This weekend, two staunchly opposing groups, Stand With Us and J Street, will hold conferences on opposite coasts, setting opposing agendas for U.S.-relations at a time when those relations are in danger of taking a turn for the worse.
In Washington, D.C. left-wing, George Soros-funded and purportedly “pro-Israel” lobby group J Street will hold its fifth annual conference, replete with criticism of Israel’s government and newly-reelected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In Los Angeles, California, the Stand With Us organization will hold its first anti-BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) conference, designed to train activists in resisting some of the same tactics and ideas that J Street will feature.
J Street does not endorse BDS but has given BDS advocates a platform at previous conferences to express their views. J Street’s President Jeremy Ben-Ami had attempted to shut down Netanyahu’s address to Congress earlier this month.
J Street’s conference lineup includes Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who also happens to be advising presidential candidate Jeb Bush on foreign policy, and who has an anti-Israel record. Also speaking at J Street will be Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who called Israel’s counter-terrorism operations in Jenin in 2002 a “massacre.” Obama’s White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough will also be present.
Stand With Us’s keynote speaker will be former Harvard Law School professor and world-renowned defense attorney Alan Dershowitz ,who is a staunch defender of Israel. Regarding left-wing Democrats’ recent boycott of Bibi’s speech, Dershowitz said “as a liberal Democrat who twice campaigned for President Barack Obama, I am appalled.”
Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid, who is openly anti-BDS, will also be featured at the Stand With Us conference.
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