WASHINGTON— J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement in response to an article posted today in Washington Jewish Week, “After J Street Declares War, ECI Punches Back.”
“The American Jewish community has a choice politically in 2012 and in the years ahead.
There’s a part of our community – represented by the Emergency Committee for Israel – whose supporters led the charge to war in Iraq, who ally with the Christian Zionist movement, and who affiliate with the Tea Party. This part of the community sees nothing wrong with unlimited settlement expansion and no need to actively pursue a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They seem perfectly content to affiliate with those who engage in hate-filled harangues and to demonize Palestinians – and Arabs and Muslims generally – without reservation and to engage in campaigns of smears against their opponents.
There’s another part of our community – for which J Street speaks – that believes that Israel’s security and survival depends on ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a two-state solution and that is deeply committed to American leadership in helping that to happen. We think settlement expansion is wrong, demonization and slander of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims should be condemned, and that core Jewish values argue for reaching a just and peaceful two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We don’t equate love of Israel with support for the policies of its government – particularly when those policies are damaging to Israeli and American interests and counter to basic Jewish and democratic values.
This is a fundamental political choice for Jewish Americans – and we believe the solid majority of Jewish Americans support J Street’s views not ECI’s.”