Who is Mehmet Celebi and why does he like J Street?

Last year, I wrote a piece called J Street’s treason exposed, in which I quoted this news story:

The [J Street PAC] 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.

I, and many others, found it somewhat odd that these individuals would support a pro-Israel organization. You don’t understand, I was told. They are donating because they are for peace.

Note that the donations in question were to the J Street PAC — which, because it gives money to candidates for political office, is bound by law to report all donations in detail. The J Street parent organization is not required to do so, so we don’t know where they get their money from.

Now a search of Federal Election Commission records for 2009 shows a new name: Mehmet Celebi of Naperville, Illinois (a Chicago suburb), contributing $275 (see p. 14 of this document).

OK, $275 is not much. But who is Mehmet Celebi?

The Clinton campaign is no longer taking contributions from a Turkish American who financed a film that depicted an American Jew trading in Iraqi body parts.

Mehmet Celebi had been listed on the presidential campaign website of U.S. Sen. Hilalry Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as a “Hill-raiser,” someone who had raised more than $100,000 for her presidential bid. Celebi had co-produced “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq,” a 2006 film based on a popular Turkish TV series about a crack Turkish combat unit.

The film depicts a Jewish American doctor harvesting organs from prisoners.

“We were unaware of Mr. Celebi’s involvement in this film and we obviously do not agree with it,” Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to the campaign said Friday in response to a query from JTA. Lewis, who plays a lead role for the campaign in dealing with the Jewish community, added: “He is no longer raising money for this campaign.” — NBC First Read, David Gelles

The film is the most expensive ever made in Turkey ($10M) and, big surprise, has been called viciously anti-American.

Does this guy sound pro-Israel to you? Me neither.

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