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J Street

J Street
J Street Logo
Founder Jeremy Ben-Ami
Type charitable organization
Focus Arab–Israeli conflict
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Location
Area served
 Israel /  USA
Method Lobbying
Key people
Jeremy Ben-Ami (Executive director)
Franklin Fisher (Advisor)
Daniel Levy (Advisor)
Debra DeLee (Advisor)
Marcia Freedman (Advisor)
Shlomo Ben-Ami (Advisor)
Samuel W. Lewis (Advisor)
Lincoln Chafee (Advisor)
Website www.jstreet.org

J Street is a nonprofit liberal[1][2][3] advocacy group based in the United States whose stated aim is to promote American leadership to end the Arab–Israeli and Israel–Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. It was founded in April 2008.

J Street states that it "supports a new direction for American policy in the Middle East – diplomatic solutions over military ones", "multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution"; and "dialogue over confrontation" with wider international support. According to J Street, its political action committee is "the first and only federal Political Action Committee whose goal is to demonstrate that there is meaningful political and financial support to candidates for federal office from large numbers of Americans who believe a new direction in American policy will advance U.S. interests in the Middle East and promote real peace and security for Israel and the region".[4]

J Street describes itself as a pro-Israel organization that supports peace between Israel and its neighbors.

Contents

  • Etymology 1
  • Political vision 2
  • Structure 3
    • Management 3.1
      • Advisory Council 3.1.1
      • Rabbinic Cabinet 3.1.2
  • Activities 4
    • Political fund raising 4.1
    • Lobbying 4.2
    • Other projects and activities 4.3
  • Relationship with Israel 5
  • Funding 6
  • Reception 7
  • Controversy 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12

Etymology

J Street, as an American Washington leaders and policymakers, derived its name from the alphabetically named street plan of Washington, D.C.: J Street is missing from the grid (the street naming jumps from I Street to K Street since I and J were not yet considered to be distinct letters at the time the Washington street plan was created).[5] Also, by association, the letter J is a reference to "Jewish". Further, K Street is a street in downtown Washington on which many influential lobbying firms are located, and that become synonymous for Washington's formidable lobbying establishment. Consequently, the choice of the name reflects the desire of J Street's founders and donors to bring a message to Washington that, metaphorically like the missing "J Street" of the D.C. grid, has thus far been absent.[6]

Political vision

According to the J Street leadership to achieve a two-state solution and a broader regional, comprehensive peace and, second, to ensure a broad debate on Israel and the Middle East in national politics and the American Jewish community.[4] In 2011, J-Street opposed recognizing Palestine as an independent state at the United Nations.[7]

J Street "recognizes and supports Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people"[8] and Israel's "desire for security as the Jewish homeland, as well as the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state of their own".[4] According to its executive director, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He says J Street is proud of AIPAC's many accomplishments and clarified that the two groups have different priorities rather than different views.[1][6][9]

Explaining the need for a new advocacy and lobbying group, Ben-Ami stated: "J Street has been started, however, because there has not been sufficient vocal and political advocacy on behalf of the view that Israel's interests will be best served when the United States makes it a major foreign policy priority to help Israel achieve a real and lasting peace not only with the Palestinians but with all its neighbors."[10]

Alan Solomont, one of the founders of J Street and a former national finance chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and currently a Democratic Party fundraiser, described the need for J Street in the following way: "We have heard the voices of neocons, and right-of-center Jewish leaders and Christian evangelicals, and the mainstream views of the American Jewish community have not been heard."[1] During its first conference, Ben-Ami said, "The party and the viewpoint that we're closest to in Israeli politics is actually Kadima." Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit, who attended the conference, said, "They are more left than Kadima, but on this main issue, which is peace, I think we agree."[11]

The Washington Post described the perceived differences between J Street and AIPAC: "While both groups call themselves bipartisan, AIPAC has won support from an overwhelming majority of Republican Jews, while J Street is presenting itself as an alternative for Democrats who have grown uncomfortable with both Netanyahu’s policies and the conservatives’ flocking to AIPAC."[12]

J Street's official policy positions [13]as of March 2015 focus on the following strategies:

  • Draw the line on settlement expansion
  • Renew U.S. leadership to achieve a two-state solution
  • Refrain from cutting Palestinian aid
  • Advance human security
  • Reach a negotiated resolution to the nuclear crisis with Iran
  • Advocate a regional approach

Structure

J Street PAC logo

J Street and J Street PAC, founded in April 2008, exist as separate legal entities with different political functions. The J Street Education Fund joined the J Street family of organizations in 2009:

  • J Street – a nonprofit advocacy group registered as a 501(c)(4) social welfare group. J Street aims to encourage and "support strong American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts peacefully and diplomatically".[4]
  • The J Street PAC – a political action committee capable of making direct political campaign donations. Thus, the J Street PAC will provide political and financial support to candidates who are seeking election or reelection and agree with J Street's goals.[14]
  • The J Street Education Fund, Inc. – a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It aims to educate targeted communities about the need for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, raise the visibility of a mainstream pro-Israel, pro-peace presence within the American Jewish community, and promote open, dynamic and spirited conversation about how to best advance the interests and future of a democratic, Jewish Israel. J Street Local, J Street's national field program and J Street U (formerly UPZ), J Street's on campus movement are programs of the J Street Education Fund.
  • [15]

Management

J Street's founding Executive Director is Jeremy Ben-Ami, a former domestic policy adviser in the Clinton Administration.[1] Ben-Ami's grandparents were among the founders of Tel Aviv, his parents were Israelis, his family suffered in the Holocaust, and he has lived in Israel, where he was almost killed in a Jerusalem terror attack.[10] Ben-Ami has worked for many years with Jewish peace groups, including the Center for Middle East Peace and the Geneva Accord.[6][16]

The initial support of J Street came from multi-[79] It was reported that Colette Avital, former member of the Knesset from the center-left Labor Party and a J Street's liaison in Israel said that one of the reasons she resigned from J Street was its connection with Goldstone.[80] However, this was later refuted by Avital herself.[81]

On December 30, 2010, The Washington Times reported that J Street "paid tens of thousands of dollars to a consulting firm co-owned by its founder and president, Jeremy Ben-Ami". "Even if it's technically legal, it gets very messy when you have these sorts of deals going on because, if you're going to benefit on the other end of it, be it 100 percent or 5 percent, it raises questions about objectivity and the arm's length in the transaction," said Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator. "Mr. Ben-Ami declined repeated interview requests, but provided a statement through a spokesman: 'I founded Ben-Or together with Oriella Ben-Zvi in 1998. When I left in 2000, I relinquished all rights to ongoing compensation from Ben-Or in any form. I have received no payments from the company in the past 11 years and have had no role in the management or operation of the firm.'"[82]

In January, 2011, liberal Jewish congressman Rep. [83] In a press release, J. Street noted that it had not endorsed the resolution, was advocating policies that would keep the resolution from coming to a vote, and if that failed was urging the US to change the resolution language to be in line with US policy.[84]

At the J Street February 2011 conference's opening speech, Rabbi David Saperstein, director and chief legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center for more than 30 years, said that he is "among J Street's most fervent fans", though he shared his concerns regarding J Street's recent recommendation to the Obama administration not to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel. Saperstein added, "If you alienate your mainstream support you risk losing everything."[85][86]

A Kadima MK Ze'ev Bielski, a former Jewish Agency chairman.[87] At the same time, other MK attended and spoke at the conference, including Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor), Yoel Hasson (Kadima), Amir Peretz (Labor), Nachman Shai (Kadima), and Orit Zuaretz (Kadima).[88]

In March 2011, MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) said to Ben-Ami during a Knesset committee meeting: "You are not Zionists and you do not care about Israeli interests. Fifty rockets a day are fired on the South and you fight against the American veto against condemnations of Israel. You are not Zionists and you do not care about Israel. Only here in Israel do we determine Israeli democracy, and you cannot determine what Israel's interests are." Ben Ami responded by saying, "An absolute parameter has to be the recognition of the fundamental right of the Jewish people to their own state. There are plenty of people, even within the American Jewish community, who are anti-Zionist and who do not recognize that right. Second, they must recognize Israel's right to defend itself against threats – Israel must be strong, because it lives in a hard neighborhood, as we've even seen this morning."[89]

In November 2011 J Street board member Kathleen Peratis visited with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The meeting was controversial in the pro-Israel community. J Street opposed it ahead of time and condemned it afterward.[90][91][92][93]

In July 2012, J Street launched an ad campaign against two U.S. Representatives and Tea-Party activists who opposed the creation of a Palestinian state, Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Allen West (R-FL). In response, West said that "J Street's efforts to attack me only embolden my stand for our greatest ally and my spiritual home, the State of Israel." Walsh's chief of staff commented that "If J Street is attacking you, you know you're doing something right."[94] Both representatives were defeated in the general election.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ a b c
  11. ^
  12. ^ Jeremy Ben-Ami, winning a place at the table for J Street The Washington Post, 26 March 2015
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c d
  17. ^ Turning on to J Street, The American Conservative, May 2008.
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^
  20. ^ Rabbinic Cabinet
  21. ^ The Daily Telegraph, April 18, 2009, US Jewish lobby challenged by 'pro-peace' rival
  22. ^ 2014 Election Cycle at a Glance JStreet.org
  23. ^ Muslims and Arabs among J Street Donors The Jerusalem Post, 14 Aug 2009
  24. ^ Latest Population Statistics for Israel (updated January 2015) My Jewish Learning, January 2015
  25. ^ J Street delegation visits Abbas in Ramallah
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ Undoing the Damage Netanyahu has done to US-Israel relations The Atlantic, 15 March 2015
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ Raucous Knesset committee debates J Street The Jerusalem Post, 24 March 2011
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ a b
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^ the Rocky Rise of J Street The Jewish Daily Forward, 21 March 2015
  51. ^ In Defending Two-State Solution, White House Chief Of Staff Slams Netanyahu NPR, 23 March 2015
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^ Street Cred? Who does the new Israel lobby really represent?
  55. ^ Israelis Want to Talk to Hamas | Newsweek International Edition | Newsweek.com
  56. ^
  57. ^ a b James Kirchik, Self-loathing on J Street The Jerusalem Post, April 12, 2009.
  58. ^ Monica Hesse, 'Jewish Children' Comes to D.C. Already Upstaged by Controversy, The Washington Post, March 17, 2009.
  59. ^ Allison Hoffman, 'Seven Jewish Children' provokes US debate – among Jews, The Jerusalem Post, March 29, 2009.
  60. ^ Jan Ravensbergen, Packed house for provocative play, The Gazette, May 4, 2009.
  61. ^
  62. ^ Statement in Response to Israeli Airstrikes in Gaza
  63. ^ On Gaza, sense, and Centrism | The Forward
  64. ^ Statement in Response to Rabbi Eric Yoffie's Comments in The Forward
  65. ^
  66. ^ Israeli Knesset Confronts 'J Street' Tzippe Barrow, CBN Sunday, March 27, 2011
  67. ^ Shmuel Rosner, "Do US Jews really support 'necessary compromises' for peace?", Haaretz, July 17, 2008.
  68. ^ Noah Pollak, "Poll me once, Poll me twice", Commentary blog, August 7, 2009. "Much skepticism of J Street's polls has accompanied their release, and many have pointed out their clever, results-oriented phrasing. But this hasn't diminished their ability, when people accuse them of advocating an agenda that has little support among American Jews, to point to their own polling and declare themselves the true representatives of Jewish opinion."
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^ J Street undercuts Obama's policy on Iran
  74. ^
  75. ^ J Street is a dead end
  76. ^
  77. ^
  78. ^
  79. ^ J Street under fire after attempting to aid Goldstone The Jerusalem Post October 3, 2010
  80. ^
  81. ^ http://jstreet.org/blog/post/Statement-by-Colette-Avital
  82. ^ Jewish group pays PR firm co-owned by its president: J Street 'self-dealing' seen as 'very messy'
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^ a b unsigned editorial.
  86. ^
  87. ^
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^ Gaza's 'Tunnel Economy' Is Booming
  91. ^ Board Member's Hamas Flirtation Shows J Street's Radicalism
  92. ^ J Street board member, initial founder meets with Hamas
  93. ^ Statement on Kathleen Peratis' visit to Gaza
  94. ^ J Street goes on offensive, targets 2 US candidates

Further reading

  • Lichblau, Eric. J Street, a Lobbying Group, Is Being Heard as Moderate Voice on Israel, The New York Times, May 30, 2012.
  • Kirsch, Jonathan. The J Street Zionist, The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 17, 2011.
  • Hoffman, Allison. Heads Up: J Street chief Jeremy Ben-Ami calls the plays for the first self-confident alternative Jewish establishment, Tablet Magazine, October 28, 2010.
  • Kirchick, James. The Fork in J Street: Will the new Israel lobby disavow its extreme left flank?, The New Republic, October 31, 2009.
  • Goldberg, Jeffrey. J Street's Ben-Ami on Zionism and Military Aid to Israel, The Atlantic, October 23, 2009.
  • Boteach, Shmuley. No Holds Barred: J Street – a shameful address The Jerusalem Post, September 15, 2009
  • Traub, James. The New Israel Lobby The New York Times, September 13, 2009
  • Guttman, Nathan. J Street Makes a Strategic Acquisition, The Forward, September 4, 2009
  • Guttman, Nathan. J Street Shows Its Strength In Numbers, The Forward, November 13, 2008
  • Ephron, Dan. A Firmer Hand: Washington's new Jewish lobby presses Israel Newsweek, May 27, 2008
  • Ben-Ami, Jeremy. 5 Myths on Who's Really 'Pro-Israel' The Washington Post, May 8, 2008
  • Lichfield, Gideon. Hurdles on J Street Prospect (UK), April 30, 2008
  • Tobin, Jonathan. View From America: Making sense of the 'J Street' jive The Jerusalem Post, April 27, 2008
  • Rozen, Laura. J Street Hopes to Prod Washington MidEast Policy Towards Center Mother Jones, April 15, 2008

External links

  • J Street official website
  • J Street Political Action Committee official PAC website
On September 30, 2010,

Controversy

Some Israelis, including several public figures, have said that J-Street is anti-Israel, particularly in relation to key challenges facing the Jewish state.[76][77] Several US Jewish leaders have expressed reservations about J Street's position on Israel, and some have publicly disassociated themselves from the organization.[78]

Chuck Freilich, former deputy national security adviser in Israel, writing in The Jerusalem Post in February 2013, said, "J Street leads only to a dead end," since "only Israelis bear the responsibility for determining their future."[75]

In an April 2012 interview, Norman Finkelstein described J Street as the "loyal opposition" to the Israel lobby. He said the group was politically aligned with Kadima, a political party in the Knesset that opposed Israel's governing coalition. Finkelstein also said J Street's leadership was "hopeless".[74]

Dershowitz, in June 2012, said that J Street is "completely undercutting the Obama policy" with regards to the US position on a military option against the Iranian nuclear program, since J Street has said that it opposes a military option, while both the US and Israel have said it "must be kept on the table". In addition, he said that, "absolutely no good has come from J Street's soft policy on Iran. Either J Street must change its policy, or truth in advertising requires that it no longer proclaim itself a friend of Israel, a friend of peace, a friend of truth, or a friend of the Obama administration."[73]

Responding to charges made by Ben-Ami in his book, A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation, that he and others have stifled critical debate within the Jewish community, political commentator [72]

The principle at stake ... goes to the heart of American democracy, and the value we place on freedom of religion. Should one religious group in this country be treated differently than another? We believe the answer is no.... proposing a church or a synagogue for that site would raise no questions. The Muslim community has an equal right to build a community center wherever it is legal to do so.
— [71]

In July 2010 J Street supported the construction of the Cordoba House cultural center and mosque near the World Trade Center site in New York.[70] President Jeremy Ben-Ami released a statement saying:

[69]

Lenny Ben-David, former director of the Israeli branch of AIPAC said J Street hides "its real anti-Israel face behind a 'pro-Israel' mask."[66]

According to Caroline Glick, deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, J Street is anything but pro-Israel: "Through their actions, J Street and its allies have made clear that their institutional interests are served by weakening Israel. Their mission is to harm Israel's standing in Washington and weaken the influence of the mainstream American Jewish community that supports Israel."

In April 2009, The Washington Post called J Street "Washington's leading pro-Israel PAC", citing the group's impressive fund raising efforts in its first year and its record of electoral success, including 33 victories by J Street-supported candidates for Congress.[2]

[65] Rabbi

Oslo and supports a two-state solution. Kirchick further asserts that some of J Street's positions, such as advocating negotiations with Hamas, are not popular with most American Jews[54] According to a March 2008 Haaretz-Dialog poll the majority of Israelis do support direct talks with Hamas,[55] although this referred solely to the issue of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.[56] Jeremy Ben-Ami responded to Kirchick's charges during a May 26, 2008, interview published in Haaretz Magazine.[9] Kirchik also has reacted against J Streets endorsement of the play Seven Jewish Children, which many critics consider antisemitic.[57][58][59][60][61] "To J Street, the inflammatory message of Seven Jewish Children is precisely what makes it worthy of production," he charges.[57]

Ken Wald, a political scientist at University of Florida, predicted the group would be attacked by the "Jewish right". According to BBC News, Wald warned that J Street would "get hammered and accused of being anti-Israel. A lot will have to do with the way they actually frame their arguments."[6][16]

At its beginning, J Street's role in American Jewish dialog was debated. When J Street was initially founded, Israeli-American writer and analyst Gershom Gorenberg wrote in the American Prospect that J Street "might change not only the political map in Washington but the actual map in the Middle East".[52] Noah Pollak at Commentary predicted that the effort would fall flat and show there are no "great battalions of American Jewish doves languishing in voicelessness".[53]

In March 2015 The Jewish Daily Forward said of J Street: "There’s no doubt that J Street has shaken up American Jewry. Since its inception in 2008 as a lobby, political action committee, educational group and student movement, the organization has disrupted the debate about what it means to be pro-Israel."[50] NPR's Mara Liasson reported from the J Street conference that took place shortly after Israel's March 17, 2015 elections, in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised voters there would be no Palestinian state on his watch. Noting the American Jewish community was as divided as the Israeli voters, Liasson described J Street's role in American Jewish dialog on Israel: "In the debate now raging in the Jewish community in the United States, J Street is the pro-two-state group and anti-Netanyahu, pro-nuclear-deal and generally much more supportive of Obama than AIPAC is."[51]

Reception

[47], called J Street "irresponsible" for its handling of the issue.Jewish Council for Public Affairs, a president of the Rabbi Steve Gutow [49] Confidential IRS documents obtained by

Funding

In May 2013, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the Israeli government appears to be building closer ties to J Street, with a group of J Street representatives scheduled to meet, for the first time, members of the government, including President Shimon Peres.[46]

[45]'s repeated refusal to meet with representatives of J Street as a "farce" and added: "He should argue with J Street, yell at J Street, grapple with J Street, but most of all meet with J Street. Those Israelis, and those American Jews, who believe that J Street, and the spirit it represents, are fleeting phenemona have absolutely no idea what is happening in the Jewish world.Benjamin Netanyahu described Israeli Prime Minister The Atlantic at Jeffrey Goldberg [44][43] During a panel organized by the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Public Diplomacy Committee, MK

The Foreign Ministry said J Street's assertions that Ayalon refused to meet with members of the U.S. Congress and that he later apologized were untrue, and that they were a fund-raising publicity stunt and a "premeditated public relations circus". Barukh Binah, Foreign Ministry deputy director-general and head of its North America Division said that Ayalon did not prevent any meetings between the J Street group and Israeli high officials and that Ayalon was never on the delegation's schedule. J Street said its information was based on news reports in Yedioth Ahronoth and Maariv.[42]

Haviv Rettig Gur, writing in The Jerusalem Post, said that "J Street won a small victory" in the incident. "If American legislators with pro-Israel records say J Street is kosher," Gur wrote, "that creates a new political reality with which the Israeli Right must contend."[41]

In Haaretz, columnist Bradley Burston wrote that the Foreign Ministry's refusal to meet with the U.S. congressmembers was "a gratuitous move breathtaking in its haughtiness, its ignorance of and disrespect for the United States and the American Jewish community". He said that the Foreign Ministry considered J Street "guilty of the crime of explicitly calling itself pro-Israel, while not agreeing wholeheartedly with everything the government of Israel says and does".[40]

In February 2010 the Israeli Foreign Ministry refused to meet with visiting [39]

The Israeli Embassy stated that Ambassador Michael Oren would not attend J Street's first national conference because J Street supports positions that may "impair" Israel's interest.[31][32] Oren has continued his criticism since the conference, telling Conservative rabbis meeting in Philadelphia that J Street "is a unique problem in that it not only opposes one policy of one Israeli government, it opposes all policies of all Israeli governments. It's significantly out of the mainstream."[33] Hannah Rosenthal, head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in the Obama Administration, criticized Oren, saying his comments were "most unfortunate".[34] After several American Jewish groups criticized Rosenthal, the U.S. State Department said that "Rosenthal has the complete support of the department."[35] In April 2010, Oren had a meeting with J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami to discuss the issues.[36] After leaving his role as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and campaigning for an MK position in the Knesset, Oren described his view as follows: “We have to understand that people who aren’t anti-Israel have criticisms of specific Israeli policies. We have to show greater flexibility on the peace issue. Israel is willing to go a serious distance on peace.”[37]

On October 22, 2009, then–opposition leader of Israel Tzipi Livni sent a letter congratulating J Street on its inaugural event. She said she would not be able to attend but that Kadima would be "well represented" by Meir Sheetrit, Shlomo Molla, and Haim Ramon.[30]

Relationship with Israel

In November 2012, J Street lobbied the U.S. Senate against a group of bills that would have penalized the Palestinian National Authority if it used its recently elevated status of "observer" at the United Nations to bring international charges against Israel. J Street supporters made 1000 telephone calls and sent 15,000 e-mail messages against the bills, which failed to pass.[29]

J Street started a special website and project, They Don't Speak For Us. It criticizes the Emergency Committee for Israel, a right-wing advocacy group that William Kristol and Gary Bauer, inspired by J Street, created.[26][27] "They Don't Speak For Us" describes the ECI as "just plain out of touch" and "far outside the mainstream" of the pro-Israel Jewish community.[28]

In May 2012, a J Street delegation visited with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, headed by Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami.[25]

Other projects and activities

J Street's first-year budget for fiscal 2009 is $1.5 million.[16] This is a modest figure for a PAC, though Gary Kamiya writes that J Street hopes to raise significant money online, following the blueprint of MoveOn and the Barack Obama presidential campaign.[10]

J Street lobbies for and against Israel-related bills and legislation.

Lobbying

Critics have pointed out that according to Federal Election Commission filings in 2009, dozens of Arab and Muslim Americans and Iranian advocacy organizations donated tens of thousands of dollars to J Street, representing "a small fraction" of the group's fund-raising. Donors included Lebanese-American businessman Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League noted that the ADL also receives donations from non-Jews and does not apply a religious test to donors.[23] More than 20% of the citizens of Israel are Arab, most of whom are also Muslim.[24]

In the 2014 election cycle, JStreetPAC contributed over $2.4 million to its 95 endorsed candidates, the most in history by a pro-Israel PAC.[22]

In 2010, JStreetPAC endorsed 61 candidates — 3 for the Senate and 58 for the House. 45 of the PAC's candidates won. The JStreetPAC distributed over $1.5 million to its candidates, more than any other pro-Israel PAC in the two-year cycle.

For the 2008 Congressional elections, the J Street PAC raised $600,000 and, according to J Street, 33 of the 41 candidates it backed won their seats.[21]

The J Street PAC acts as a traditional political action committee raising funds to support a limited number of candidates for Senate and Congressional races.

Political fund raising

Activities

J Street's rabbinic cabinet consists of North American rabbis, cantors and cantorial students. The group is co-chaired by Rabbis John Rosove (Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood) and John Friedman (rabbi of Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, North Carolina).[20]

Rabbinic Cabinet

J Street's advisory council consists of former public officials, policy experts, community leaders and academics, including Daniel Levy, a former high-ranking Israeli official who was the lead drafter of the groundbreaking Geneva Initiative, Franklin Fisher and Debra DeLee of Americans for Peace Now, Marcia Freedman of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Democratic Middle East foreign policy expert Robert Malley, former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Samuel W. Lewis, former Rhode Island Governor and Republican U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee.[16][19]and Hannah Rosenthal, former head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.

Advisory Council

[18]

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