We at J Street are delighted that Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, Gilad Erdan, has reached out to us in his efforts to combat the global BDS movement (“J Street Now Key Player in BDS War,” June 24). J Street has long been not only an opponent of BDS, but, in fact, one of the most successful pro-Israel organizations pushing the anti-BDS message.
What has made us so successful, of course, is that we offer a means of advocating for a realistic alternative to the path the current Israeli government seems to be going down. We reach those frustrated by this government’s actions because we don’t just use progressive language to pay lip service to the failings of the BDS movement, but because we demand actual change, and in doing so, we address the underlying concerns felt by those who might be otherwise inclined to support BDS.
The global BDS movement is problematic for many reasons, chief among which is its refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic homeland. And it cannot be effectively fought without also advocating for a two-state solution, which is the only way to ensure that Israel retains its status as just such a homeland for the Jewish people. We can only hope that the Israeli government, in its efforts to reach out to a more progressive Jewish audience, understands this, and that it moves toward two states before it is too late.
Co-Chair, J Street NYC