, immediately condemned the murders , joining Israeli and Palestinian political leaders across the spectrum.
It was tragic to see the murders then turned into political propaganda tools. The government’s reaction – to pander to the settler community by immediately announcing 500 more settlement units – played into the hands of rejectionists on both sides who oppose peaceful compromise.  Right-wing blogs manufactured fictitious stories of Palestinian celebration  rather than reporting the popular revulsion on the part of Palestinians.  Even American politicians were quick to get in the action with a Congressional letter, essentially blaming Palestinian President Abbas for the incident.
J Street has been clear and let us be clear again: all forms of incitement against Israel and Jews on the part of the Palestinian Authority and Palestinians need to stop immediately.
However, Israeli and American politicians and leaders should refrain from actions such as settlement expansion and statements such as those flowing in the right-wing blogosphere that link these murders to Islam generally or to the Palestinian Authority.
Besides that reference, #4, to the Matt Duss piece, he has previously been weak on the incitement issue. In this piece last November, he played to the Arabs, writing
...Palestinian incitement is a useful tool for Israelis to distract from the fact that they continue to be an occupying power
The NYTimes, after the Itamar slaughter, had this:
Abbas says there is no incitement in mosques and called for a joint Israeli-Palestinian-U.S. team to examine claims of incitement in Palestinian textbooks. Israel has not produced evidence that incitement contributed to the killings.
Of course, PMW was prompt to disprove the Abbas-via-the-NYT disinformation (here and here). And the Prime Minister's office send-out.
But to return to the smear that "right-wing bloggers" made up the candy-distribution event. Ynet, not a blog, carried it midday Saturday.
And this mainstream media outlet carried the story, as I noted earlier this week.
So what is J Street pushing?