Colette Avital Joins J Street as Senior Advisor

June 19, 2009

Former Deputy Speaker of Knesset, Consul General to lead efforts to build Israeli support for organization as it expands

WASHINGTON — J Street announced today the appointment of Colette Avital, former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and Israeli Consul General to New York, as Senior Advisor to the political arm of the American pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. “Colette Avital’s lifetime commitment to Israel’s security and future exemplifies the very values on which J Street was founded,” said J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami. “I’m thrilled to join J Street as it provides strong political support for the American diplomacy so critical to achieving peace for Israel and its neighbors,” said Avital. “J Street’s work in promoting the two-state solution and a broad, regional peace serves the essential interests of both Israel and the United States, and I look forward to working together to achieve these goals.”

In her new capacity, Avital will focus on building Israeli support for J Street and its mission as the organization continues to grow. In particular, Avital will work with many prominent Israelis from the security, political, military, diplomatic and academic fields to demonstrate the strong support in Israel for bold US leadership in achieving a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts.

Avital, who served as Israel’s Consul General in New York City from 1992 to 1997, joined the 15th Knesset on behalf of the Labor Party in November 1999 and was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Knesset in February 2003.  Throughout her nearly decade-long tenure in the Knesset, Avital served as Chair of the Ethics and the Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora Committees.  She also headed the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee into the Location and Restitution of the Assets of Holocaust Victims and served as the International Secretary of the Labor Party.

“We look forward to working with Avital to continue growing the broad support in Israel for strong American leadership in pursuit of the two-state solution and a comprehensive, regional peace,” said Ben-Ami.  “We believe such partnership is essential to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic homeland and bring true peace and security to the region.”