J Street Conference An Important Forum For Presidential Candidate Discussions on US Foreign Policy, US-Israel Relationship

October 28, 2019

Following 24 hours of exciting foreign policy interviews with 2020 presidential candidates at J Street’s National Conference, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement:

“We’re thrilled that J Street’s National Conference has served as a forum for serious, substantive discussion on US foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the US-Israel relationship. Candidate after candidate made clear their belief that the next president needs to undo the damage done by the Trump Administration, restore American credibility, lead the way towards a two-state solution and confront the threats of ongoing occupation, settlement expansion and potential annexation.

Among other important issues, we were encouraged to hear many of the candidates discuss how the United States can and should ensure that our robust security assistance to Israel is not used in ways that undermine our interests and values, violate existing US law or deepen Israel’s security challenges.

For too long, American taxpayers and lawmakers have been asked to provide military assistance to Israel without questioning whether the material acquired with that aid was being used as a blank check to further Israeli policies and actions that the US opposes, including the entrenchment of the occupation. J Street believes that our tax dollars should only be used in accordance with our laws and to further our policies and interests. Saying this does not amount to a call for reducing or conditioning American assistance. It does demand a serious inquiry into the uses to which aid is being put and consideration of what restrictions to its use are appropriate.

We are pleased to see the 2020 presidential candidates begin to engage in this important conversation as well.”