RJC, J Street Heads to Discuss Israel in Vegas Next Month

Heads of the Republican Jewish Coalition and J Street are set to square off over the U.S.-Israel relationship next month in Las Vegas, according to a news release.

In a first-of-its-kind event, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami and Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks will appear together on March 9th at Temple Beth Sholom to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the relationship between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the policy preferences and beliefs of Jewish Americans, according to the organizers.

PBS’ Jon Ralston will serve as moderator.

The two organizations were on opposite sides of last summer’s debate over the Iran nuclear agreement. J Street and the RJC are also fighting over the control of Congress in 2016, both invested in winning Congressional seats in battleground states across the country. J Street’s PAC has already announced it will spend as much as $3 million in over 100 local races across the country, challenging incumbents who have opposed the deal, while RJC aims to combat J Street race for race, and support the Republican incumbents.

In an interview with Jewish Insider in January, Brooks stated, “By definition, they [J Street] are anti-Israel and on the other side of where Israel is on critical issues such as the Iran deal.”

In return, Ben-Ami accused the RJC of wanting to “knock out” those who dared “to speak out when Netanyahu visits Congress to undermine the foreign policy of President Obama” and those who “dare to oppose the unrelenting expansion of settlements undermining Israel’s long-term security, democracy and Jewish character.”

According to J Street’s spokeswoman, Jessica Rosenblum, “The [March 9] event will emphasize the need for civil discourse around Israel in the Jewish community, as part of a “Year of Dialogue” series sponsored by the Board of Rabbis of Southern Nevada.”

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