‘Community of Yes’ Launches Campaign. ‘Chorus of No’ Steals the Day.

This morning, The Community of Yes launched their campaign to pressure the White House and members of Congress to use American leadership and political leverage to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The coalition, which launched their website and their national ad campaign today, includes: Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Churches for Middle East Peace, the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Islamic Society of North America, Meretz USA, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and YesMEP.

A J Street press release reads:

The ad will kick off the “Community of Yes,” a multi-pronged national campaign that will rally thousands of Americans to raise their voices in support of urgent and immediate action necessary to both secure a Jewish, democratic Israel and ensure a stable Middle East. The campaign will counter the “Chorus of No,” politicians and other public figures who use fearmongering to prop up an untenable status quo and reject efforts to resolve the conflict.

The campaign attempts to contrast the large majority of American Jews and non-Jews who believe that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian would serve U.S. interests with “The Chorus of No”, politicians and media personalities who “feel no urgency to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

The Chorus of No includes: Joe Lieberman, John Hagee, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.

The campaign is off to a rough start. The launch coincided with the fawning remarks offered up by Obama for his guest, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, during their joint press conference at the White House Tuesday. He went out of his way to emphasize that there was virtually no light between the Israeli and U.S. positions on the blockade of Gaza, the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, and the necessity for Mahmoud Abbas to engage in direct talks with Netanyahu as soon as possible.

Obama said:

…[I]n terms of my relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu, I know the press, both in Israel and stateside, enjoys seeing if there’s news there.  But the fact of the matter is that I’ve trusted Prime Minister Netanyahu since I met him before I was elected President, and have said so both publicly and privately.

I think that he is dealing with a very complex situation in a very tough neighborhood.  And what I have consistently shared with him is my interest in working with him — not at cross-purposes — so that we can achieve the kind of peace that will ensure Israel’s security for decades to come.

Presumably this was the same person the Obama administration “trusted” in March when Biden, who was visiting the region to restart peace Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks, was ambushed by a surprise announcement of the approval for new Jewish housing in East Jerusalem.

Biden condemned the announcement as “precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now.”

The rest of the press conference and the joint-statement hit on the usual talking points, including: the unbreakable US-Israel bond; US security guarantees for Israel; and a repeat of the demand that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist.

(Netanyahu’s Likud party charter declares Israel’s right to build settlements in “Judea, Samaria and Azzah” and “flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river”, but who was the White House to quibble over such double standards on a day dedicated to reaffirming the U.S.’s unconditional support of Israel?)

The type of behavior exhibited today by Obama, one would have to imagine, is what Gen. David Petraus was warning the Senate Armed Services Committee about when he said (PDF), “The [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.”

Let’s hope The Community of Yes is in this battle for the long haul. Today, it looked like The Chorus of No was in control.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



  1. How can a “Jewish, democratic Israel” exist, much less be secured, in the face of a Palestinian majority in Palestine? Good luck getting the Palestinians to accept a rump state on the West Bank-Gaza when population trends, and time, are running in their favor. Everyone knows that Israel cannot be both Jewish and a democracy.

    The only hope for a Jewish homeland in Palestine lies in the renunciation of a Jewish state. Jews, Arabs and others living together in a democratic Palestime is the only way by which Jews can remain in Palestine over the long term. A Jewish apartheid state, or a Jewish state that expels its Arab population to a “General-Government” on the West Bank, is doomed to eventual destruction.

    Sickening performance by the President today. Bibi’s posterior must be shining brightly after all the kisses Barack gave it.

  2. I had the same question, and one other, how you like that heat Jon? How would you like to confront it without electricity or water? Oh yeah, those aren’t relevant to you. Human concerns about the very necessities of life are nothing next to the political agenda of Bush to invade Iraq for what he knew was no imminent threat.

    In fact the Military had hoped and targeted their invasion for Feb, but domestic roadblocks delayed to invasion to what, May?

    Perhaps your Yankee ass is beginning to understand the real imperative the weather brings. Another example turns all of agronomy’s calender. Up there, such that this is generally the case throughout the country, the old gardener’s notion is that you plant in Spring. That is NOT the case here in Texas, you plant in Fall. Our most stressful season is Summer, so we avoid it, yours is Winter, so you plant to avoid it.

    This may not move you, but it’s something you fail to appreciate. Perhaps, with your mild heatwave you’ll begin to appreciate the joy of ball-sweat and swamp-ass. I can assure you, the not-acclimated drop like flies–dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, heat stroke come quick.

    Not enough was made about the timing of the Iraq invasion. I think few really understand or thought about the implications. There was no reason our troops couldn’t have sat out the Summer where they were. They WERE influential in getting Saddam’s compliance with inspections. We knew that if Saddam had WMD he was most likely to use them once attacked.

    The logical result of this is revealing, and something I discussed then–again few understood. If Bush believed Saddam had WMD the inspections would’ve revealed this, though they were showing the opposite. If Bush believed his case was anything but a desperate, sophist appeal he would have endured the Summer. He wouldn’t wait.

    He lives here, he knows what this heat is like. (Though I refuse to consider him a Texan, he has lived here long enough.) He knows the kids don’t play outside, especially in the neighborhood he lives in. I’m in his neighborhood weekly. Those kids stay inside save when they run out for a dip in the pool.

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