Letter to the Editor: Scott Rafshoon and Joe Sterling
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Regarding a letter to the editor from Susan Cohen. In her Oct. 28 letter to the editor, Ms. Cohen says that even though J Street calls itself pro-Israel and pro-peace, it really is “anything but.” All you have to do is look deeper, she says.
To summarize Ms. Cohen’s assertion, J-Street backs concessions to terrorists, supports anti-Semitic lawmakers, hangs out with the BDS crowd and traffics in anti-Israel rhetoric and actions.
Nope. Nope. Nope. And nope.
We believe that J Street’s Atlanta chapter welcomes everyone to do what Ms. Cohen suggests. We encourage you to explore J Street’s information-filled website, jstreet.org. Read its writings and probe its actions. Watch its webinars.
We want everyone to scan the names of the clergy, academics, artists, diplomats, community leaders and former military commanders who back J Street.
Its supporters hail from across the spectrum of the Jewish world — Israelis and Americans. These include former Israeli government officials and American diplomats and business executives.
Check out the dozens of honorable and talented candidates J Street has endorsed, including Senate candidate Jon Ossoff and Representative-elect Carolyn Bourdeaux in metro Atlanta.
J Street endorsed Joe Biden earlier this year and Biden, now the president-elect, accepted the endorsement.
Its Atlanta steering committee is made up of a range of people from different regions of the metro area. They are proud to be part of the Atlanta Jewish community. J Street is in the Democratic and Jewish-American mainstream. Its annual national conventions attract a few thousand attendees. Its well-publicized Election Day polling showed that Jewish voters in the United States favored Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a 77 percent to 21 percent margin.
The group we represent is proudly in the progressive Zionist camp. It was part of the Hatikvah slate fielded in the 2020 World Zionist Congress elections.
The only “sin” J Street committed as a pro-Israel and pro-peace lobbying group is out of love for Israel. J Street has proposed alternatives to those government policies that will clearly damage Israel’s future, such as territorial annexation and illegal settlement activity in the West Bank.
While J Street welcomes the Abraham Accords normalization strides, it champions a negotiated resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and believes it is key to regional peace.
Keep in mind that J Street’s strongest critics come from the pro-annexation right-wing and the pro-BDS left. J Street’s is another voice. When you visit the website, don’t forget to read the section debunking the myths circulated about the group.
Readers will find that J Street is a credible pro-Israel, pro-peace entity reflecting the public opinion of a vast swath of the Jewish-American electorate. We welcome all of you to engage with it and consider joining.
Scott Rafshoon, Brookhaven, and Joe Sterling, Marietta, members of the J Street Atlanta steering committee.