J Street founder and Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami met today for the first time with Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. The conversation, which took place at the Israeli Embassy, lasted approximately one hour and covered a wide range of topics, including the peace process, the US-Israel relationship and Iran. The meeting builds on months of discussions between the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby and the Embassy aimed at clarifying the Israeli government’s understanding of J Street’s views and included a forthright discussion of points of agreement and disagreement.
“I greatly appreciated the opportunity to sit down with Ambassador Oren for a frank and fruitful conversation about how we can work together to ensure Israel’s prospects for peace and security. I applaud the Ambassador’s commitment to building a bridge to the pro-Israel, pro-peace community in the months since our national conference,” said Ben-Ami. “The Ambassador clearly recognizes the importance of dialogue and communication between the State of Israel and those parts of the American Jewish community that are deeply pro-Israel but at times disagree with the policies of its government.
“J Street hopes that going forward we are building a relationship based on mutual respect and recognizing that our disagreements are rooted in a deep commitment to Israel’s security and its future as a democracy and the home of the Jewish people.
“I hope this is but the first of many conversations we will have.”