Drama on J Street
April 6th, 2011
From J Street’s blog:
J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement upon news that J Street VP of New Media and Communications Isaac Luria and J Street Press Secretary Amy Spitalnick are moving on to new positions:
It is with very mixed emotions that I am announcing that two of J Street’s staff who have been with the organization since its very beginning are now moving on to new positions elsewhere – Isaac Luria and Amy Spitalnick.
On the one hand, I am so sad to lose such talented and energetic colleagues from our movement. On the other, I am happy to see them prepare to take on new responsibilities and challenges as their careers and lives continue to develop.
Isaac Luria: Jeremy? Jeremy — Amy and I have something to tell you.
Amy Spitalnick: Yes. Jeremy… this isn’t easy for us, but we can’t hide it any longer.
Jeremy Ben-Ami: Nu?
IL: We’re leaving, Jeremy. Leaving J Street!
JBA: (sits silently for a moment, stunned). But –
AS: Yes, we’re leaving. And it’s — (wipes away a tear) — it’s because J Street is not pro-Israel enough.
JBA: But how can you say that? We’ve tried so hard! Didn’t we demand an immediate cease-fire in Cast Lead to help Israel? Didn’t we oppose sanctions on Iran because we love Israel?
IL: I’m sorry, Jeremy. It’s not enough.
JBA: But we arranged meetings for Judge Goldstone on Capitol Hill — before he recanted, of course. We supported Saudi operative Chas Freeman for director of the National Intelligence Council. And — this is a big one — we urged President Obama to support a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel! If that isn’t love, what is? Even Obama doesn’t love Israel as much as we do!
AS: I know you feel betrayed…
JBA: Betrayed isn’t the word! How will I tell our pro-Israel financial supporters? Richard Abdoo of the Arab-American institute? Genevieve Lynch, attorney for the Saudi Embassy? Mehmet Celebi, Turkish producer of antisemitic and anti-American films? The mysterious Connie Esdicul in Hong Kong? And one of the most pro-Israel rich guys in the world, George Soros?
IL: I know, Jeremy. But we all have to be strong. Just like J Street co-founder Daniel Levy, who let his pro-Israel feelings all hang out when he said that “maybe… Israel really ain’t a good idea.”
JBA: Isaac and Amy, before you go … please, tell me just one thing. What will you do now? Where will you go? How will you actualize your pro-Israel ideals to really make a difference in the world? I must know!
AS: Oh, that’s easy. Ismail Haniyya’s offered us really great positions with Hamas in Gaza!-- Vic Rosenthal