The J Street political action committee has received tens of thousands of dollars in donations from dozens of Arab and Muslim Americans, as well as from several individuals connected to organizations doing Palestinian and Iranian issues advocacy, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Additionally, at least two State Department officials connected to Middle East issues have donated to the PAC, which gives money to candidates for US Congress supported by J Street. The organization describes itself as a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby pushing for more American involvement and diplomacy in resolving the Middle East conflict…
The funds that come from these sources indeed constitute a small fraction of the year-and-a-half-old organization’s political fundraising, which totaled around $844,000 in 2008 – a key election year – and $111,000 so far in 2009. They comprise several dozen of the PAC’s 4,000-5,000 donors.
But some of the contributors play key roles in the organization. The finance committee’s 50 members – with a $10,000 contribution threshold – include Lebanese-American businessman Richard Abdoo, a current board member of Amideast and a former board member of the Arab American Institute, and Genevieve Lynch, who is also a member of the National Iranian American Council board. The group has also received several contributions from Nancy Dutton, an attorney who once represented the Saudi Embassy in Washington.
Smaller donors include several leaders of Muslim student groups, Saudi- and Iranian-born Americans, and Palestinian- and Arab-American businessmen who also give to Arab-oriented PACs.
My goodness, this explains a lot.
- It explains how Zionophobe Rob Malley can be a J Street Advisory Council member.
- It explains how a “pro-Israel” organization could have called for an immediate cease-fire at the start of Operation Cast Lead.
- It explains how J Street could support a Washington DC theater group’s production of the antisemitic play “Seven Jewish Children” while “taking no stand on the content” of the play.
- It explains why J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami spoke in favor of a settlement freeze at the White House.
Even Bernie Madoff didn’t try to justify what he’d done, but Ben-Ami is spinning until the end. Explaining why his organization took money from sources known to be hostile to Israel, he said,
We are so clearly pro-Israel, and we are an organization that is grounded in and based in Jewish values and a Jewish desire to support the State of Israel, that if someone wants to choose to do their political giving through us, it’s more a question for them: Do they want to be seen to be giving their money through us. If they do it, that’s the statement they’re making.
Let’s see. Your organization’s positions oppose those of the state of Israel, even in time of war; you don’t object to — and indeed support — antisemitism, you have advisors who are Israel-haters, and you take money from — for example — Saudi — sources. But you can say that you are “clearly pro-Israel … an organization that is grounded in and based in Jewish values and a Jewish desire to support the State of Israel”?
Why doesn’t your head explode?