In what seems to have become an annual tradition here at Goldblog, I interviewed Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and major domo of J Street, the left-leaning pro-Israel lobbying group, in advance of his organization’s annual conference, which takes place in Washington this weekend. (I would do the same with AIPAC’s Howard Kohr, but I stopped asking for interviews a long time ago, because the guy hides from the press.) Jeremy and I went over a lot of ground, starting with the White House decision to send a senior National Security Council official, Tony Blinken (who serves as the vice president’s national security adviser) to speak at the J Street convention, rather than a cabinet-level officer, or higher. We also spoke about Peter Beinart’s call for a boycott of settlement-made products, which Ben-Ami thinks is a bad idea. The transcript has been edited for space and clarity.