Z Street: The Zionist Answer to J Street

Not all American Jews are happy with J Street. In fact, in July 2009 Lori Lowenthal Marcus cofounded a rebuttal: Z Street. “The Z stands for Zionism,” she said in a telephone interview. “And it is also as far away from J as it can possibly be.”

“Z street,” she said, “is a true Zionist voice for a true Jewish state that is safe and secure in reality, not in word.” Ms. Marcus, a former litigator with a major Philadelphia law firm and past president of the Philadelphia branch of the Zionist Organization of America, said Z Street believes “actions and facts are what count, not words.”

Calling J Street “pro-Palestinian,” Z Street’s website, zstreet.org, describes a world “increasingly hostile to Israel” and says it is unfortunate that “Jews hostile to Israel play an increasingly larger role in the public debate.” The site asks,

Who are those Jews? You know, the self-important intellectuals…currently whispering into the eager ears of the White House. They label themselves “pro-peace and pro-Israel.” But they don’t really care about protecting Israel from the threats of terrorism and extinction….Ours is the proud, full-throated advocacy of Zionism.

Z Street is guided by three no’s: “no negotiations with, no appeasement of, and no concession to terrorists.” It gives no credence to words like West Bank, settlers, occupation, and other phrases that delegitimize the Zionist idea and make Israel seem like an interloper on foreign soil.

Ms. Marcus said Z Street considers Iran the number one problem facing Israel. Now gaining supporters from around the world, the organization hopes to become a real player in getting out a pro-Zionism message.

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