J St. Overcomes Bias of Local Jewish Press
This is from Carolyn Oppenheim, a colleague on the board of Partners, who lives in Western Massachusetts:
A big problem in spreading the arguments for a two-state solution to the American Jewish community is the right wing bias of most of the Jewish press. There are very few independent, balanced local Jewish newspapers.
There’s an interesting interview with M.K. Amran Mitzna (a former general and mayor of Haifa), done while he was in Northampton, MA with Jeremy Ben Ami (J Street’s president) for the 2 State Town Hall event. It was printed in the Western Mass. edition of the Jewish Ledger newspapers: http://www.wmassjewishledger.com/2014/02/21/conversation-with-amran-mitzna/
Of especial note: the publisher of the Ledger newspapers has hated J Street and run vitriolic articles & columns from a right wing perspective (his papers are the Jewish papers of record for Connecticut and cover Hartford and New Haven). The fair-minded editor of the Western Mass edition of the paper has been unable to print anything in the paper for the last several years despite a vibrant J Street Western Mass chapter holding events with newsworthy speakers.
The interview and coverage of the event with Ben Ami and Mitzna may have come after skillful negotiations on the part of J Street staffers and perhaps the president of Congregation B’nai Mitzvah, Dr. Norbert Goldfield, who has openly endorsed J Street, as did Rabbi Justin David. However, the article was not published without a price. While it was excellent journalism overall, the characterization of J Street at the top: “… sponsored by the Western Massachusetts chapter of J Street, the left-wing Israel lobby group that describes itself as pro-Israel, pro-peace” (my emphasis added) — was obviously a requirement for running this, a disclaimer by the publisher!