Posts Tagged: J Street Results 12
It is a tradition of Washington advocacy conferences: After hearing from experts, debating with activists and getting pumped up — it’s time for participants to take their message to Capitol Hill.
This morning, J Street conference participants mounted the buses and left for more than 200 advocacy meetings in congressional offices. Some will get to meet their representatives, while others will sit with staff members and convey to them the J Street message.
Here’s a look at what else is going on in politics, culture and media.
Could Obama cut Jewish funds? President Obama’s budget-cut proposal could put some national and local Jewish groups at risk, according to JTA, if they rely so heavily on government money. We should have “all vulnerable Americans” in mind when fighting for our funds, said a Jewish Week editorial. “The welfare of our own community is in so many ways linked to the well being of our neighbors.” Some Jewish groups praised the U.S. budget for preserving aid to Israel, but others, like B’nai B’rith International, worry that cuts could jeopardize the future of retirement in America, says the Jewish Journal.
We know about the falling out between the dovish J Street lobby and prized endorsee Rep. Gary Ackerman. Now, after both sides articulated their positions at length (to recap: Ackerman basically said J Street lost its brains, and J Street responded that Ackerman didn’t understand its positions) — it is time to calm down.
And so J Street is apologizing.
J Street has lost one of its key supporters in Congress, as New York Democrat Gary Ackerman announced he is disassociating himself from the group because of their stance on condemning Israel’s settlement activity in the UN General Assembly.
Now, while it is true that J Street’s power in Congress isn’t judged by one member’s decision to take their endorsement or by another who gives it up, Ackerman is a special case.
Congress is heading into the last days of its lame duck session and the agenda is packed with major legislation to deal with — but there’s always time to slip in a pro-Israel resolution before legislators leave the city.
The resolution, H. Res-1734, which passed Wednesday without a vote, is a response to what Israel and the U.S. administration view as a rapidly growing threat — the possible unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Recent decisions by Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay to recognize Palestinian statehood helped drive home the message that such a declaration could be imminent, if peace talks fail.