Israeli Amb. Finally Meets With Leader of Progressive American Jewish Organization
Amb. Michael Oren pointedly snubbed J Street when the pro-Israel/pro-peace/progressive American Jewish lobby group offered to let him speak at its first annual conference last fall. Now, Oren appears to be mending fences, meeting with J Street executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami. Here’s J Street’s account of their first meeting today:
“I greatly appreciated the opportunity to sit down with Ambassador Oren for a frank and fruitful conversation about how we can work together to ensure Israel’s prospects for peace and security. I applaud the Ambassador’s commitment to building a bridge to the pro-Israel, pro-peace community in the months since our national conference,” said Ben-Ami.
“The Ambassador clearly recognizes the importance of dialogue and communication between the State of Israel and those parts of the American Jewish community that are deeply pro-Israel but at times disagree with the policies of its government.
“J Street hopes that going forward we are building a relationship based on mutual respect and recognizing that our disagreements are rooted in a deep commitment to Israel’s security and its future as a democracy and the home of the Jewish people.
“I hope this is but the first of many conversations we will have.”
If the Jewish community can’t come together during the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, when can it? Oren’s fence-mending move is an indication that Israel needs the help of all its supporters as it seeks to overcome its current difficulties with the Obama administration over the peace process — particularly the aid of those, represented by J Street, who support both Israel and Obama.