Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rep. Raul Grijalva, 3 Other Democratic Reps., In Mideast Meeting With Israeli and Palestinian Officials; Sponsored By J Street

Yesterday, Arizona's Politics noted that Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) was celebrating his 65th birthday in Israel.  His Facebook post raised a lot of questions in this reporter's (and at least one reader's - check out the comments) mind.

I received some of the answers this morning from Grijalva's Communications Director, Adam Sarvana (who is not traveling with the Congressman).  

Grijalva's trip is sponsored by the upstart organization called J Street.  J Street bills itself as a "pro-Israel, pro-peace" PAC which is pushing for a two-state solution to reaching a peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians.  

(J Street is a more peace-oriented Israel support organization than the influential AIPAC ("American Israel Public Affairs Committee", which is not a PAC) that generally defends the Israeli government in the U.S., and is often seen as preferring a more hard-line Israeli government policy.)

Sarvana notes that the other Representatives on the trip are "Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Hank Johnson (D-GA).... They’re meeting with government officials, business leaders, settlers, Palestinian officials, and representatives of NGOs. He’s flying back tomorrow."

As we get more details, we will share them with you.

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Bruce Freiberg said...

Certainly, J Street represents a more fair and balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian situation. For example, last May, a J Street delegation met with Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, something that AIPAC would never consider. I'm certainly pleased Grijalva is, at least in this instance, associating with J Street rather than AIPAC.

Mitch M. said...

Actually, Bruce, AIPAC-related delegations HAVE met with Abbas and PA officials. (

It would be interesting to know if Abbas takes a different tack if he is speaking with J Street delegations or AIPAC delegations - likewise, Netanyahu and Israeli officials.

Oh, I had intended to note that J Street had endorsed Grijalva in both 2010 and 2012 - but got sidetracked trying to find a link for the '12 endorsement - they seem to have erased them. Also, I had trouble with Open Secrets' website to see whether they had contributed to his campaigns.