Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Dershowitz Accuses J Street of Dividing Community

Rival Israel activists locked horns at Monday’s AIPAC conference in Washington as leading pro-Israel commentator Alan Dershowitz launched a blistering attack on pro-peace group J Street.

J Street representative Hadar Susskind was in the middle of an interview with Haaretz when Dershowitz broke in to the conversation with a verbal onslaught against the group, which has openly criticized the Israeli government over its West Bank settlement policy.

Dershowitz accused J Street of dividing the Jewish community.

“I reject J Street because it spends more time criticizing Israel than supporting it,” he said. “They shouldn’t call themselves pro-Israel.

The combative Harvard law professor said that he too opposed settlements. “But I spend 80 per cent of my time supporting Israel,” he said.

He added: “It’s a shame that J Street has set itself up as an independent lobby.”

The sort of supporters J Street was attracting to its conferences showed that the group was damaging to Israel, Dershowitz said.

“If you invite [former U.S. Secretary of State] Zbigniew Brzezinski you are not pro-Israel,” Dershowitz told Susskind. “You should ask yourself why Norman Finkelstein loves you,” he said, referring to the noted leftwing American political commentator.

Responding to the attack, Susskind told Haaretz:

“No single community speaks with one voice. There are differences – but you won’t force other Jewish organizations to shut down just because of differences of opinion.”

Susskind told Haaretz that some fellow conference delegates had raised eyebrows, asking him what is was doing there.

“I’ve met people here that took part in our conference too. They are all Israel supporters and it doesn’t matter if they are at AIPAC or J Street,” he said.

He added: “We have disagreements with AIPAC that I don’t want to minimize. But we are all on the same side.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.