Hillel VP: 'No Question That J Street U Is In the Tent'

Speaking to students at the J Street U Student Town Hall, Sheila Katz, Hillel International Vice President for Social Entrepreneurship, declared that there is no question that J Street is in the Hillel tent: 

 

J Street U has come under fire for its partnerships with anti-Israel groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace and its desire to host the Israel-bashing group, Breaking the Silence. J Street U members were also recently discovered wearing shirts that declared "resistance is not terrorism."

In October, UC Berkeley student Avi Levine explained why J Street was rejected from Berkeley's Jewish Student Union:

J Street U was excluded from being a voting member on the JSU because of multiple experiences that student activists — including myself — have had working with J Street U, most recently culminating in the student senate’s decision in April to pass an anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions resolution. These experiences led me to the definitive conclusion that J Street U’s claims of being a pro-Israel organization are nothing but a farce, and, as such, the Jewish Student Union cannot endorse this message.

In the lead-up to the BDS vote, Jewish student leaders attempted in good faith to work with J Street U, under the impression that we shared common ground in combating such a hateful movement. While some of us still had reservations, we chose to invite J Street U’s leadership to planning meetings as a means of uniting the community behind one message. However, these meetings showed just how far from “pro-Israel” J Street’s position was.

This truth must be made clear: J Street U did not oppose the libelous accusations against Israel in the BDS bill. In fact, J Street U members actually defended the bill’s accusations, claiming that Israel employs elements of apartheid policies and promotes “systemic oppression and racism” against the Palestinians. J Street U members found fault only with the tactic of divestment — not with the false accusations leveled against Israel.

While they ultimately opposed the divestment effort, J Street U activists were quoted in J. as calling it “a well-intended effort to end human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories.” This kind of messaging played a part in the student government’s decision to pass the BDS resolution.

J Street U is not an organization that seeks to show the real Israel. It is an organization dedicated to criticizing and bashing Israel at every turn while hiding behind a slogan of “pro-Israel, pro-peace.”

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