Liberal Israel lobby group backs Nancy Pelosi for House speaker


(JTA) — J Street is supporting Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become the next speaker of the House, calling the California Democrat “a friend to the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.”

The liberal Israel lobby issued a statement Tuesday in support of Pelosi amid an internal Democratic Party fight over her leadership. Pelosi was the first woman to serve as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, holding the position from 2007 to 2011. She currently serves as the chamber’s minority leader.

J Street said in the statement that Pelosi was a consistent supporter of two of the lobby’s top priorities: supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and backing the 2015 accord that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for rolling back its nuclear program.

“As Speaker of the House and Democratic Leader, she has been a champion of diplomacy and a powerful advocate for proactive and principled American leadership on the world stage,” the statement said. “In the face of fierce right-wing opposition, Leader Pelosi’s efforts were indispensable in ensuring that the Iran nuclear agreement survived congressional review. She has been a staunch advocate for the two-state solution, demonstrating real concern for the needs and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Sixteen Democrats have signed a letter vowing to oppose her return as speaker, instead saying the party needs to deliver a “message of change.”

If the current midterm election results stand, that group would be large enough to deny Pelosi a majority in Congress. She has expressed confidence that she will win the position.

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