A Guardian report by Ben Jacobs published on March 28th highlighted an upcoming Democratic primary in Maryland to decided who will compete in the general election to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski. Jacobs focused on the contrasting views on Israel of the two candidates, Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards.
…there is one distinct policy difference between the two of them: their views on US policy in the Middle East. And this difference could doom Edwards on election day.
Van Hollen’s views on the Middle East peace process between Israel and the Palestinians are rather mainstream. A former staffer on the Senate foreign relations committee, Van Hollen has long been viewed warmly by Jewish Democrats in Maryland. He was described to the Guardian as “a classic progressive Democrat who was not in lock step with AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] but very much within their space”.
In contrast, Edwards has long been close to J Street, the leftwing Jewish group which takes a very dovish view of the peace process, and has long voted against efforts toughen sanctions on Iran and its nuclear programme.
The characterization of J Street as merely “dovish” and “leftwing” of course fits in nicely with the desired Guardian ‘left-right’, ‘dovish-hawkish’ paradigm on the debate over Israel in the US, yet has little relationship to reality.
A Boston-based group called Americans for Peace and Tolerance just made their full length feature film about J Street (The J Street Challenge) available on YouTube.
We enjoyed it and hope you do, too.