J Street endorses presidential candidate for first time in its history

Biden gratefully accepted the endorsement, thought he hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with the far-left organization.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

For the first time since its inception, J Street has expressed support for a U.S. presidential candidate.

“At a time when the threats to our core values both at home and abroad have never been more serious, all of us in the pro-Israel, pro-peace community know that the path to a better future begins with defeating Donald Trump at the polls,” said J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami in a statement on Friday.

“To help achieve that pivotal goal, we’re thrilled to endorse Vice President  Joe Biden, a long-time friend of J Street who truly understands the need for a bold new era of American foreign policy rooted in principled, proactive diplomacy,” he said.

After President Donald Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and adopted never before seen pro-Israel policies that have made him an admired figure among the majority of Israelis, J Street is doing everything in its power to defeat him in November, even if it means endorsing a candidate that hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with the far-left organization.

During last year’s J Street annual conference, Biden refused to adopt a policy of using U.S. aid to Israel as political leverage, a tactic former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders enthusiastically endorsed.

Biden has also largely been supportive of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a centrist pro-Israel organization considered to be at odds with J Street’s more radical positions.

However, Biden accepted gratefully the endorsement on Friday. “I’m honored to have earned J Street’s first-ever presidential endorsement. J Street has been a powerful voice to advance social justice here at home and to advocate for a two-state solution that advances Middle East Peace.”

To date, the group has committed $240,000 to the campaign through pledges from its leaders and contributions to a nominee fund, which will soon be transferred to the Biden campaign, and intends to raise over $1 million for the former vice-president by Election Day.

According to the J Street platform, to be eligible for an endorsement a political candidate must demonstrate support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and commit to giving financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.