J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement today:
J Street strongly opposes Pastor John Hagee’s recent comments encouraging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “grow and develop the settlements of Israel as you see fit.” As large majorities of American Jews and other friends of Israel believe, continued settlement construction undermines the viability of the two-state solution and endangers Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic homeland. We will add this extraordinarily unhelpful comment to the litany of reasons why J Street opposes an unholy alliance between right-wing Christian Zionist evangelicals and pro-Israel organizations. Besides being out of step with fundamental Jewish American values, Hagee’s so-called support for Israel is actually a means to an apocalyptic end of destruction or conversion for the Jewish people. In our search for allies in the fight to keep Israel secure, American Jews should neither compromise our core Jewish values of tolerance and justice, nor gloss over the reality of the damage the settlement enterprise causes to Israel and the prospects for peace.