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J Street U left out of Adelson/Saban anti-BDS summit, laments ‘Israeli occupation’

( J Street U, the campus arm of the left-wing lobby advocating for a two-state solution, said it was “dismayed” by a summit against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement hosted by pro-Israel billionaire philanthropists Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban this weekend in Las Vegas.

In an email addressed to “leaders of the American Jewish community” who planned to attend the summit, J Street U – which was not invited to the gathering – wrote, “Like you, we are concerned about the growth of the BDS movement on college campuses. Far from an abstract question, this is a live issue for us: as college students, campuses are our home. That’s why we’re dismayed by reports that representatives from several of your organizations will attend a closed-door anti-BDS summit this weekend, hosted in Las Vegas by major donors including Sheldon Adelson.”

Often criticized for stating its opposition to BDS while simultaneously partnering on campus events with pro-BDS groups, J Street U wrote that students “aren’t drawn to support BDS because they reject the existence of Israel; they come to support BDS out of a genuine frustration with the ongoing tragedy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the 48-year Israeli occupation.”

J Street U’s parent organization, J Street, which was also not invited to the Las Vegas summit, was widely criticized when it refused to participate in pro-Israel rallies in Boston and New York during last summer’s Gaza war.

While J Street U’s email criticized American Jewish leaders for catering “to right-wing donors like Sheldon Adelson” through attending the Las Vegas summit, the group did not mention that the summit was co-hosted by Saban, a major donor to the Democratic Party.

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