Who Represents American Jews?

Visit anyone of a thousand websites and one soon encounters someone ranting about the “Israel Lobby” and attacking American Jews as unequivocal supporters of the actions of Israel. J Street is a lobby group which envisions its goals as fostering the peace process in the Middle East between Israel and Palestinians along with seeking to support goals of Israel. However, unlike its rival AIPAC, it has a different perspective as to the national interests of Israelis. J Street does not blindly follow actions such as the invasion of Gaza, it is concerned about rights of Palestinians as well as those of Israelis. J Street invited Michael Oren, ambassador to the US to attend a conference but he refused.

J Street is among the first American Jewish groups which is raising a basic question–what does it mean to be pro-Israel? J Street director, Jeremy Ben-Ami argues “Jewish and other Americans have found it hard to connect the increasingly hard-line stance coming out of Jerusalem.” Yes, it is about time because many American Jews believe that peace between Palestinians and Israel is critical and this means an end to West Bank settlements and no more Gaza invasions.

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