(December 17, 2019 / JNS) The American Jewish lobby group J Street earlier this year considered a proposal seeking to reduce U.S. military aid to Israel, shelving it only after the group’s Israel director warned that such a move would effectively end any influence the group might have in Israel, according to The Intercept online news site.
According to the report, a letter signed by 35 people who served on the J Street U board from 2013 to 2019 proposed “that J Street develop a strategy that moves the organization toward an agenda of selective aid reduction, i.e. every shekel the Israeli government spends on settlements and home demolitions results in a proportional reduction of American military aid.”
When the proposed policy was discussed internally by the organization earlier this year, according to the report, J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami seemed to be for it; as a result, the board was ready to back it. However, sources familiar with the debate told The Intercept that objections from Yael Patir, J Street’s Tel Aviv-based Israel director, torpedoed the policy, warning that J Street would lose what influence it has left in the Knesset if it endorsed conditioning military aid.
Patir said in response to the report that “J Street is proud of being a broad movement encompassing a wide variety of supporters with different views and backgrounds, all of whom are committed to our mission, support for Israel and the diplomatic process. Internal discussions at J Street are conducted in a spirit of openness and attentiveness; with that, ultimately the organization has one official policy that guides us in our work in the United States and Israel.”
J Street said in a statement: “We are committed to and are working for the security and prosperity of Israel, and believe that a diplomatic arrangement leading to the two-state solution is an American and Israeli interest alike. For this reason, we supported and continue to support the largest-ever U.S. aid package to Israel, which was signed under President [Barack] Obama.”
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
JNS is more than just another news website and syndication service. It is an organization devoted to nonstop reporting, and telling the truth about Israel and Jewish issues unburdened by the biases and institutional blinders that distort so much of what we read, hear and see about these topics elsewhere in the secular and even Jewish press.
At JNS, you get the facts about Israel and Jewish issues without the bias that so often tilts the argument against the Jewish state. JNS articles and columns are republished every week by digital outlets and print newspapers across the globe. But in the age of round-the-clock news coverage, advertising and syndication revenues are not enough to support our continued growth. We need your financial help to keep JNS on target as we continue our fair and accurate reporting.
Please help us take JNS to the next level with a tax-deductible sponsorship, either on a recurring monthly basis. Jewish News Syndicate is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.