Dear Juan,

Maybe you’d want to avoid using the term "America First" for what you’re talking about here. I share your frustration over the inability of the emerging progressive American Jewish lobbying apparatus to pull American support from the Gaza war. But many of the efforts you’re talking about are duplicative with what they’re actually doing right now. It takes time. If there were a quick solution, it would have been implemented by now.

But using the name "America First" has really bad overtones. Not only did the America First Committee lobby to keep the U.S. out of the second World War — we don’t have to argue that that was a wrongheaded position, I trust — but its (to say the least) comfort with antisemetic rhetoric disgraces it for all time. I know first-hand that you do not share such sentiment or such comfort. We’ve all written overheated stuff. I’m no exception. So maybe think of a different name here?

(And while we’re at it, I’d suggest not using "Zionist" as a synonym for "Likudnik." There’s a proud tradition of universalism in progressive Zionism that stretches back to Ahad Ha’am and emphasizes the need for all peoples to have a homeland. Progressive Zionists look to this tradition to argue the need for a Palestinian state. Just saying.)

Your friend and comrade,

Update: Juan didn’t realize what the overtones of the "America First" slogan were. To his immense credit, he’s changed the proposal’s name when they were pointed out to him.