Secretary Clinton under fire, J Street responds

February 27, 2009

Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s Executive Director, released the following statement:

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly called on Israeli leaders to fulfill their commitment to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza by opening the borders to aid.  Now, reports say “Jewish leaders” are blasting Clinton for tackling this tough issue.

Let’s be clear.  There are many in the Jewish community who believe that opening the Gaza crossings to facilitate reconstruction is in both Israel and America’s best interests – and we support Senator Clinton’s position.

J Street, the political voice of the pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy community, commends Secretary Clinton for her statements and seconds her call on Israel to ease the restrictions on the movement of food, medical supplies, and basic construction materials into Gaza.  This aid is critical in addressing the ongoing, dire humanitarian crisis and achieving a sustainable ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.  Such a ceasefire serves the interests of Israel, the United States, and the Palestinians.

Only American leadership like that demonstrated by Secretary Clinton can move Israel and the Palestinians toward a two-state solution to the conflict, advancing American interests in the region while securing Israel’s future.