As new pro-Israel lobby group J Street holds its first national conference in Washington, BBC Diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus looks at the opportunities and challenges facing an organisation set up to represent the liberal voice of US Jews.
On the street map of Washington DC there is a strange omission. Most streets are designated by either a number or a letter. But look as hard as you want there is no J Street. Seemingly, a hand-written capital I or J were seen as being too similar; a recipe for confusion.
This exception is seen by the head of the new liberal and decidedly dovish Israeli lobby group in Washington as a useful metaphor. “Just as there is no J Street on the grid in Washington DC,” says Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street’s Executive Director, his organisation “is looking to fill a similar gap in the political map”.