Never mind for a moment that J Street lied about accepting George Soros's money, that the so-called pro-Israel group is accepting cash from a mysterious foreign national, and that J Street helped facilitate Richard Goldstone's visit to Capitol Hill -- though all three troubling facts have rightly been in the news a lot lately.
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.
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.
We at THE WEEKLY STANDARD are interested in learning more about a previously unknown (at least to us!) Hong Kong resident who generously donated $811,967 to the liberal lobbying group J Street. Here's what we know about her: The woman's name is Consolacion Esdicul, but she goes by the diminutive Connie. She appears to be a resident of Happy Valley, Hong Kong. Esdicul is, according to J Street, an associate of Bill Benter, a famously successful international gambler.
The liberal lobbying group J Street, which has operated under the pretense of being pro-Israel, has really taken a hit in the last week. Eli Lake of the Washington Times uncovered that, despite J Street’s longstandinginsistence to the contrary, the group has received significant funding from financier George Soros and his children. Additionally, the same report revealed that J Street received $811,967, from a woman named Consolacion Esdicul, a resident of Happy Valley, Hong Kong and an associate of Bill Benter, a hugely successful international gambler.
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.
Ben Smith reports today that Joe Sestak is distancing himself from the J Street sponsored, "infamous" (in the words of the Orthodox Union), anti-Israel letter accusing Israel of "collective punishment" for defending itself against Hamas terrorists bent on murdering Israelis. Collective punishment is specifically designated as a war crime by the Geneva Conventions, and the term's use was rejected by all but 12 percent of the House, all Democrats now known as the Gaza 54. That number dropped to 53 when Yvette Clark distanced herself from the letter almost immediately after it was sent to President Obama.
Former Democratic New York City mayor Ed Koch tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that he supports the legal right to build mosque near Ground Zero but believes the mosque is "insensitive" to 9/11 survivors and their families.
How does J Street welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to town? By politicizing American support for Israel. In a new ad said to air nationally (on al-Jazeera English maybe?), the group makes a silly attempt to ‘juxtapose’ those who say ‘yes’ to peace with those who say….well, it’s tough to find anyone in the U.S. who opposes peace, so J Street just slanders staunch supporters of Israel whose staunch support offends their delicate sensibilities.
Over the last 18 months, there’s been a lot of debate about the Obama administration’s strategy in Israel – not whether it’s working (you can’t find anyone in town to make that case), but what it seeks to achieve.
Last week, the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC announced it was supporting letters circulating Congress – a House version and a Senate one – supporting the Jewish state’s right to defend herself and reaffirming American support of its liberal democratic ally in the Middle East. The Senate letter is led by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. In the House, Republican Ted Poe and Democrat Gary Peters, joined by Steny Hoyer and Eric Cantor and Howard Berman and Illeana Ros-Leithene, are leading the effort.
For most Christians, Lent is a season of penitence and devotion in remembrance of the events leading to Christ’s crucifixion. For Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), Lent is an organizing tool for rallying U.S. Christians against Israel.
CMEP is releasing a series of Lenten devotionals, culminating with the current Holy Week, that supporters are urged to disseminate to their local churches. Each devotional has an explicit or implicit critique of modern Israel or message of solidarity with Palestinians.