The Collapse of the American Jewish Center
Carinne Luck, a former J Street chief of staff and vice-president for field and campaigns, who is part of #IfNotNow, said it is “not a direct response to or turning away from J Street,” but #IfNotNow’s existence “does speak to the lack of spaces in our community to take these actions and speak with this kind of voice.”
The rising tensions between the supporters of Israel’s use of military force and the dissenters has led to an unprecedented polarization in the American Jewish community as Operation Protective Edge continues without a permanent cease fire, much less visible prospects for the moribund peace process.
While #IfNotNow’s actions and protests thus far have been tiny—numbering in the hundreds—they are reflective of a burgeoning discontent with institutional Jewish reaction to the current Gaza conflict. That institutional reaction, these dissenters charge, not only unquestioningly supports the official Israeli narrative that Hamas left Israel no choice but to attack—and no choice but to target locations packed with civilians—but fails to acknowledge and address the ongoing violence and repression inherent in the occupation.