George Soros has been a top funder in recent years of liberal political advocacy groups, and Jews have still been voting for Democrats at a 75 to 80 percent clip. J Street, meanwhile, has built relations with lawmakers, lined up support from liberal rabbis and communal leaders, and found itself on the White House invite list, even while issuing controversial criticisms of Israel and establishment Jewish groups on several occasions.In other news, I find that Jewish students that support boycott, divestment, and sanctions related to Israel to be very sad. Check out New Voices.
So why exactly did J Street and its director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, risk the organization’s reputation and undermine its credibility by misleading the world about the donations it received from the financier and philanthropist?
The question has some establishment Jewish leaders and Democratic politicians scratching their heads this week -- and predicting that Ben-Ami’s deception would cause the group much greater damage than any association with Soros. It's especially perplexing given J Street's insistence that it wanted Soros' money.
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” said Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, when asked about J Street’s earlier denials about receiving funding from Soros.
Foxman noted that Soros and J Street share the same posture on Middle East peace: an aggressive U.S. role, including pressure on all sides and opposition to settlement building -- not to mention an openness to talks with Hamas.
“It's the most appropriate thing, it fits, it makes sense -- there's nothing wrong with it,” Foxman said of the relationship.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Ron Kampeas wonders why J Street was so scared of George Soros.