Today, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement regarding the Emergency Committee for Israel:
Bill Kristol and Gary Bauer's Emergency Committee for Israel represents all that is wrong with the way right-wing ideologues play politics with Israel’s future. Critical peace talks are about to start this week – with Israel’s Prime Minister participating – and the Emergency Committee chooses this moment to smear a member of Congress who has been an outspoken supporter of efforts to achieve peace and security in the Middle East in an attack ad featuring lies and deception. They should be ashamed. Most American Jews and friends of Israel simply will not buy the fear-mongering and Islamophobia that ECI is peddling. What is the Emergency Committee for – other than helping right-wing candidates like Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania who have consistently opposed aid to Israel? ECI refuses to take a position on the two-state solution. But two-thirds of Israelis and American Jews support it. The last four Prime Ministers of Israel have. Will ECI stop hiding its true colors on the only possible way to achieve real peace and security for Israel as a Jewish, democratic homeland? Does it support the new peace talks starting this week, built on the notion that it should be possible to achieve a negotiated resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? The Prime Minister of Israel is attending and says agreement can be reached in one year. Does ECI support the talks? Do they support the governments of Israel and of the United States in doing what they can to make them successful? Until they clarify otherwise, we assume the answer is no. Until then, the ECI stands exposed as little more than a group of ideologues who support settlements over security and are wildly out of step with the mainstream of Jewish Americans.Update: ECI responded to J Street's questions here. Stay tuned!