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February 22, 2010

Ha'aretz's J Street Promotions, Con't

You got to give them points for consistency. Ha'aretz has systematically ignored substantive criticism of J Street's policies, methods and funding, and so it comes as no surprise that the paper ignores the latest development in the reported snub of a J Street delegation by deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon.

It's not that the paper has ignored the controversy. To the contrary. Coverage includes two news articles (see here and here) and at least one Op-Ed condemning the alleged snub, which appeared today.

While the paper which has paid the matter substantial coverage until now, it nevertheless ignores the fact, that as reported in the Jerusalem Post today, the Foreign Ministry claims that J Street has lied about the whole affair. The Post reports:

The American “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby group J Street made “untrue assertions” about an alleged boycott of the congressional delegation it recently brought to Israel, and about Israel allegedly apologizing to the group for the slight, a senior Foreign Ministry official told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

“[Deputy Foreign Minister Danny] Ayalon did not prevent the delegation from meeting with senior Israeli officials,” as claimed by J Street last week, said Barukh Binah, Foreign Ministry deputy director-general and head of its North America Division.

“Ayalon was never part of the delegation’s schedule and talk of boycotting meetings with congressman has no basis in fact. On the contrary, the deputy foreign minister is always willing to meet with elected officials from any friendly country, especially the United States of America, and [with] Jewish organizations which represent a range of diverse views from across the political spectrum.”

Binah also rejected the “subsequent assertion that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs apologized in hastily arranged meetings,” which he said was simply not true.

A senior Foreign Ministry official who asked to remain anonymous blasted the group for “coming to the region with the intention of creating headlines, perhaps for fund-raising purposes. The media and the congressmen became unwilling participants in a premeditated public relations circus. It is extremely disappointing that a so-called pro-Israel organization would put self-aggrandizement ahead of the interests of the State of Israel.”

Meanwhile, questions were raised in Israel about the pro-Israel credentials of the five-member congressional delegation brought by J Street, composed of California Democrats Lois Capps and Bob Filner, Massachusetts Democrat Bill Delahunt, New Jersey Democrat Donald Payne and Ohio Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy.

While J Street chairman Jeremy Ben-Ami asserted that the delegation members were “key friends of Israel in Congress,” a recent vote on House Resolution 867, which slammed the Goldstone Report and reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense, saw only one of the five voting in Israel’s favor.

Posted by TS at February 22, 2010 03:46 AM

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