Minister vilifies J Street as anti-Israel and 'behind violent attacks against Knesset members'

Amichai Chikli vehemently criticized the left-wing J Street group, saying it undermines Israel's interests; Nadav Tamir, CEO of J Street Israel, responded, 'I'm proud of Israel and ashamed of Chikli, whose accusations amount to serious slander against a Zionist organization at its core'
Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli, photographed last week making what appears to be an obscene gesture at Israeli protesters in New York, launched fierce criticism toward the liberal Jewish organization J Street, claiming it is an anti-Israeli organization that undermines Israel's interests. In response, the NGO stated that these are unfounded accusations and severe defamation against a Zionist organization.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter >>
More stories:
Chikli voiced his opinions in an interview on Israel's national broadcaster Kan 11 and later continued his rant on Twitter.
2 View gallery
עמיחי שיקלי
עמיחי שיקלי
Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli accuses J Street of undermining Israel
(Photo: Moshe Mizrachi)
J Street calls itself the "political home of pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy Americans."
"J Street supports the indictment of 'war crimes' by the United Nations committee led by (Justice Richard) Goldstone; the organization received a very generous grant from one of Israel's greatest adversaries of our generation, George Soros; the organization is behind harassments and violent attacks against Knesset members and ministers, which even the BDS movement itself has never allowed for itself; the organization operates aggressively to destroy and undermine the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which includes demonizing the State of Israel and denying its right to exist; the organization attempted (unsuccessfully) to hinder my meetings with various figures in the United States," he tweeted.
Chikli accuses J Street of publicizing a photo of him from last week's Celebrate Israel Parade in Manhattan, NY, where it appeared that he is holding up his middle finger in an obscene gesture toward Israeli protesters. Chikli vehemently denied the offensive gesture and claimed that he was actually signaling the protesters to smile.
He added that J Street distributed the photo, originally taken by a journalist from Jewish Insider, with the purpose of defaming him. Chikli also accused J Street of attempting to obstruct a meeting he had with the American diplomat Deborah Lipstadt, the US envoy charged with fighting against antisemitism, though the meeting ultimately took place.
2 View gallery
ההפגנה בניו יורק
ההפגנה בניו יורק
Protesters in NY
Executive Director of J Street Israel Nadav Tamir blamed Chikli for incitement and bullying. "I have served the State of Israel as a diplomat for many years, and I have never come across a minister that did so much damage to the most strategic alliances of the State of Israel," Tamir said.
"I'm proud of Israel and ashamed of Chikli whose accusations amount to serious slander against a Zionist organization at its core. Chikli is completely cut off from where the majority of American Jews are, and the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who demonstrate in the streets every week against his anti-democratic and anti-Zionist government. A public that loves the State of Israel, but does not agree with the policies of the government," he said.
"We will not be deterred by his bully accusations, and we will continue to defend the strong and important democratic alliance with the U.S."
European Jewish Association (EJA) representing hundreds of Jewish Communities across the continent, condemns the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) for a “reckless and irresponsible” statement about an Israeli Minister. European Jewry should not interfere with Israeli politics," they said.
“For many years all mainstream Jewish organizations worldwide worked with any elected government in Israel despite differences of opinion and this should continue to remain the case. The Jewish state is an independent and democratic country and its government represents its citizens. Young people who publicly attack the world’s only Jewish state and its democratically elected public representatives are displaying breathtaking arrogance, naivety, and a reckless and irresponsible attitude to the very country that represents their insurance policy."
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.