Quoting J Street, ex-Obama officials push pro-Palestinian agenda for Democratic candidates

In a letter to the Democratic National Committee, former Obama and Clinton administration staffers urged the party to place more emphasis on the Palestinians.

By World Israel News Staff and JNS

Ahead of U.S. elections in November, the Democratic Party platform should include language critical of Israel, express sympathy with the Palestinians and call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said more than 30 former national security officials in a letter to the Democratic National Committee.

Signees included former Obama administration staffers, such as former Deputy National Security Advisor and deputy director of the CIA Avril Haines, and former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes.

Clinton staffers Martin Indyk, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state, also signed the letter.

The letter, first reported by HuffPost on Monday, stated that the party should oppose Israeli annexation of communities in Judea and Samaria and the building of Jewish towns in those areas.

“Past party platforms have rightly stated a commitment to Israel’s security and included condemnations of threats and actions against our ally,” stated their letter. “Those platforms have, however, also been nearly silent on the rights of Palestinians, on Israeli actions that undermine those rights and the prospects for a two-state solution, and on the need for security for both peoples.”

These two sentences appeared verbatim in a “call to action” released in October by J Street, a lobby group that supported in July a pro-BDS resolution introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

J Street’s call to action was launched ahead of its 2019 national conference and was designed to influence 2020 Democratic candidates to oppose the existence of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Among the lobby group’s goals was to secure the formal condemnation of Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria in the official platforms of Democratic candidates.

The letter quoted by HuffPost on Monday did not attribute the quoted sentences to J Street, nor did it disclose in any way the lobby group’s role in drafting the communication.

J Street posted the letter on its official website, endorsing its positions.

The letter concluded, “We ask that the platform … make clear what a comprehensive effort to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should look like under a future Democratic administration, which includes a commitment to security, democracy and human rights.”