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J Street: Clownishly Incompetent

And for this we can be thankful.

5:00 PM, Sep 30, 2010 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami admitted this week that he had lied about the funding of his organization for years – but only after the lies had become so obvious, and the criticism so pervasive, that he had no other choice. Contrary to Ben-Ami’s claims, the group had taken a large amount of money from George Soros. And perhaps even more troubling, contrary to Ben-Ami’s claims that the organizations was funded by Americans, J Street had also taken an even larger donation ($811,967) from a Chinese national who no one has ever heard of and whose wealth comes from a still undisclosed source.

The lies are egregious – and they continue today in another scoop from Eli Lake and his Washington Times colleague Ben Birnbaum, this one detailing J Street’s previously concealed role in facilitating the congressional outreach for the toxic judge Richard Goldstone. As Jeffrey Goldberg points out, lying has become so natural to Ben-Ami that he is now contradicting himself in the space of just a few sentences.

In the Times story, Jeremy Ben-Ami denied that his group assisted Goldstone in his visit in any way:  "J Street did not host, arrange or facilitate any visit to Washington, D.C., by Judge Richard Goldstone." Then, in the same response, he contradicted himself, acknowledging that J Street assisted Judge Goldstone in his efforts to meet members of Congress: "J Street staff spoke to colleagues at the organizations coordinating the meetings and, at their behest, reached out to a handful of congressional staff to inquire whether members would be interested in seeing Judge Goldstone."

After Lake and Birnbaum published their report, J Street responded with predictable desperation, accusing the Washington Times of engaging in “lies, smears and distortions” in the service of “the right-wing attack machine.” And this after J Street was forced to concede the facts of Lake’s reporting on their funding earlier in the week and to concede that they had been lying all along. Of course, they are still lying. Lake proves this by posting the audio of their interview with the former J Streeter who had resigned in protest of J Street’s work on behalf of Goldstone.

The pro-Israel community had always been fearful of J Street’s motives and intentions, and now we know the truth – they are the deceitful anti-Israel activists we’d thought them to be. But it also turns out that they are clownishly incompetent. And for this we can be thankful. Asked by General Westmoreland how to win in war, Moshe Dayan was said to have responded: “First of all, you pick the Arabs as your enemy.” As supporters of Israel, we’ve been lucky enough to find ourselves in a fight with J Street. 

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