In response to a series of negative ads targeting Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders created by the group “Democratic Majority for Israel,” J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement:
“J Street calls on the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) to take down the ads the group is running against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in Nevada.
“DMFI in reality represents a minority of pro-Israel Democrats who seem more concerned with targeting progressives over Israel policy than with confronting the destructive agenda of Donald Trump.
“Like their partner organization AIPAC – which recently ran vitriolic attack ads echoing Republican smears against progressive Democrats – DMFI’s right-leaning positions on Israel and US foreign policy are completely out of touch with the vast majority of Democrats and American Jews, who are both supportive of Israel and strongly critical of the policies of the Netanyahu government and of Donald Trump.
“DMFI has every right to publicly criticize the views of any candidate or elected official.
“But it has no right to claim to speak for a ‘Democratic majority’ of pro-Israel Americans as it takes sides in the Democratic primary. This dishonest packaging deepens divides over Israel in the US and exacerbates the troubling trend of making Israel a political football – all while distracting from the absolute necessity of defeating Donald Trump.
“The ads themselves have nothing to do with Israel and don’t even mention Senator Sanders’ views on Israel or foreign policy. If the funders and activists behind DMFI want to attack the Senator’s politics and candidacy, they should find another banner to rally under that leaves Israel out.
“We urge other leaders and organizations in the American Jewish community to join our call to remove these harmful ads and we call on AIPAC to join us in condemning these ads and to sever ties with the group.”
Note: While J Street is not endorsing in this Democratic primary, we’re committed to doing everything we can to help the eventual Democratic nominee defeat President Trump this November. Learn more.