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U.S. security adviser to speak at J Street parley

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones will be a keynote speaker at the first J Street national conference.

Jones will represent the Obama administration at the dovish Israel lobby organization’s first conference, which will be held Oct. 25-28 in Washington. He spoke Oct. 15 at the American Task Force for Palestine gala.

Other major figures slated to speak at the J Street event include several former top Israeli officials, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel and Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism.

J Street has made a public push to convince Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, to attend. The Israeli Embassy has not responded, but a spokesman has said some of J Street’s positions could "impair Israel’s interests."

The organization, which dubs itself "pro-Israel, pro-peace," favors U.S. pressure on Israel and the Palestinians in pursuit of a two-state solution. J Street also criticized Israel’s invasion of Gaza and declined to put the blame for the confrontation on Hamas.

J Street differs with most national Jewish organizations on the issue of Iran, saying now is not the right time to pass tougher sanctions.

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