Binyamin Netanyahu and Eli Yisahi 390.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday urging them
to reconsider the decision to send a senior diplomat to next week’s J Street
conference in Washington.
In years past, official Israeli representatives
in Washington boycotted events organized by the lobby that bills itself as
“pro-Israel and pro-peace.”
But this year, the deputy head of the
mission, Barukh Binah, will attend and even speak at the
Binah, who holds the title of ambassador, just finished a
four-year stint as the deputy director-general for North America and before that
held the prestigious post of Israel’s consul-general to the Midwest in
“I am asking you to intervene immediately and prevent the deputy
mission head from participating in the J Street conference,” Yishai
“This organization is not pro-Israel. It is more similar to
organizations that have a goal of harming the state. The organization is at the
very least pro-Palestinian, acting systematically against the State of Israel,
its army and its citizens.”
Yishai noted that while the IDF was recently
taking steps to protect Israel from terrorists’ rocket fire, a J Street press
release expressed concern about “air strikes on Gaza that have killed over a
dozen Palestinian civilians.”
Israeli officials have said that
approximately 26 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during the operation and all
were terrorists launching attacks, except for two or three. When J Street issued
its statement, 16 terrorists and two civilians had been killed.
subsequently revised the statement on its website by removing the reference to
the “dozen Palestinian civilians.”
A spokeswoman for the organization
expressed regret over the error and said J Street had misreported the number of
civilian casualties “based on an unfounded report.” She emphasized that the
mistake was corrected “within a couple of hours of the publication of the
In his letter, Yishai made reference to
controversial statements attributed to left-wing activists affiliated with the
organization and steps taken by J Street that were seen as problematic by
Israeli government officials.
Yishai said it was wrong to legitimize J
Street by sending Binah to the conference, and said that there should be no
contact between Israel and the organization.
J Street declined to