J Street welcomes the decision of the National LGBT Task Force to stick with its original plans to host a joint reception with the American Jewish group A Wider Bridge, featuring the Israeli group Jerusalem Open House. The Task Force had previously canceled the event due to pressure from anti-Israel activists.
Both of the organizations in question do deeply important work in their communities.The Jerusalem Open House provides services to LGBT individuals regardless of their race or religion, working to build tolerance and understanding in their city. A Wider Bridge fosters interaction between Israelis and the North American LGBT and allied communities. We note proudly that A Wider Bridge sponsored an LGBT reception at the 2015 J Street National Conference.
J Street believes deeply in the importance of the inclusion of differing perspectives and the free exchange of ideas. Groups and individuals who may strongly disagree should nonetheless have the opportunity to meet and share their views and perspectives. Undoubtedly, the conference and its attendees will benefit from the participation of both these groups.
We could not agree more with Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey’s statement today that “when faced with choices, we should move towards our core value of inclusion and opportunities for constructive dialogue.”