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Posts

The dovish Israel lobby gains ground on Aipac

jsteetNathan Guttman, Washington, 27 August 2009 reports in the Jewish Chronicle. Some extracts:

Eighteen months since it set out to change the face of pro-Israel advocacy in the American capital, J Street has succeeded in becoming a household name.

The young organisation, which bills itself as a pro-peace lobby, was part of the exclusive club of Jewish groups invited to a White House meeting with President Obama last month, and boasts a constantly growing operation at a time when most organisations on the Middle East policy scene are downsizing…

The group has built an online support network of over 100,000 members and financially supported 41 candidates for congress in the 2008 election cycle. Thirty-three of them got elected.

“The impact we had on political circles in Washington and within the Jewish community has made a difference in the debate,” Mr Ben-Ami said.

J Street, which now has a staff of 18 employees and a $3 million operating budget, is focusing on two goals. The first is to provide President Barack Obama with the political backing to help him achieve a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The second is to “broaden the debate” in the Jewish community over what it means to be pro-Israeli…

… despite criticism, J Street is enjoying a momentum rarely seen in the world of Jewish advocacy.

It has dominated media reports on the pro-peace movement in America over the past year and is now increasing its grassroots operation.

The group is in merger talks with Brit Tzedek V’Shalom, a large volunteer network of pro-peace activists which could provide J Street with an even larger base of supporters…

Full report

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