The JTA reports on J Street’s clear generational divide. Simply put, younger Jews are more ambivalent about Zionism and a two-state solution. They want independent thought and they oppose the Israel right or wrong crowd. Bring it on (and I heard this constantly over the last four days):
After all the arguing in recent weeks over J Street, one thing was clear at the inaugural conference of the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group: Even among the 1,500 delegates who attended the parley, there are crucial disagreements over what’s best for Middle East peace.
On some issues, judging from interviews with conference delegates and assessments by J Street officials of participants’ viewpoints, there appeared to be broad consenus, like the belief that the Palestinians deserve national rights or the United States needs to do more to push the Israelis and Palestinians toward negotiations.
On other issues, however, a stark generation gap was apparent.
Older conference goers appeared to be virtually unanimous in expressing support for a two-state solution, calling themselves Zionists and saying that while they back more U.S. pressure on the parties, they reject cutting aid to Israel if it does not accede to U.S. demands.
But a number of delegates under 40, especially college students and recent graduates, appeared to be much more equivocal on the idea of two states for two peoples. Some were hesitant about identifying as Zionists, and some were open to the idea of making U.S. aid to Israel conditional on progress in the peace process.