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J Street, the American Jewish advocacy organization that describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace”—clearly implying that other pro-Israel organizations are not pro-peace—is in hot water these days. Washington Times reporter Eli Lake has revealed that J Street has been lying—big-time—about its funding. Then, in a follow-up report, Lake revealed further J Street lies about its connection with Judge Richard Goldstone, author of the infamous Goldstone Report.
Lake’s first story on September 24 disclosed that J Street—in direct contradiction to a longstanding claim on its website—had received generous funding, to the tune of $750,000 over three years, from controversial financier George Soros and his family. Moreover, J Street had received a total sum of $811,697 from a mysterious donor in Hong Kong named Consolacion Esdicul, who in turn was solicited—J Street claims—by a non-Jewish, American horse-race bettor named Bill Benter.
J Street, of course, had good reason to cover-up its support from Soros, whose “views”—if one can dignify them by calling them that—on Jewish and Israeli matters put him outside the discourse of decency. In 2003 Soros, who is of Hungarian Jewish background, said in a speech that:
There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that. It’s not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well. I’m critical of those policies.
If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish. I can’t see how one could confront it directly.
Saying that Jews are responsible for anti-Semitism is, of course, in itself classic anti-Semitism. Then, in a notorious New York Review of Books article in 2007, Soros blamed the U.S. and Israeli governments as well as the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby for the lack of Israeli-Palestinian peace while asserting that Hamas was a constructive force and the key to attaining peace.
As for Lake’s subsequent September 29 piece on J Street, it’s a veritable riot of disclosures.
Lake begins by quoting Colette Avital, former Israeli left-wing parliamentarian and for a time J Street’s liaison in Israel, saying one of the reasons she resigned from J Street was its connection with Goldstone, including helping him make appointments on Capitol Hill. Lake then quotes J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, saying J Street had merely “reached out to a handful of congressional staff to inquire whether members would be interested in seeing Judge Goldstone.”
Yet it turns out that Morton Halperin, longtime Washington insider and a senior officer at J Street, hand-delivered a personal letter from Goldstone to members of Congress, and that J Street cofounder Daniel Levy accompanied Goldstone to several meetings with legislators.
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