Friday, May 30, 2008

Lengthy interview with J Street's executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami

D.C.'s New Jewish Lobby Presses Israel | Newsweek International |

"You said in a recent article that when the U.S. closes its eyes to the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank it's analogous to a person allowing his friend to drive home drunk from a bar but not only that-to actually give him the keys to your Porsche and a shot of tequila for the road. Now one might argue that the Porsche in your analogy is the nearly three billion dollars the U.S. gives Israel in aid every year. Would you condition continued aid on a genuine freeze in U.S. settlements?
Well, the United States clearly has a lot of influence on Israel because of the nature of the relationship and if you're really serious about stopping the settlements and about what American policy is--American policy says no more settlements, no more expansion and take down those outposts--if we're serious about it, then we need to start to act serious. And it's time to act like the big brother or the parent and to say 'enough is enough and we're going to take the car keys if you don't stop driving drunk.' We're not talking about simply business as usual. There's got to be some sort of intervention here where the U.S. says to Israel the time has come to finally do something."

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