Jeremy Ben-Ami Expands on Comments in Washington Post this Morning

January 19th, 2012

I agree that the use of the term “Israel Firster” is a bad choice of words. The conspiracy theory that American Jews have dual loyalty is just that, a conspiracy theory and must be refuted in the strongest possible way. However, this incident is a perfect example of a more pressing problem with the way the debate plays out over Israel in the American Jewish community and in American politics. Rather than engage directly over whether or not American and/or Israeli policies are actually advancing American and Israeli interests, an ill-chosen word or phrase is used to delegitimize a critic or in this case an entire institution. The real question we should be debating is not the use of the term "Israel Firster" but the underlying questions being raised by CAP and others over the direction of American foreign policy – how best to achieve a two-state solution and how to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon without going to war. Read More...

Tags: Jeremy Ben-Ami jstreet

We can't just sit this one out

January 19th, 2012

“Maybe we should just sit this round out.” That’s what a long-time supporter of two states said to me the other day questioning whether, with all the upheaval in the Middle East, now is really the time for Israel to pursue a two-state solution with the Palestinians. Underlying the question is the assumption that if the risks of pursuing two states seem too great, maybe it’s better to just accept the status quo. Read More...

Tags: israel peace talks Quartet two-state solution

Observing what’s right and doing what’s just

January 18th, 2012

Below is an excerpt from a speech recently given by Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Jewish Labor Committee and the Retail Wholesale Department Store Union at the JLC Human Rights Awards Dinner on Thursday, January 13th in New York City. "Observing what’s right and doing what’s just." Read More...

Tags: borders cooperation israel peace talks Settlements

J Street and J Street U Statement on the Upcoming Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Conference at UPenn

January 12th, 2012

The announcement that a conference of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) will be held in February on the campus of UPENN has been met with a great deal of concern by organizations and members of the Jewish community. We share the strong opposition expressed by many of our colleagues in the organized Jewish community to the BDS movement and are similarly concerned about the implications of the upcoming conference at UPENN. Read More...

Tags: BDS J Street U Palestinians pro-Israel pro-peace two-state solution

J Street Hires Rabbinic Director

January 11th, 2012

WASHINGTON — J Street announced today that Rabbi Lawrence Troster will join the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby as Rabbinic Director, effective immediately. In this newly created position, Rabbi Troster will spearhead efforts to build and cultivate rabbinic leadership within the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. He will work closely with J Street’s 650-member Rabbinic Cabinet and its field organizers to strengthen J Street’s presence in synagogues and other Jewish community institutions across the country. Read More...

Tags: American Jewish Community jstreet rabbis

J Street Responds to Santorum’s Comments on West Bank

January 6th, 2012

WASHINGTON—In response to Senator Rick Santorum’s comments regarding the status of the West Bank, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement. “The majority of American Jews and Israelis support a two-state solution because it is the only way to ensure that Israel will not have to choose between remaining a democracy or Jewish homeland. Whether by force of ignorance or recklessness, Rick Santorum seems willing to forsake both principles to burnish his ‘pro-Israel’ credentials. Read More...

Tags: 2012 election Election 2012 Elections Elections 2012 Rick Santorum West Bank

J Street Goes to New Hampshire

January 6th, 2012

By Melanie Harris, J Street Northeast Regional Director January 5th was a cold, gray day in Manchester, New Hampshire. I drove the hour from Boston to meet up with four J Street supporters from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, we were on a mission: To deliver nearly 10,000 petitions to the headquarters of three Republican presidential contenders -- Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum--- in order to make it clear that pro-Israel Americans won't stand for their attempts to turn support for Israel into a political football. Read More...

Tags: 2012 election Election 2012 Elections Elections 2012 J Street Local Local Rick Santorum

J Street Responds to Israeli, Palestinian Meeting in Amman

January 3rd, 2012

WASHINGTON— J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement in response to the meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held in Amman today. “J Street welcomes the news that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held meetings today in Amman, hosted by the Jordanian government and joined by representatives of the Quartet. Read More...

Tags: israel peace talks Quartet