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J Street Conference 2011

  • J Street member responds to criticism of DC conference

    The following is a post written by Mr. Mark Zivin, an active J Street member, in response to my earlier post titled: "The J Street conference: An 'A' for effort, 'F' for results". In my post I claimed that the conference failed where it matters most: bringing major league politicians from Capitol Hill. As you shall soon see, Mr. Zivin thinks I might have been a tad too harsh. By Mark Zivin I found Ami Kaufman’s recent piece about the J Street Conference to provide some very valuable insight into how the conference was perceived outside of the United States.…

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  • The J street conference: An "A" for effort, “F” for results

    From this Israeli’s perspective, the J Street conference looked like a pretty sleek production. Too bad that’s all it amounted to. Now that the folks at JStreet are finished patting each other on the back for a job well done, I’d like to give them a perspective on the conference from one who did not attend. I just read about it here, on my laptop in sunny Bat Yam. There wasn’t much to see here. Not on TV, and not in the papers. I also understand that there wasn’t much coverage in the American media. In fact, if one visits…

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  • At J-Street, new terms describe Israeli reality

    There was something slightly frustrating about the J Street conference. At times, participants seemed to be discussing the same old problems, wondering why the same old solutions haven’t worked, while talking about them in the same old terms. Meanwhile, the Middle East is undergoing enormous changes with every new minute. Old policies have become slogans, drained of meaning by failure. We need an arsenal of new ideas; empty rhetoric is a liability that must be exposed. You can’t take aim at the future with a cartridge full of blanks. Take one example: “the peace process.” At the conference, the columnist…

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  • J Street Conference Update II: Expanding the two-state camp

    One of the biggest criticisms of the left wing and its arguments is that they have failed to convince others outside the left camp. It's not a genuine argument in the long run, given how many top Israeli leaders over the last two decades have at least described sea changes in policy - even if they have not implemented them. But the current challenge of making the policy real is enormous - those who define themselves as left wing in Israel cannot end the occupation alone. Their electoral power is insufficient and their numbers scant. How can the urgency of…

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  • J Street director opens conference without saying "occupation"

    At last night's opening plenary of the second annual J Street Conference, there was one motif that expectedly prevailed: The two-state solution and its critical importance to the future of Israel. This is not surprising, but the importance of the two-state solution was expressed over and over again by Jeremy Ben-Ami through the statement that a (viable) Palestinian state must be established alongside Israel. We believe that the Palestinians too must have a national home of their own, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. This is in Israel’s interests. It is in America’s interests. It is…

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