J Street Facilitates Goldstone's Visit to Capitol Hill (UPDATED)
Then lies about it.
1:15 PM, Sep 30, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
J Street has revealed itself to be about as honest as it is pro-Israel. And another day brings about another report of the lobbying group's anti-Israel actions -- and its dishonesty. Today, Eli Lake and Ben Birnbaum report in the Washington Times that J Street facilitated Richard Goldstone's recent visit to Capitol Hill and that a person affiliated with the liberal lobbying group resigned over this move.
Goldstone, of course, is the controversial author of the UN sanctioned report bearing his name, which accused Israel of using "the more than 8,000 rocket attacks on its civilians merely as a pretext, an excuse, a cover for the real purpose of Operation Cast Lead, which was to target innocent Palestinian civilians -- children, women, the elderly -- for death," as summarized by the liberal pro-Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz.
This latest story, which exposes J Street's facilitation of Goldstone's visit, has brought about even more evasiveness from J Street. Here's the statement that J Street gave the reporters from the Washington Times that they are claiming contradicts the thrust of the Times piece:
Well, that does certainly contradict the Times report. Maybe J Street has a point? Wait ... there's more:
Wait a second. How is this distinguishable from helping to "arrange or facilitate" Goldstone's meetings?
According to the Washington Times, it was enough for one affiliate of J Street to resign:
Oddly, Avital is now denying that she told the reporters this. But the reporters maintain that they have the tape to back it up, and Avital's story only changed after she spoke with J Street about the situation. Hmm.
J Street is in a self-righteous huff, claiming that "The right-wing attack machine is in full gear." What this means is not really clear. Of course, it's convenient for J Street to shoot the messenger -- the folks reporting the stories. But really people are just outraged that a group that would operate under the pretense of being pro-Israel would do the things that it did. Why did J Street act in the manner that they did if they aren't willing to defend themselves? Probably because what they've done is indefensible for a group that masquerades as being pro-Israel.
Update: The Washington Times journalists have released the audio of their call with Avital. It confirms their story, and it's accessible here.