We wrote the other day of the tensions between J Street and other pro-Israel groups, including on campuses, J Street issues media Fatwa against its toughest pro-Israel student opponent.

J Street wanted to join the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, but it was rejected today.

Via JTA:

J Street failed to gain admission to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The vote of conference members Wednesday was 17 in favor, 22 against and three abstentions, according to four sources.

J Street needed a two-thirds majority of the entire membership, 34 out of 51, for entry.

It was a no lose vote for J Street in reality. If it was admitted, it would be vindication for the relatively young group that it was a major player. If it lost, it could play victim, accuse others of smears (as it did to the Brandeis student who challenged it), and otherwise leverage its anti-establishment narrative.

Indeed, J Street lashed out at “right-wing” groups:

We are especially disappointed that a minority of the farthest right wing organizations within the Conference has chosen to close the Conference’s doors to this emerging generation of inspiring and passionate young leaders. In the long run, it does a grave disservice to the American Jewish community to drive some of our brightest young people away and to tell them that there is no place for them in an ever-shrinking communal tent where the conversation on Israel’s future is limited.

And its saavy media operation tweeted out a photo of a collapsed tent:

J Street Founder and Executive Director Jeremy Ben Ami called it’s the Conference’s loss:

Fundraising letter to follow, no doubt.

Before the vote, Jonathan Tobin at Commentary argued that it was better for J Street itself to lose:

The point here is that rather than signifying its acceptance, today’s vote is merely a sign that J Street failed in its mission to overturn the Jewish consensus on Israel. A seat in what is, for all intents and purposes, a debating society–most of whose members are little known even among American Jews–strikes me as a poor consolation prize for such a defeat.

It’s not at all clear, however, that the rejection has to do with J Streets politics. Yair Rosenberg notes that there are members who are even more left-wing than J Street. It appears to be personal, based on J Street’s sharp elbows:

Here are some other reactions.

The Brandeis student who was the focus of our prior post did not mince words:

For those of you who are interested, here’s a video of a debate between J Street’s founder and Alan Dershowitz:

(Featured image: J Street Logo)


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