- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 9, 2009


James Kirchick (”Self-loathing on J Street,” Opinion, Wednesday) displaces his own feelings toward Caryl Churchill's play, “Seven Jewish Children,” with a vitriolic attack on J Street, a new pro-Israel lobby with whose policy prescriptions Mr. Kirchick disagrees.

In his zest to attack J Street, Mr. Kirchick seems to miss the irony that the show was airing at the Jewish Community Center, a pillar of the Washington Jewish community. Are we as a Jewish community so vulnerable and weak that we can't endure a debate sparked by a 10-minute play with some controversial dialogue?

J Street didn't, as Mr. Kirchick noted, endorse all the words or sentiments in the play's script. So it must be that Mr. Kirchick objects to providing a stage to a work that might provoke a conversation about the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Jewish morality and the Jewish soul. It is precisely that kind of constraint on open debate and conversation that J Street was founded to help correct.

Would Mr. Kirchick really ask theaters not to run plays that disagree with his political viewpoints? We wouldn't - and we didn't when it came to “Seven Jewish Children.”


Executive director

J Street


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