J Street is proud to have sponsored a tour of seven distinguished Israeli security and political experts, including retired IDF Generals and Ambassadors, to the U.S. discuss Israel's security needs and interests. The delegation met with members of President Obama’s administration, members of Congress and at the Pentagon.
Israeli Maj. Gen. (ret.) Shlomo Gazit, former Ambassador Alon Pinkas and Brig. Gen. (ret.) Nehamiah Dagan, among the others, spoke about the urgent need for Israel-Palestinian negotiations on a two-state solution to begin in advance of the anticipated UN vote on Palestinian statehood in September. They told the administration, members of Congress and U.S military officials that President Obama’s declaration for a negotiated settlement based on 1967 lines with agreed-upon land swaps was not just defensible, but was a political and military imperative for Israel.
The delegation, which later went to L.A., New York, Chicago, Miami and San Francisco for meetings with Jewish community leaders and members, also presented their views in public panels at the Wilson Center and Brookings Institution in Washington DC.
See what people are saying about the tour:
NPR: Worries Grow Over Palestinian U.N. Bid
The former military intelligence official is not your usual peacenik, though he came to Washington on a trip sponsored by the pro-peace advocacy group J Street. Gazit, who once oversaw the occupied territories, says he fears for the future of Israel if it doesn't allow Palestinians to have a viable nation.
Washington Jewish Week: Former Israeli military, political leaders: '67 borders are defensible
The seven Israeli heavyweights, who are in town at the behest of J Street for a series of high-level meetings with officials from the White House, State Department and Pentagon, took time from their jam-packed schedule to explain why Israel's 1967 borders are not only defensible, but imperative to Israel's future as a Jewish, democratic state.
JTA: Israeli ex-generals, diplomats press for U.S. role in peace talks
The group, sponsored by J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group, also conducted briefings in Congress. It pushed back against suggestions from some conservatives that President Obama's call on the sides to base negotiations on the 1967 lines, with land swaps, would leave Israel with indefensible borders.