In a sign of how the ground has shifted domestically when it comes to Israeli politics, the progressive-minded Israel advocacy group J Street announced its first ever presidential endorsement on Friday. And its recipient, former Vice President Joe Biden, eagerly embraced it.
“I’m honored to have earned J Street’s first-ever presidential endorsement,” Biden said in a statement sent to The Daily Beast. “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. I share with J Street’s membership an unyielding dedication to the survival and security of Israel, and an equal commitment to creating a future of peace and opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian children alike. That’s what we have to keep working toward—and what I’ll do as President with J Street’s support.”
Founded in 2007 as a philosophical counterweight to more reflexively pro-Israeli government advocacy organizations like AIPAC, J Street was, for a time, treated as a creature of the liberal foreign policy diaspora—an institution that intellects were fine embracing but mainstream Democratic politicians kept at a safe distance. That has changed in recent years as the public opinion among Democrats has turned more sour on Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, particularly as it trashed Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and cozied up to Donald Trump. Today, J Street finds itself to the ideological right of a good chunk of the current Jewish left.
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