J Street ad responds to Wiesel


(JTA) — J Street is placing full-page ads in Jewish weekly newspapers on the topic of securing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel under a two-state solution.

The ad, to be placed in seven newspapers in cities with large Jewish populations, features an Op-Ed written by former Israeli Cabinet minister and political commentator Yossi Sarid. It comes in response to an open letter by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel published in an ad in several newspapers earlier this month.

In his letter in the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and the International Herald Tribune, Wiesel called on the United States to stop pressuring Israel over Jerusalem in an effort to get the Palestinians to return to the peace negotiating table.

Sarid responds by telling Wiesel that he has been deceived by those who have told him that Arabs may live anywhere in Jerusalem and cautions him against invoking the Jewish people’s "biblical deed" to Jerusalem.

"The fact is and always will be that this city is holy to everyone — such is its blessing and its curse," Sarid wrote. "That’s why the solution to the Jerusalem problem can’t wait for the end of the Middle East conflict as you suggest, because it will have no end if its resolution is postponed until ‘the Israeli and Palestinian communities find ways to live together in an atmosphere of security.’ "

The normally close relationship between Israel and the United States has appeared to be shaky since Israel approved a construction permit for Jewish homes in an Orthodox eastern Jerusalem neighborhood during a visit to the region by Vice President Joe Biden in March.

The ad, which says that J Street "hope(s) that it sparks conversations around your dinner table and in your community," is being paid for by the J Street Educational Fund.

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