Bennett Won’t Meet with J Street, Lapid Will


Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett excluded members of the liberal American lobby group J Street from meetings in Yerushalayim with delegations from the U.S., according to media reports on Tuesday.

Bennett did agree to meet with Democratic members of Congress in a delegation organized by J Street.

However, members of his coalition—including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli and Minister of Regional Cooperation Issawi Farage met with the entire J Street group in the Knesset.

Other ministers who took part in the meeting with J Street are Minister of Internal Security Amar Bar-Lev and Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg.

Later this week, the delegation is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority, as well as in Palestinian Arab localities in Area C.

The delegation includes Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) — who organized a series of House floor speeches criticizing Israel in May — as well as Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Melanie Stansbury (D-NM).

A separate group was also in Yerushalayim for a celebration for the Abraham Accords hosted by the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Michael Ratney.

That group included Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).