Today’s public launch follows many months of organizing led by the new group’s executive director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, a media consultant and former Clinton administration staffer… Unlike existing Jewish peace groups, J Street is registered for tax purposes as a 501(c)(4) organization, meaning that it can operate fully as a lobby. A sister organization, J Street PAC, will endorse and raise money for candidates.
To win J Street PAC’s backing, Ben-Ami told me, a candidate’s position should be that “the single most important step to support Israeli security and U.S. interests is to reach a negotiated peace agreement, a two-state solution, between the Israelis and Palestinians. The group is looking for politicians who back policies of “engagement and diplomacy” in place of exclusive reliance on military options. Phrased less diplomatically, J Street seeks politicians who advocate a clear shift from the disastrous policies of the Bush years.
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