The BJT’s editorial board is entitled to its opinions (“J Street Crosses the Line,” Sept. 15), but readers would be better served if it grounded them in facts.
First, J Street is indisputably a part of the “big tent of the Jewish community.” We are members of the Baltimore Jewish Council and are welcomed regularly into the offices of our elected officials.
It is our profound concern for Israel’s future that motivates our support for a two-state solution and opposition to settlement expansion. The State Department determined in 1979 that settlements are illegal and contrary to established U.S. policy, a ruling that has remained in effect under both Democratic and Republican presidents.
Under U.S. law, activity that is illegal or contrary to longstanding U.S. policy may not be supported by tax-deductible donations. That is why we in J Street urged the Treasury Department to review so-called “charitable” organizations funding settlement expansion. In doing so, we are not seeking to “shut down” anyone. We are simply concerned that organizations aiding the spread of settlements in contravention of U.S. law and policy continue to be subsidized by American taxpayers.
Rather than making unfounded attacks on organizations like ours that wholeheartedly support Israel’s future as a secure, democratic Jewish state, the JT would perform a greater service to its readers by presenting a range of informed opinion in its pages. J Street is always ready to carry on that discussion with anyone, regardless of their views.
It is great to have seen this letter in your pages, as the Jewish community needs to have a substantive, reasonable, discussion about the security and future of Israel. The two-state solution requires a truthful dialogue where all views receive attention.