The Jerusalem Post reported that the student section of the J Street U national conference voted to remove the words “pro-Israel” from their self-description while keeping the words “pro-peace.” In the original article, the Jerusalem Post sources stated that the words “pro-Israel” might turn off students who might otherwise be interested in J Street.
Today the Jerusalem Post reports:
…Student board president Sophia Manuel putting out a statement Wednesday that, “The national board of J Street U neither discussed nor voted on any action to remove the term ‘pro-Israel’ from our platform, policy or the way we describe ourselves at J Street U’s national conference.”
The J Post then explains that in actuality this was already presented and decided upon previously but was only disseminated to attendees at this conference. It seems the broader J Street movement does use “pro-Israel” in their motto, and only J Street U, the student section, has eliminated it from their motto.
All well and good and not so surprising. However, what was surprising was another board member’s assertions to the J Post in explaining the reasoning of the J Street student activists:
Another member of the student board, Yonatan Schechter, said Sunday the students “decided that we would use the ‘pro-peace’ terminology [because] it was more conducive to discussion. With our generation, it seems that if you use ‘pro-Israel,’ people really want to say ‘anti-Palestine.'”
I am positive that nobody at J Street U will mind if I put my response to this in a form that students understand well.