U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman met with the leader of the left-wing American lobby J Street and several Democratic congressmen on Monday.
The meeting came after a speech to a B’nei B’rith gathering in Yerushalayim last week in which Friedman stressed the need for unity amid the Kosel crisis and admitted to his own divisive comments in the past, including very harsh comments about J Street, for which he has publicly apologized. J Street had openly opposed Friedman’s nomination for the ambassadorship.
Although details of Monday’s meeting were not made public, J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami released a statement afterwards about the importance of maintaining “an open line of communication” with people of “different political backgrounds.”
“We value Ambassador Friedman’s willingness to meet with Congressmen as part of the pro-Israel lobby J Street. We believe it is vital to keep an open line of communication between Jewish American and Israeli leaders with different political backgrounds. Its significance is that it symbolizes the will and desire to maintain a dialogue among the pro-Israel community, even with those that do not agree with J Street.”
“While we cannot quote or relate … the content of the meeting, it was important in that it symbolizes the need and the desire for broad dialog within the pro-Israel community, even with those we disagree with,” J Street said.