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Israeli / Palestinian Conflict

My Support for J-Street and Its Human Rights Advocacy

The horror of Russia’s assault on Ukraine’s cities and the human suffering it’s causing has pushed Middle East violence off the front page – for now. As if on cue, three separate attacks by individual Palestinian gunmen in the past week have killed 11 Israelis in a surge of violence that’s likely to boil-over once again as the Spring holidays of Passover, Ramadan and Easter are upon us.

Lone wolf attacks like last week’s killings of innocent Israeli citizens are now seen as predictable responses to long-held frustrations by Palestinians with their leadership’s inability to negotiate meaningfully with the Israeli government. Also, predictably, thousands of police and army reinforcements are again being deployed throughout Israel, the occupied West Bank, and across the border with the besieged Gaza Strip in response. The tragic cycle continues.

Given the setbacks to the peace process introduced by the incoherence of Trump & Kushner’s Mideast policies, it’s essential for US leaders to have a clear understanding of the realities facing Israelis and Palestinians. It’s the only way we can work together toward a better future.

I’ve chosen to align my campaign with J-Street. J-Street is a “political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people.” In Congress, I’ll advocate for policies that advance shared US and Israeli interests as well as Jewish and democratic values that will lead to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

David Ben Gurion’s vision for Israel has been undermined for years by Likud’s persistent efforts to entrench occupation, to build and bulldoze their way to permanent, undemocratic control of the West Bank. Not only does such aggression violate Israel’s founding values, it denies Palestinians basic human rights, codifies social injustice and continues to put lives on both sides at risk.

I count myself among the growing number of Americans who believe a new direction in American policy is needed to advance U.S. interests in the Middle East and promote real peace and security for Israel and the region.

J-Street’s aim is to promote American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically.

Common-sense and human decency, not misguided nationalism, will build a viable community that best expresses a shared pro-Israel, pro-peace diplomatic movement that achieves justice and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

The 2022 midterms and maintaining control of Congress are vital to whether we will be able to stand up for those values against anti-democratic forces here at home, the pro-occupation right in Israel, or global autocrats like Putin.

I believe the path forward is not funding more military conflict abroad, it is to avoid bloodshed through diplomacy by upholding human rights and fighting to preserve democratic freedoms here and around the world. Let’s give peace a chance.