When Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s minister for public diplomacy and Diaspora affairs, dropped by the JTA offices the other day, he made clear there is one Diaspora Jewish group about which he has no interest in being diplomatic: J Street.
"They’re not pro-Israel, they’re not liberally Jewish. They’re anti-Israel," the minister, Yuli Edelstein, said.
Edelstein, a Likud member who lives in the West Bank, said that at first he tried to keep an open mind about the group, which describes itself as "pro-Israel, pro-peace."
"I had my doubts with J Street in the beginning," he said, thinking it might be "a very liberal Jewish organization that wanted its voice to be heard."
But its lobbying against Israeli government positions on a range of issues including Iran sanctions convinced him otherwise, he said. (J Street first opposed new sanctions against Iran, then later supported them.)
"Why do you say you’re a pro-Israel lobby? On that you should have at least consulted us."