US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will headline the annual conference of the dovish J Street Middle East lobby on Sunday, the State Department confirms.
“We are deeply honored and excited that Secretary Blinken will be addressing this year’s J Street conference,” J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami says in a statement. “At a critical time for Israelis and Palestinians and for the future of liberal democracy in the region and around the world, our movement is looking forward to hearing about these challenges from our nation’s top diplomat.”
Also set to appear at the two-day confab are nearly a dozen progressive Democratic lawmakers, former Meretz MK Yair Golan and Israeli and Palestinian civil society leaders.
A spokesman for Israeli Ambassador to the US Mike Herzog tells The Times of Israel that the envoy was invited to address the J Street conference as well but he will be unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.
Previous Israeli governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu refused to engage with J Street, though the outgoing coalition that replaced him did host several delegations from the left-wing lobby over the past year.