Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

J Street board member, initial founder meets with Hamas
Washington Jewish Week ^ | 11-22-11 | ADAM KREDO

Posted on 11/22/2011 4:21:01 PM PST by SJackson

With Middle East peace talks all but stalled, one of J Street's top board members took it upon herself to meet with Hamas earlier this month.

That J Street board member is Kathleen Peratis (also an initial founder of the group), a partner at the New York law firm of Outten & Golden LLP. She also co-chairs the Middle East and North Africa Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch.

Peratis recounted her time exploring Gaza's illicit smuggling operation in a recent article for The Forward.

While Peratis was not in the Gaza Strip at J Street's behest, I can't help but wonder why a prominent member of the American Jewish community was canoodling with Hamas - a known terrorist group that you might recognize from its previous appearances in "The Bombing of Israeli Citizens" and "The Violent Kidnapping of an Israeli solider." (J Street did not officially sponsor Peratis' trip, but it was happy to circulate her article to members of the J Street family -- as well as reporters and others -- via the group's daily news round-up.)

Asked what to make of Peratis' eyebrow-raising article, a J Street official said that Peratis does not speak for the group on this issue.

J Street spokesperson Jessica Rosenblum, in fact, went on the record to say that "J Street believes that Hamas' consistent opposition to the peace process, its support for terror against Israeli civilians, its use of violence for political purposes and its denial of the Holocaust are reprehensible."

Peratis, however, recounts her experience as a fun-filled joy fest spent with friends. She quotes one smuggler as saying: "Please tell your friends that Hamas people are ordinary people. We are not barbarians."

Right. "Ordinary people" who routinely murder innocent men, women, and children -- and assassinate their own political adversaries. (Though not every resident of Gaza, of course, is a terrorist. Far from it.)

Peratis adds:

Nearly everyone I spoke to - mostly Hamas officials, but also others - seemed to feel a great sense of pride in what he or she had survived, and confidence in the future. They all believe that Hamas triumphed in the prisoner-exchange deal with Israel, that despite international condemnation and punishment they are thriving, and that cutting all ties with Israel has been to Gaza's benefit. Many seem to think that reconciliation with Fatah is probable, and with it, national elections. They see the Americans engaging with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and think that Hamas - and its further prosperity and legitimacy - may not be far behind. As one Gazan put it, "Time is on our side." Peratis also writes about how she and a reporter explored the illegal tunnels that run beneath the Gaza Strip -- and which are routinely used to smuggle guns, drugs and even people.

We persuaded a reluctant taxi driver to take us to a gate at the site, where a guard asked us for identification. Soon, five big men with very big guns gathered, examining and passing around my passport. At that point I got spooked, but before I could figure out how to flee, one of the men told us we could enter; accompanied by all five, including Muhammad, we did. ... The mood was almost convivial, and they, I think, were delighted by the rare presence of an American. I was no longer terrified, but I was very much aware of who had the guns. And I kept remembering the Italian journalist who was killed in Gaza last year. This is not only frightening, but perplexing. Why would a American Jewish woman intentionally place herself in such a potentially life-threatening situation? Furthermore, why would she do it twice?

That right. Peratis met with Hamas for the first time in May, according to an article she wrote for The Nation, in which she referred to Gaza as "scary and exotic." She also describes her entrance to the forbidden land as "exactly like entering a prison."

To me, these article romanticize Hamas in a way that's simply unwarranted and dishonest. There's no criticism of the group, no mention that it's committed to the destruction of Israel and no sense of what Hamas represents as a whole.

Peratis' articles also seem to be at odds with J Street's actual position on the issue.

"J Street wouldn't oppose a decision by the Israeli government or the United States or other countries to find unofficial, indirect ways to engage Hamas in order to advance U.S. and Israeli interests," Rosenblum told me. "It's important to remember that this Israeli government and ones before it have engaged indirectly with Hamas to bring Gilad Shalit home and to achieve cease fires that temporarily halted rocket attacks against Israel."


TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: giladschalit; hamas; israel; jstreet; kathleenperatis

1 posted on 11/22/2011 4:21:07 PM PST by SJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

Her travelogue. Gaza's 'Tunnel Economy' Is Booming Palestinians Are Proud of Their Lifeline Underground

I wonder what kind of attention you get from Homeland Security and the FBI when you meet with designated terrorist groups. Do you get a pass if you're with an Obama supporting Soros group?

2 posted on 11/22/2011 4:24:00 PM PST by SJackson (Haven't changed the environment, just take a bath. Eat a piece of chocolate. You need one. Michelle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks SJackson.
J Street did not officially sponsor [Kathleen] Peratis' trip, but it was happy to circulate her article to members of the J Street family -- as well as reporters and others -- via the group's daily news round-up.

3 posted on 11/22/2011 4:51:39 PM PST by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SJackson; ml/nj; ExTexasRedhead; rmlew; Eleutheria5; ari-freedom; Nachum; Yehuda; dennisw; ...
Kathleen Peratis? The name doesn't sound Jewish at all. Is J Street pulling another farce on us, pretending that she's a Jewish woman?
4 posted on 11/23/2011 9:37:16 PM PST by justiceseeker93
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93
Afaik, it's a Greek (Cypriot?) name.

While I think she's fecally impacted for meeting with Hamas, there are many Jews of Greek descent in the U.S. (there's a famous Greek shul still going on the Lower East Side in NYC).

5 posted on 11/23/2011 10:53:03 PM PST by Yehuda (Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93

I doubt very much that she is.


6 posted on 11/24/2011 12:20:22 AM PST by Never A Dull Moment
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93

I doubt very much that she is.


7 posted on 11/24/2011 12:20:54 AM PST by Never A Dull Moment
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: justiceseeker93

If she’s Jewish, she’s pretending that that means something to her for strictly propaganda purposes.


8 posted on 11/24/2011 2:30:00 AM PST by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Eleutheria5

I doubt that she is Jewish - she sounds like a lefty troll.


9 posted on 11/24/2011 8:39:06 AM PST by juliej
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: juliej

The contradiction being?


10 posted on 11/24/2011 1:02:36 PM PST by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson