To: BIll de Blasio, Mayor, New York City

.@BilldeBlasio: Meet with J Street

Just Foreign Policy

New York City's progressive Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio should balance his recent controversial meeting with AIPAC by meeting with J Street, Americans for Peace Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other organizations that support realistic diplomacy with Iran and ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

Why is this important?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has inspired progressives nationwide. So it was very disappointing that de Blasio recently told the right-wing American Israel Public Affairs Committee that “City Hall will always be open to AIPAC…when you need me to stand by you in Washington or anywhere, I will answer the call and I will answer it happily, because that’s my job.”

As The Nation noted in a recent editorial [1], AIPAC has prevented a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict; it has been working to provoke US war with Iran. Now, just when the Obama Administration has been making progress with diplomacy, AIPAC has been pressing Congress for new sanctions on Iran to kill that progress, which could set us on the path to another disastrous Middle East war.

But the recent collapse of AIPAC’s effort to undermine diplomacy with Iran shows that the world has changed. It’s time for Mayor de Blasio to change his assumptions.

J Street was established to back politicians who genuinely support a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. J Street supports the recent accord between the U.S. and Iran and opposed the new sanctions AIPAC was pushing. Jewish Voice for Peace has shown Americans that AIPAC doesn’t speak for American Jews. Americans for Peace Now has led efforts to oppose Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are an existential threat to the two-state solution.

Mayor de Blasio has a unique opportunity to help bury the idea that politicians must bow down to AIPAC by meeting with J Street. By publicly welcoming groups that promote genuine peace in the Middle East, his foreign policy would be far more consistent with the progressive policies he promotes at home.

Urge Mayor de Blasio to represent progressives who want peace by meeting with J Street and other groups that are working to promote genuine peace in the Middle East.

1. “Bill de Blasio Is Wrong to Pander to AIPAC,” Editorial, The Nation, January 29, 2014,