In Washington, J Street makes demands of Israel, ignoring Palestinian violence

Attendees at the organization’s 10th-anniversary conference were given a lobbying agenda that includes a laundry list of mandates aimed at the Jewish state—and none required of the Palestinians.

On Monday morning, the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” progressive lobbying group J Street held its training sessions for activists at its 10th-anniversary conference in the nation’s capital. Attendees were given a lobbying agenda that includes a laundry list of demands aimed at Israel and none aimed at the Palestinians, whose representative in Washington they will welcome later in the day.

The two most specific requests that J Street attendees will make when they go to Capitol Hill are for members of Congress to sign a pair of letters: one for House members calling on the Israeli government not to evacuate a disputed Palestinian village; and the other for senators, urging Israel to alleviate what it calls “the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” and for the Trump administration to reinstate funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

J Street also asks senators to oppose the nomination of U.S. Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo, and for members of both houses to “serve as a check on Trump’s foreign policy.” Without providing specifics, they call for “limiting the existing authorizations for the president’s use of military force,” “making clear the president must get Congress’s approval for new military actions” and “changing U.S. sanctions law to prevent the president from breaking the Iran deal.”

Last week, J Street announced that it had joined a letter signed by a number of left-wing and anti-Israel groups, including, Jewish Voice for Peace, CODEPINK and the Council on American Islamic Relations. The lobbying talking points distributed this morning mirror the language of that letter, including accusing the CIA director of being hostile to diplomacy and having a “disqualifying record” of anti-Muslim statements.

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