J Street Exposed
Lies, lies, and more lies.
2:32 PM, Sep 24, 2010 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
The self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” J Street has always insisted that its funding comes entirely from Americans, and largely from American Jews. The group has also made a point of knocking down speculation that it takes money from liberal financier George Soros, who has never been particularly supportive of the State of Israel.
J Street lied about receiving funding from left-wing financier George Soros.
In the past, J Street chief Jeremy Ben-Ami has told journalists that Soros had no role in the organization other than participating in one early meeting. Per the AP in 2009, “Ben-Ami says liberal philanthropist George Soros attended a 2006 meeting where ideas for such a group were discussed but bowed out immediately, worried his involvement would draw criticism.” The Myth vs. Fact section of the J Street website makes clear that "George Soros very publicly stated his decision not to be engaged in J Street when it was launched — precisely out of fear that his involvement would be used against the organization."
And just six months ago, Ben-Ami told Moment Magazine, “We got tagged as having his support, without the benefit of actually getting funded!”
It turns out that J Street was straight out lying. Eli Lake reports today that J Street has in fact taken at some $750,000 from Soros over a three year period. Soros had been a major donor to the group since day one, and Ben-Ami had obviously been confident that would remain confidential information otherwise he, presumably, wouldn’t have lied so brazenly.
Moreover, as Lake reports, “Nearly half of J Street's revenue during the timeframe — a total of $811,697 — however, came from a single donor in Happy Valley, Hong Kong, named Consolacion Esdicul.”
So as Obama is off crusading against the imagined threat of conservative foreign-funded third-party groups, here’s J Street, with its close ties to the administration, caught red-handed. Again, from the J Street website:
Nearly half of J Street’s operating budget comes from a foreign national, but the group represents itself as being funded almost entirely by American Jews and by a few non-Jewish Americans – with “no funding from any foreign government or agent.” It’s all lies!
Of course, this funding would normally be shielded from disclosure but was, either through some lapse by J Street or the IRS (and it’s not clear which), somehow made public. J Street’s response was to try and get ahead of the story by dumping it in the lap of an unsuspecting reporter as evidence of their fundraising success. But they even screwed that up. Minutes after Lake’s story was published, Atlantic reporter Chris Good put up a post titled “Raising More Money, J Street Discloses Big Donors.” “In an interview with The Atlantic,” Good said, “Ben-Ami discussed J Street's fundraising momentum and who the group's biggest donors are, including nonpublicized funding for the group's 501(c)4 nonprofit.”
Thankfully for J Street, there’s one born every minute.
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