Statement on Kathleen Peratis’ visit to Gaza

November 28, 2011

J Street strongly regrets the recent meetings by its Board member Kathleen Peratis with members of Hamas and the articles that she has written about her visit to Gaza.

J Street’s policy clearly states our belief that “Hamas’ consistent opposition to the peace process, its support for terror against Israeli civilians, its use of violence for political purposes, and its denial of the Holocaust are reprehensible.”

In our view, J Street leaders – directors and staff – should not meet with Hamas.

J Street supports the policy of the U.S. government not to meet with Hamas until it renounces the use of violence and terror, accepts Israel’s right to exist and agrees to abide by agreements made between Israel and the PLO.

Ms. Peratis was advised prior to her trip of J Street’s view that its leaders should not meet with Hamas[1]. We deeply regret that she chose to meet with Hamas representatives anyway.

She did not represent J Street in the meetings she did have, and her writings do not in any way reflect the views of J Street.

There should be no misunderstanding about J Street’s positions, which put the security and safety of Israel front and center. To that end, we promote a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to secure Israel’s future as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people.