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J Street Loses Another: Rep. Howard Coble Out

12:23 PM, Oct 20, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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THE WEEKLY STANDARD has confirmed that North Carolina Republican Howard Coble has become the latest member of Congress to have his name pulled from the host committee for J Street's inaugural conference. Coble spokesman Ed McDonald said that when Coble was first asked whether he would add his name to the list, he was told it was a "pro-Israel group" and said "no problem." McDonald pointed out that Coble has a "very strong" pro-Israel record and that the district he represents has a sizable Jewish community -- and that community took notice.

"We heard from several of the rabbis back home who called to find out why he was on the list," McDonald said, and "after we learned more about the organization, [we decided] we're uncomfortable with this."

The list of senators and representatives that have withdrawn their names from the host committee now stands at eleven, including both Democratic and Republican members. J Street has also cancelled a panel, rescinding invitations to three speakers whose "use and abuse of Holocaust imagery," first noted on this blog, was deemed potentially "offensive to some conference participants" by J Street director Jeremy Ben-Ami. How many more people will bail on this "pro-Israel" conference before it starts on Sunday?

The full list of members who've pulled their support from J Street:

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE)
Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
Rep. John Salazar (D-CO)
Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY)
Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC)