Being pro-Israel

Being pro-Israel

JTA’s March 1 article about the congresswomen’s trip to Israel and the West Bank, sponsored by J Street, needs some clarification (“Congresswomen see Mideast in the eyes of J Street”).

I applaud the story about the congressional delegation’s visit. It is evident that the representatives came away with a more complete view of the complex issues surrounding Israel and the Palestinians. I hope more American politicians will take advantage of this opportunity to see for themselves why United States support for a two-state solution is so urgent.

However, as a supporter of J Street, I believe the reporter could mislead readers in using the phrases “left-wing” and “an alternative to the usual pro-Israel fare” to characterize J Street. Here’s a more accurate description:

The alliance between the United States and Israel must remain a bedrock of American foreign policy on a bipartisan basis. This is not a “left-wing” view; it is a centrist view. Within the context of its unshakeable alliance with Israel, the United States must also retain a strong leadership role in pushing toward an eventual peace agreement. Sometimes, that means criticizing Israeli policies as well as Palestinian policies.

The only realistic chance for peace in the Middle East, and for Israel’s long-term security, is a two-state solution. Support for a two-state solution is therefore not an “alternative” to being pro-Israel. It is the truest definition of what it means to be pro-Israel. That’s what J Street is all about.

Donald Batchelder
West Orange

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