Home By Marquel Jewish Coalition Rejects “J Street” as Member – Could Not Locate It...

Jewish Coalition Rejects “J Street” as Member – Could Not Locate It on NYC Map

Marquel, TPVs Times elderly Jewish organizati​ons correspond​ent,  read with interest the New York Times reporting in Jewish Coalition Rejects Lobbying Group’s Bid to Join.  The dovish lobbying group J Street, which has occasionally criticized the Israeli government, was denied membership in an influential national umbrella organization.

That organization is the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. It’s a strange name for a group and I asked to speak to the president. They told me they are all presidents and looked at me as if I were an idiot. Of course I knew they were all presidents. That’s how they become members. But I asked if they didn’t have a president of all the presidents.

“We have a leader,” they said. “Isn’t that good enough for you?”

“Good enough for me?” I asked ingratiatingly, “of course it’s good enough for me. Don’t I look like it’s good enough for me? It’s perfect. I just thought that since you are a conference of presidents, you would have a president yourself. But that was stupid. If there were a formal group of former US presidents which would be, let’s see, Carter, Bush I, Bush II, Clinton, and I guess that’s it, they wouldn’t have a president either. They already were, who needs more, right? It’s perfect, it’s perfect!”

I was ushered into a room with their leader. Apparently he’s been their leader for decades. It looked like he was sleeping, but I think he just has a bad slouch.

He mumbled something. I said, “glad to meet you. I was just curious about this J Street thing. Many of your members said that J Street is anti Israel. Is that why they were denied membership?”

He mumbled something else. But all I could tell was that he was drooling. I leaned forward to hand him a tissue but he mumbled something else and just stared at me. So I wiped the drool off his face and sat back down.

“How many years have you led this group?” I asked. He mumbled, and could tell I missed it and then held up his hand.

The answer was four or five. It wasn’t clear if I was supposed to count his thumb, too.

“Four or five years?” I asked, “that can’t be right, I understand you’ve been here forever.” I hoped that wasn’t rude but he shook his head and mouthed something. Decades it seemed.

“Decades?” I asked. He shook his head several times. He reminded me of a horse. A very old horse. With a sway back. About to be shot. I half expected him to whinny except that he was clearly incapable of speech of any kind. The interview wasn’t going well.

“In your years, decades, here,” I asked, “have things changed? Have positions or attitudes altered as events occur? Basically, do you think times change?”

He started foaming a bit at the mouth, held tightly to the arms of his chair with both arms, and actually rose a bit out of the chair. The answer was clearly no, but I was afraid he was about to attack me.

He settled back down when he saw me jot “No” on my pad.

“Well,” I asked, “do you personally feel that J Street is anti Israel? Most of their positions are shared by almost half of all Israelis, the polls show.”

He mumbled again, this time more energetically. I could hear the last two words, “J Street,” so I asked him to repeat his answer.

Again more energy, I got the first word, “where’s” but not the last two, but it seemed he had asked, “where’s J Street?”

“It’s not a place, it’s a group,” I said, “and you voted to exclude them yesterday.”

He mumbled again. All I got was, “stupid.” He didn’t seem to like the name of the organization.

“If they had a different name,” I asked, “would it have made a difference?”

He looked tired. Well, even more tired. But he nodded his head to indicate yes. I couldn’t believe it. But then I heard the word “stupid” again and it was clear he didn’t like the name.

“But what about the people who believe they’re anti Israel?” I asked, “do you believe that too?”

He started getting agitated. I thought he might have a seizure. Aides came in a side door, and led him out. He was shaking.

I left for the anteroom and asked, “is it possible you have a vice president? Maybe somebody a bit younger I could interview?”

Again they looked at me like I were an idiot. They answered me in unison, surprisingly, “we’re not the Conference of Vice Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. We have no vice presidents”

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why J Street wanted to be a member but I was told it’s important and the leader is just about the most powerful Jewish leader in the country. That got me worried but I went home and practiced mumbling. You never can tell.

***

For the best mumbling lessons money can buy,  go to @MarquelatTPV.

TPVs CORRESPONDENT

Jewish Coalition Rejects “J Street” as Member – Could Not Located It on NYC Map

9 COMMENTS

  1. You know what you can tell? You can tell you’ll have a great time when you read a Marquel story.

  2. J Street? No one wants J Street. Too subversive. Peace is too subversive. It’s outside the military complex.

  3. Love J Street and what they stand for. I always give them some money. Keep doing the good deed J Street.

  4. It is hard to be on the side of peace. Who really wants peace? Only the people who live on the ground, and those voices you never hear.

  5. Amazing dialogue. Loved this. It could be from the Producers:
    “Good enough for me?” I asked ingratiatingly, “of course it’s good enough for me. Don’t I look like it’s good enough for me? It’s perfect. I just thought that since you are a conference of presidents, you would have a president yourself. But that was stupid. If there were a formal group of former US presidents which would be, let’s see, Carter, Bush I, Bush II, Clinton, and I guess that’s it, they wouldn’t have a president either. They already were, who needs more, right? It’s perfect, it’s perfect!”

  6. Nice cosmopolitan touch.
    “The answer was four or five. It wasn’t clear if I was supposed to count his thumb, too.”

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