J Street conference and the struggle for self-definition
J Street’s executive director says in a pointed statement aimed at critics who have argued that the lobby cannot be defined as a pro-Israel group.
Washington — The three-day J Street conference that opened in Washington on Saturday night was the group’s largest gathering so far and underscored the dovish, pro-Israel lobby’s fast growth since its inception less than three years ago. But it also provided a glimpse into J Street’s ongoing struggle to define itself.
This message was delivered forcefully in the opening speech by Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center. While declaring himself “among J Street’s most fervent fans,” Saperstein did not shy away from highlighting his worry about J Street’s recent attempt to block an American veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policy.