UC Berkeley’s Jewish Student Union’s decision to deny membership to J StreetU created controversy. Opponents of the decision claim that J Street is pro- Israel, no Jewish group should be excluded, and that any exclusion is undemocratic and alienates students.
Yet those who oppose J Street’s inclusion have good cause for concern. Consider some of the groups and speakers that J Street has brought to US campuses:
• “Breaking the Silence” (BTS-Shovrim Shtika) is a fringe Israeli group touring US campuses accusing the IDF of “war crimes.” This New Israel Fund (NIF) supported group claims that Israel commits “crimes against humanity,” “ethnic cleansing” and “violates human rights.” BTS is quoted 27 times in the infamous Goldstone Report, which Goldstone himself has disavowed. BTS still promulgates it.
This is the same BTS that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which leads the delegitimization campaign against Israel on campuses, lists on its website as an advocacy group for its anti-Israel campaign. BTS programs have been used during “Israel Apartheid Week” on US campuses.
• J StreetU arranged talks by John Ging, former director of UNRWA in Gaza. He is known for promoting political warfare against Israel and supporting the pro-Hamas flotillas.
• J StreetU promotes the NIF-funded Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement (SJSM). The Jewish Agency describes the SJSM as “opposing the idea of Israel as a Jewish homeland and promoting an anti-Zionist agenda.” The group collaborates with the anti-Israel Global Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement, and defames Israel as a “fascist state.” They talk about victories over “cowardly Zionists” who are perpetrating an “apartheid state” and “ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem,” and urge liquidation of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund.
• J StreetU also presents B’Tselem, funded by a BDS group and NIF. B’Tselem spearheaded the international campaign against Israel’s right to build the security fence to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from entering Israel. B’Tselem “provided assistance to the investigative staff of the Goldstone mission from the beginning to the end of its research.” It is cited 56 times by Goldstone. It praised his report as “the result of a serious, professional investigation, reflecting a deep and genuine commitment to ensure that justice is done.”