The Oberlin Review

Feature Photo: J Street U Holds Candlelight Vigil

Lily Napach

Lily Napach

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Students gathered in Wilder Bowl this Wednesday to attend J Street U’s vigil commemorating lives lost in Gaza and Israel over the summer. “The goal of this vigil is to seriously grapple with the loss of life in Gaza and Israel, to present a vision for a better future and [to] recognize our responsibility to make choices to achieve it. This vigil is an opportunity to address the deepened divisions in our campus community and to shift the conversation away from blame and towards politics of responsibility,” members of J Street U said in an email to the Review. Last week, members of Students for a Free Palestine staged an installation that they said was deliberately not a vigil, but rather a call to action against the student body’s “complicity in these acts of violence.” A sign in front of the installation also encouraged viewers to sign a petition “demand[ing] the divestment of [students’] tuition money from corporations that perpetuate and profit from Israeli occupation.” Members of J Street U have said that they are saddened by the polarization within the Oberlin community and that they want to offer a more productive path toward establishing sustainable peace. “To resist the divisiveness of the moment, we [brought] the memory of these dead together in an act of shared mourning, one that also acknowledges the asymmetrical power reflected in the number of dead,” said members of J Street U. At the event, students recited the names of the dead and read poems by candlelight.

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One Response to “Feature Photo: J Street U Holds Candlelight Vigil”

  1. Arafat on October 7th, 2014 11:03 AM

    In July 2012, enumerated several vital facts reflecting J Street’s consistently anti-Israel posture. These included the following:

    J Street’s political action committee (PAC) receives funds from the Saudi Arabian embassy’s attorney, Nancy Dutton.
    J Street receives more than $10,000 per year in contributions from Genevieve Lynch, a director of the National Iranian American Council, which is a pro-Iranian lobby.
    J Street’s PAC has received tens of thousands of dollars from one of the leaders of the Arab American community, Richard Abdoo.
    J Street’s PAC repeatedly took contributions from a Turkish American, Mehmet Celebi, who had helped produce Valley of the Wolves, a viciously anti-American and anti-Semitic Turkish film.
    J Street recently sponsored a speaking tour for John Ging, head of the Gaza-based UNRWA, an entity whose raison d’être is to perpetuate the Palestinian refugees’ status, thus encouraging their “right of return.”
    J Street’s visit to Israel in February 2010 was co-sponsored by an anti-Israel group called Churches for Peace in the Middle East, an organization which supports the boycott, divestment, & sanctions (BDS) efforts against Israel.
    Anti-Israel U.S. Arabists are attracted to J Street, sitting on its advisory board or contributing to J Street’s PAC. These include Ray Close, former CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia and then advisor to the head of Saudi intelligence; Lewis Elbinger, State Department foreign service officer; Nicole Shampaine, director of the State Department’s Office for Egypt and the Levant; Ted Kattouf, former ambassador to Syria and the United Arab Emirates; Robert Pelletreau, former ambassador to Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain; and Philip Wilcox, former U.S. consul general in Jerusalem, and president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
    Daniel Levy (Jeremy Ben-Ami’s partner in founding J Street) stated at a conference in Abu Dhabi that “the creation of Israel” was “an act that was wrong.” Levy also defended the Goldstone Report, which was very critical of Israel’s 2009 military operation in Gaza.
    J Street welcomed BDS lobbyists to its national conference, where BDS ran a session on strategies and justifications for boycotting Israeli products.
    In January 2012, J Street in Jerusalem held a special meeting to honor Israeli soldiers who refused to obey the orders of their commanders.
    In March 2012, J Street lobbied the U.S. Congress against a resolution condemning the blatant incitement and anti-Semitism in Palestinian schoolbooks and the Palestinian media. Moreover, J Street refused comment on the Palestinian Authority’s school curriculum which openly promoted the violent struggle to “liberate” all of “Palestine.”

Established 1874.