APN, J Street, NIF respond to Bret Stephens' characterization of President Obama on Israel

March 7th, 2012

March 7, 2012 Americans for Peace Now, J Street and the New Israel Fund today issued their first-ever joint statement condemning the unseemly attack on President Obama by the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens. Stephens focuses on the President's association with our organizations and some of our key supporters. This is simply the latest in a litany of partisan attacks on the President for standing for and with the values that are actually at the very heart of the Jewish community. Statement by : Debra DeLee, President and CEO, Americans for Peace Now (APN) Jeremy Ben-Ami, President, J Street Daniel Sokatch, CEO, New Israel Fund (NIF)

“We are outraged by Bret Stephens’ attack yesterday on President Obama as ‘untrustworthy’ on the basis of the President’s association with people involved in our organizations. His attack – grounded in a litany of guilt-by-association charges – fits well with the tradition established in the 1950s by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Our organizations – along with the majority of Jewish Americans – stand for a set of values core to the Jewish people, including justice and freedom, equality and peace. As pro-Israel advocates, we work day in and day out to the best of our ability to help Israel, the national homeland of our people, to embody these values. Stephens’ attack on the President is part of a larger effort by the right wing of the American Jewish community to delegitimize President Obama – as well as large swaths of American Jewry – for supporting Israel in a way that aligns with values at the core of Jewish communal identity. This campaign to drive a partisan political wedge through the heart of Jewish communal support for Israel should stop, and Stephens, in particular, should apologize. Our organizations are three parts of a larger pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy movement that speaks for a large number of Jewish Americans and other friends of Israel. J Street and APN take positions on Iran, NIF does not. But we all reject these attacks on the President and efforts to smear him for his tireless work to preserve and strengthen the US-Israel relationship. We will continue to sound the call for Stephens to apologize to a President we greatly respect for his efforts for peace, democracy and security not just in Israel, but in all of the Middle East.