The revelation this week that – despite the earlier denials of J Street’s director Jeremy Ben-Ami (who now admits to making “misleading” statements), the far-left billionaire George Soros is one of J Street’s major donors (the other being mysterious Hong Kong-based “Consolacion Esdicul”) has really damaged J Street’s credibility. Soros has boasted that he is not a professing Jew; he has given to Arab groups but never to Israel; and he has advocated a Palestinian Authority ruled jointly by Fatah and Hamas. A Republican legislator from Virginia, Eric Cantor, is quoted as saying that J Street’s financial sources prove that the organisation is “not reflecting the mainstream position of the pro-Israel community in America” and that it does not “benefit the U.S.-Israel relationship”.
Hear, hear! Although J Street is unlikely to be reduced to rubble through these revelations, it is likely to become a no-go zone for all but the stalwarts who already tread its path.
Nobody has blogged about this grubby state of affairs surrounding J Street's funding more trenchantly than Isi Leibler, who in an absolute corker of a piece entitled “J-Street Unmasked” says, inter alia:
‘Soros and J-Street make a perfect match. Soros has proudly proclaimed "I am not a Zionist, nor am I a practising Jew." He believes that Israel is largely responsible for anti-Semitism.... Only last month ago, he contributed a record $100 million towards Human Rights Watch, the purportedly human rights watchdog, which no longer bothers to disguise its blatant bias and hostility towards Israel.
For its part, J-Street condemned Israel for its Gaza offensive against Hamas, describing it as "a disproportionate response." It refused to identify "who was right and who was wrong" proclaiming that "we recognize that neither Israelis nor Palestinians have a monopoly of right and wrong." It not only refused to condemn the Goldstone Report, but facilitated meetings between members of Congress and Judge Goldstone. It even resurrected the anti-Semitic charge of dual loyalties, warning Jews that by "one sided support of Israel," they "risked alienating the American public and would be condemned for displaying greater loyalties towards Israel than the US." It repeatedly slandered AIPAC depicting it as an extremist right-wing body ignoring the fact that it had backed the policies of all Israeli governments, including dovish administrations preceding Netanyahu.
Read all of Leibler’s marvellous exposé here: http://wordfromjerusalem.com/?p=2450To top it off, J-Street was also exposed for having received donations and support from Arab and pro-Arab individuals and organizations.The donors include Genevieve Lynch a former participant of the US Iranian National Council who also serves on the J-Street finance committee; Judith Barnett a former registered agent for Saudi Arabia who also serves on the J-Street Advisory Council; and Nancy Dutton a former attorney for the Saudi Arabian embassy who donates to J-Street's political action committee which finances anti-Israeli congressional candidates.’
This from Jerusalem Post today - David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, said on Friday that J Street’s contact with Goldstone, coupled with last week's revelation that it received funds from billionaire George Soros, an outspoken critic of Israeli policies on a number of occasions, undermined its stated mission of supporting the Jewish state.“J Street has every right, of course, to express its viewpoint and lobby in Washington,” Harris wrote in an email. “But it arrogates to itself the right, from thousands of miles away, to determine what’s best for democratic Israel.“In doing so, it espouses positions – e.g., ambiguity on the toxic Goldstone Report or prolonged hesitation to support legislative sanctions against a nuclear-aspiring Iran which seeks a world without Israel – that can only make one wonder what exactly it means, beyond the glib tag line, to be ‘pro- Israel.’” Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, an influential commentator on Israeli and Jewish affairs for The Atlantic, was even more critical of J Street in his blog.“Ben-Ami, its president, might have felt the need to cover up the involvement of George Soros, because liberal supporters of Israel know that Soros is unfriendly to the Jewish state, and some, presumably, would not want to be part of a group that counted Soros as a prominent supporter,” he wrote. “But on another level, what is going on here is inexplicable, and terribly dispiriting to people who thought that J Street was going to make a useful contribution to the debate over the future of Israel.”ReplyDelete
Not on this topic, but I don't know how else to contact you - some positive news:ReplyDelete
I certainly hope that all this takes the wind out of J Street's sails!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ian - I will take a look!ReplyDelete