Today, J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement in response to Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s interview with Haaretz:
J Street applauds Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s comments on the U.S.-Israel relationship in a recent interview with Haaretz. We share Rabbi Yoffie’s assessment that “settlement activity at the West Bank is not popular [in the United States]. It never has been…. I think the status quo is deeply and profoundly problematic. I think there is some possibility he [President Obama] can make progress and move us forward – I’m not sure. I think he is wise and right to do so, and the alternative is doing nothing while additional settlements are built and the possibility of the two-state solution becomes impossible.” Moreover, polling consistently shows strong opposition among American Jews when it comes to settlement expansion. There is broad consensus among American Jews, American Jewish organizations, and other pro-Israel Americans on the threat settlement expansion poses to Israel’s long-term interests. J Street looks forward to working with our broader community to support the strong U.S.-Israel relationship and the bold U.S. leadership that is so critical to the two-state solution and a comprehensive regional peace. We also share Rabbi Yoffie’s concerns regarding American college students and their relationship with Israel. As Rabbi Yoffie noted, it is necessary for the pro-Israel, pro-peace community to counter the more extreme voices on campus by underscoring the two-state solution as the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic homeland. J Street’s new campus effort, which will launch officially this fall, aims to help advance this conversation by providing a home for students to reconcile their support for Israel and a two-state solution with their progressive values.