Differing Israeli opinions on J Street (UPDATED)


J Street has a new video out, quoting former Israeli security officials and diplomats — including former Shin Bet head Ami Ayalon, onetime New York consel general (and current J Street senior advisor) Colette Avital and Oslo Accords negotiator Uri Savir — praising President Obama’s Mideast policies and J Street. (A longer version of the video above can be seen here.)

Meanwhile, Lenny Ben David — a former top diplomat at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and a one-time top AIPAC staffer — rips into J Street in an opinion piece in The Jerusalem Post. He was reacting to an earlier Jerusalem Post article that t a handful of donors to J Street’s political action committee also have connections to groups doing Palestinian and Iranian issues advocacy:

In the classic chicken-and-egg question: Does J Street set its policies to attract their donations, or do the contributors set J Street policies? At the same time, do the well-meaning progressive and true friends of Israel know who else is filling the coffers at J Street and its PAC?

Political action committees have to reveal their donors by law, but Ben David argues that J Street should also reveal the donors to its main non-profit organization as well — something no non-profit organization is required to do — because only throwing open for examination "all of its financial books will give J Street the kosher certification the progressive, pro-Israel, pro-peace community deserves."

Considering that neither AIPAC nor any other Jewish organization are planning to reveal their donors publicly, don’t expect J Street to do so either.

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