Valerie Jarrett Will Speak at J Street

Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to Barack Obama, is addressing the J Street conference.

Jarrett will join Tony Blinken, the national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, in a session on Monday on the U.S. role in advancing Middle East peace.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the group’s director, had complained in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic that only sending Blinken signalled that the administration feared sending a higher-ranking official to the liberal pro-Israel group’s conference, and that it was succumbing to pressure from some centrist and right-wing groups to isolate the lobby.

“This decision is really indicative of the problem we started J Street to fix,” Ben-Ami said. “This is precisely the kind of calculation that shouldn’t be made.”

In a statement Friday announcing Jarrett’s participation, Ben-Ami said that along with a video message from Israeli President Shimon Peres and a first-time participation by an Israeli diplomat – deputy ambassador Baruch Binah – Jarrett’s attendance was a sign that J Street had arrived.

“I think it’s clear that J Street has established itself as a permanent and important part of the mainstream American dialogue on Israel,” he said.

In his interview with the Atlantic, Ben-Ami also said that J Street would next year apply for membership in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Valerie Jarrett Will Speak at J Street

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close