Have you noticed the eerie silence of major Jewish and pro-Israel groups on the issue of the loyalty oath for new citizens approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet?
Best I can tell, the only group that's weighed in is J Street. But behind that wall of silence I'm guessing there's a lot of anxiety about how the ongoing controversy will affect American Jewish commitment to the Jewish state – and the commitment of one group in particular.
(JTA) — Congressional Democrats defended their meetings with Richard Goldstone and denied any J Street role in arranging the sit-downs with the author of a controversial report on the 2009 Gaza War.
Goldstone and two senior aides to top Democrats who had knowledge of the meetings denied J Street's involvement. The denials followed a Washington Times report last week asserting that J Street facilitated the meetings.
As the J Street – George Soros controversy goes into it second full week, here's a quick update on a few of the threads entangling the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group.
1. The controversy is solidifying into familiar lines, with ardent supporters blaming the press for heaping fuel on a relatively minor matter – the failure of J Street's leaders to tell the truth about Soros contributions – and detractors piling on with real criticism and outright hyperbole.
No one likes Avigdor Lieberman, to hear the left tell it. No one on the Israeli left or in the American Jewish Surrender Lobby liked Avigdor Lieberman's speech at the UN -- the J-Soros Surrender Street only advocates Israeli capitulation to any enemy demand (such as building freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria) ordered withoout negotiation by the Palestinians and their corner men in the White House.
Extent of damage for lobby on Hill unclear; ‘huge setback,’ says expert.
James D. Besser
Since it was formed, J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee, has fought for credibility in the face of charges from the right that it is anti-Israel. This week it was reeling after revelations in the Washington Times that the group has received substantial contributions from controversial financier George Soros — despite two years of denials.
Early indications suggest J Street’s membership base is holding fast, but there were reports that some members of Congress connected with the group may be reconsidering their affiliation.
I just finished writing a story on J Street's disastrous week and the possible consequences of the revelation it's leaders lied for two years about George Soros' contributions - consequences on Capitol Hill, in voting booths and in the Jewish communal world.
In looking the story over, I was particularly struck by one quote from my old friend Doug Bloomfield, once the legislative director of AIPAC, now a columnist for – gasp – Jewish newspapers.
Few Jewish organizations have generated feelings — pro or con — as intense as those ignited by J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee created two years ago to provide a left-of-center address for politicians and activists who support more aggressive U.S. peace process diplomacy.
That intensity took another quantum jump with last week’s Washington Times disclosure that the group has been getting substantial donations from financier George Soros despite repeated denials from its leaders.