update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

J Street praises Biden admin arms freeze

The NGO urged the White House to take "all necessary steps" to stop Israel from launching a large-scale operation against Hamas in Rafah.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressing the 2022 J Street National Conference in Washington. Source: J Street/Flickr.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressing the 2022 J Street National Conference in Washington. Source: J Street/Flickr.

J Street last week came out in support of U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to halt weapons deliveries to Israel, urging the White House to take “all necessary steps” to stop Jerusalem from carrying out a large-scale ground operation against the Hamas terrorist organization in Rafah.

“The United States has made clear to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it cannot support such military action without a credible and executable evacuation plan for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians sheltering in the area,” noted the far-left organization.

“We urge President Biden and Congress to take all necessary steps to dissuade Prime Minister Netanyahu from moving forward with a full-scale invasion of Rafah, which would risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians and jeopardize efforts to secure a bilateral ceasefire and hostage release,” the statement concluded.

In April 2020, J Street endorsed Biden for president—the first time that the self-described “pro-Israel” advocacy group endorsed a candidate for the White House.

Last year, Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Amichai Chikli called J Street “a hostile organization that harms the interests of the State of Israel.”

Chikli dismissed J Street as unimportant, criticizing it for supporting the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reminding viewers that far-left billionaire George Soros provides financial support to the group.

Following Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre of some 1,200 people in the northwestern Negev, the organization refused to pull endorsements of progressive politicians who accused the Jewish state of “genocide.”

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said: “We’re now in December of 2023, so we’re more than halfway through, essentially, the [U.S. election] cycle. We probably will not change our endorsements in mid-cycle.” 

Instead, he explained, statements like those from anti-Israel Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) might impact the group’s endorsement for the 2026 congressional election.

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