This is our seventh conference and our
largest ever with over 4,000 people attending …hundreds of rabbis …over 1200 students We could not have come together at a more important historical and
political moment but that’s exactly the essence of being here to promote the debate characterized
by mutual respect I believe absolutely — not only in the right
of Israel to exist — but the right to exist in peace and security. I don’t think we want the status quo. I think that we want to get a two-state
solution and we want peace. But what I also believe is the Palestinian people have a
right to live in peace and security as well. It shouldn’t be hard to be against
bad policies and to be against anti-Semitism.
That should be table stakes. We need you, our progressive friends
in the United States to stand together with us because our struggles are connected. We need to step up and we need to make
very strong statements against the occupation. We need to make very strong statements against
human rights abuses that are happening. I also learned in J Street U that
political problems have political solutions. So after the election, I did
the only thing I knew would help: I organized! And this is the same fight and the
same challenge in Israel and in the US. You cannot separate the fight against
anti-Semitism from the fight for democratic values. At this time of great consequence,
we must heed Manor’s words and rise to the moment to defend our values
and oppose the forces of hate and fear. I mean that’s why I’m here.
That’s why J Street is here.