Biden to keynote J Street conference

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker at J Street’s annual conference.

Also speaking at the Sept. 28-Oct. 1 conference of the liberal pro-Israel group will be Martin Indyk, the chief U.S. Middle East peace negotiator, according to a copy of the schedule posted online Tuesday.

The conference will feature speakers from across the Israeli political spectrum, including from the Shas, Likud, Labor, Hatnua and Yesh Atid parties — a signal of how J Street has overcome resistance to engagement in Israel’s political establishment.

Also featured will be leaders from the U.S. Jewish establishment, including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the National Council of Jewish Women.

Republicans, however, are absent from the schedule. J Street over the years has overwhelmingly endorsed Democrats for elected office.

J Street advocates an active U.S. role in bringing about a two-state solution and is critical of Israel’s settlement enterprise.

It refused to weigh in recently on President Obama’s appeal to Congress to authorize a strike on Syria’s Assad regime to degrade its chemical weapons capability. The vast majority of Jewish and pro-Israel groups had backed Obama in his effort.