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J Street opposes Palestinian statehood bid

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The liberal Jewish group J Street opposes Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood recognition through the United Nations, as well as plans to penalize the Palestinians for making the bid.

"We believe that everything J Street stands for and what we do needs to promote the two-state solution and not just two states," Jeremy Ben-Ami, the director of the dovish pro-Israel group, told JTA on Wednesday.

Palestinian statehood should come about through negotiations with Israel and not unilaterally, he said.

Ben-Ami said the group backs Obama administration plans to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution that would establish such a state and has urged Palestinian leaders to defer plans to introduce such a resolution later this month.

Unlike much of the rest of the pro-Israel community, however, Ben-Ami said that J Street planned to lobby against cutting funding to the Palestinians should they press ahead with statehood recognition plans.

"What the Palestinians are doing is legal, even if we don’t agree with it, and we believe it is against Israel strategic interests and U.S. interests to cut funding to the Palestinians," he said.

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