WASHINGTON, DC — The pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy group J Street and its student movement J Street U announced today the launch of a new campaign urging the Democratic Party to include in its party platform formal opposition to Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank.
J Street leaders and students activists across the country are asking supporters to sign on to their call to action, which notes that while “past party platforms have rightly stated a commitment to Israel’s security and included condemnations of threats and actions against our ally,” they have “been totally silent on the rights of Palestinians, Israeli actions that undermine those rights and the prospects for a two-state solution and the need for security for both peoples.” The petition asks that the 2020 platform correct this “by expressly stating both a commitment to Israel and its security and a commitment to Palestinian rights. They should include clear opposition to ongoing occupation, settlement expansion and unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank.”
“The vast majority of Democratic voters believe that the US should support Israel’s security, promote a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and oppose the Israeli government’s policies of occupation and creeping annexation,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. “That approach is good policy and smart politics — which is why the Democrats should firmly commit to it in their party platform.”
As a core part of this campaign, J Street U students will hold meetings and events on college campuses nationwide to highlight how the ongoing occupation of the West Bank tramples on Palestinians rights, imperils the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace and runs counter to American interests and democratic values. J Street and J Street U activists will organize with College Democrat leaders, key Democratic Party stakeholders and progressive movement allies to build a broad base of support for this effort in advance of the Democratic National Convention in July 2020.
“Young people need to see principled, progressive leadership from the next president — and that must include doing far more than ever before to help end the occupation and promote Israeli-Palestinian peace,” said Matan Arad-Neeman, National Student President of J Street U. “We’re going to do everything we can to urge Democrats to make this much-needed update in the party’s official position.”
On Sunday, October 27, over 1,200 college students will rally in support of the campaign at J Street’s National Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. For more information on the campaign, the rally and the J Street Conference, contact Logan Bayroff: [email protected], 516-965-5159.