As the Jewish right and left wings rush to their respective corners, those of us in the relative center of the community have a right to feel excluded and frustrated by the Presidents' Conference decision.
The rejection of J Street flies in the face of what all nonprofits stand for, but it is also hard to avoid pointing to the irony and hypocrisy of major Jewish organizations rejecting discussion and debate within their own ranks after the long history of discrimination against Jews and their views.
If all politics is more or less local, the upcoming midterm Congressional elections should provide AIPAC with a huge "carrot or stick" leverage over the makeup of Congress, especially the Senate, and the legislative agenda in Washington for the next two years.
I am one of those who certainly support J Street's ongoing efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace, and I applaud their repeated outreach calling on congressional leaders and Jewish groups to support Secretary of State John Kerry's peace offensive.
What does J Street's motto "Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace" really mean? That question calls for grasping the context of Zionism among Jews in the United States -- aspects of history, largely obscured and left to archives, that can shed light on J Street's current political role.
Recent controversies within Hillel International, the "home" for many Jewish college students of diverse backgrounds and beliefs, have made public in a sharper way a profound spiritual issue confronting American Jews and their "official" organizations.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have fallen victim to their own uncompromising public narratives. To facilitate the terms of an agreement, they need powerful and relentless pressure to provide them with political cover, which only the U.S. can exert.
Right-wing neoconservatives -- including Bill Kristol, Elliott Abrams, Jennifer Rubin and many others -- are wasting no time in launching a swiftboat-reminiscent campaign to besmirch Hagel's reputation and derail his nomination.
Does all this represent a crack in the wall of intimidation, to use the word of Mr. Hagel to Mr. Miller? Will the message get through to Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, et al to stop interfering in the American political process?