I’m disappointed that an online article took my words out of context and framed them in a way as to attack J Street. Now, a discussion about language and semantics and a generational divide in the Jewish community has been used to undermine a group whose work I care deeply about.
I want to be clear: I believe in Israel’s right to exist. I believe in the Jewish people’s right to collective self determination, just as I believe in the Palestinian people’s right to the same. Like every J Street U student and leader, I know and understand the unshakable bonds that Jews around the world have to the State of Israel. Like every J Street U student and leader, I genuinely believe that every single Israeli and Palestinian has a right to self-determination, freedom, security and peace.
Again, to be clear: I also unequivocally condemn elements of the BDS movement who engage in antisemitic language or call for Israel’s destruction. Not only does this endanger Jewish people and Israelis, but it is divisive and counterproductive if their true cause is to build support for the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people.
With so many on the far right and left so eager to take good faith discussion out of context to score political points or undermine their opponents, it’s a reminder of the value of J Street U as a space to bring together people from all backgrounds to unite in support of a future for both peoples which secures peace, justice and self-determination.