'J Street not promoting Goldstone tour'
J Street denies promotin
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
November 19, 2009 01:58
1 minute read.
J Street executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami denied rumors on Wednesday that the lobbying group is facilitating the Washington tour of Judge Richard Goldstone, who authored the UN Human Rights Council report that accused Israel of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.
When the rumors reached Israel, Kadima leader Tzipi Livni's office asked J Street to clarify its position on the Goldstone Report.
In a letter to Livni, Ben-Ami said J Street did not endorse the Goldstone Report's findings but it did support the report's call for Israel to form a commission of inquiry into alleged wrongdoing in Gaza, and opposed recent attacks on the judge.
"The organization clearly stated its opposition to the UN's decision and its support for the American opposition to the report," Ben-Ami wrote.
"We expressed support for Israel conducting an independent and trustworthy inquiry, the same position taken by ministers Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan. Judge Goldstone is coming to Washington next week to meet with government officials, Congressmen and other influential people. J Street is not organizing his meetings and is not connected to them."
Ben-Ami has said that the Israeli party his organization is closest to is Kadima. Kadima sent MKs Meir Sheetrit and Shlomo Molla to J Street's conference in Washington three weeks ago.
Livni sent in a letter that was read at the conference, in which she welcomed the conference but expressed reservations about the organization.
Livni's associates expressed satisfaction with the letter from Ben-Ami and used it to criticize Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for instructing ambassador the the US Michael Oren to boycott J Street's conference.
"This clarification we received proves that cooperating with J Street has paid off and that boycotting them has not," a source close to Livni said.
Hilary Krieger in Washington contributed to this report.