J Street Mourns the Passing of Amos Oz

December 28, 2018

Statement from Jeremy Ben-Ami, President of J Street:

“For most Jewish Americans of a certain age and political bent, no one better defined what it means to be Israeli than Amos Oz (z”l).

For J Street, he was a spiritual god-parent, providing perhaps the most motivating and memorable moment in our ten-plus-year history when he told our 2012 conference he had been waiting for our movement his entire adult life.

For me personally, he was like a second father. We bonded over shared family roots, not just geographically in the pale of Jewish Settlement in Russia/Poland and then in Jerusalem, but politically in the Revisionist (right-of-center) Zionism of Ze’ev Jabotinsky. We reveled in our subsequent transformation into proud liberal Zionists.

With his wisdom as our guide, it is now on those of us who shared his values and his politics to keep at the as-yet incomplete but vital work of peace-building and conflict resolution.

It was the dream of our people for two millennia to again be a free people in our own land.  Oz understood the irony that the Jewish people could only achieve that dream if those with whom we have been fighting for a century have freedom and dignity too.

The greatest tribute we can pay to this amazing man who served as our guiding light is to forge ahead along the path that he blazed. May his memory be a blessing – and an inspiration.”