Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

1,500 back launch of US 'peace' lobby

    “This is truly a birth of a movement,” declared Jeremy Ben-Ami, executive director of J Street, the dovish Israel lobby, at his group’s first ever national conference.

    For Mr Ben-Ami, the three-day parley in Washington DC, which brought together 1,500 activists, was a success. It attracted attention from the media and the foreign policy community, gained a stamp of approval from the administration and many members of Congress, and overcame a boycott by the Israeli ambassador to Washington.

    “A lot of people felt very alone, but now, knowing that we are here will empower them,” said Mr Ben-Ami.

    The 18-month-old lobby got a boost by the Obama administration’s decision to send a high-level official. National Security Adviser James Jones promised the audience: “You can be sure that this administration will be represented in all future conferences of this organisation.”

    Support also poured in from Congress, as 150 members joined the list of sponsors. However, 10 did withdraw, reportedly due to pressure from more hawkish pro-Israel activists. In addition, Israel’s embassy in Washington sent a low-level diplomat to monitor the talks, but Ambassador Michael Oren refused to attend.

    Israeli opposition lawmakers at the event criticised Mr Oren for boycotting the group because of its critical approach to Netanyahu government policy.

    “We also criticise the government,” said MK Shlomo Molla from Kadima.

    The organisation attracted further criticism after it emerged that its student arm dropped the “pro-Israel” part of its “pro-Israel, pro-peace” slogan.

    Californian Bob Filner told participants that he and other lawmakers had been intimidated by Jewish donors who threatened to pull funds from their political campaigns if they did not vote in line with the views of the mainstream pro-Israel lobby, Aipac. J Street aims to provide these lawmakers with alternative funds in the 2010 election cycle.

World

Trump to crackdown on Iran and its "terrorist minions", says Pence

JC Reporter

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trump to crackdown on Iran and its "terrorist minions", says Pence
World

It's Chanucah Song time!

Michael Moran

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's Chanucah Song time!
World

Trump picks ex-Goldman Sachs banker as Treasury...

JC Reporter

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trump picks ex-Goldman Sachs banker as Treasury...
World

Netanyahu invited to meet Abbas in Paris

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Netanyahu invited to meet Abbas in Paris
World

Will the Austrian election make Norbert Hofer E...

Sonia Zhuravlyova

Will the Austrian election make Norbert Hofer E...
World

'Neo-Nazi codes' appear in German supermarket a...

Toby Axelrod

Thursday, December 1, 2016

'Neo-Nazi codes' appear in German supermarket a...
World

'Jews should pay for their own security' say Swiss

Daniel Sugarman

Sunday, December 4, 2016

'Jews should pay for their own security' say Swiss
World

Australian abuse report

Henry Benjamin

Australian abuse report
World

Fire-ravaged Israelis ‘may no longer be married...

Michael Moran

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fire-ravaged Israelis ‘may no longer be married...