These are tough times for people hoping for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu poised to win re-election later this month, some critics of Israel’s peace and security policies worry out loud that Israel’s political cycle -- its pattern of cycling alternately between the political left and right -- is stuck on the right.
When the new Congress convenes in January, it will be missing several longtime pillars of support for Israel on Capitol Hill.
As a long-time advocate for peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I am pained that frustration over failure to achieve a just and lasting peace has led allies in the struggle to end up at odds over tactics like boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).
The first Israeli government official ever to appear before J Street received a rousing, whistling, foot-stomping reception. And that was it, as far as the welcome went.
The liberal Jewish group J Street opposes Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood recognition through the United Nations, as well as plans to penalize the Palestinians for making the bid.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not meet with a visiting congressional delegation visiting under J Street auspices. Jeremy Ben-Ami, who directs the self-described "pro-Israel, pro-peace" group, confirmed Monday that the prime minister and other senior government officials refused to meet with the five-member delegation.
When you get a moment, go online and read the account by our reporter Jonah Lowenfeld of the April 11 J Street debate at Temple Israel of Hollywood. Jewish Journal columnist David Suissa squared off against Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder and president of the self-annointed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying group J Street. About 600 people filed in.
Two J Street staff members who have been with the organization since its inception three years ago have resigned their positions for new opportunities, the organization announced. Issac Luria, the vice president of new media and communications, and press secretary Amy Spitalnick are leaving the the liberal pro-Israel lobby, the organization's president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, announced Wednesday.
Pro-Israel doves are launching an initiative aimed at countering the influence of established Jewish organizations on Capitol Hill. In a conference call Tuesday, organizers announced the launch of J Street, a lobby outfit and a political action committee backed by some of the biggest names in the dovish pro-Israel community.