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May 17, 2011

The New York Times-J Street Axis

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Ethan Bronner, in his May 8, 2011 New York Times article, reports on PA President Mahmoud Abbas's business-as-usual stance: urging the U.S. to force Israel to negotiate with the reunited Palestinians and continuing to provide the Palestinians with millions of dollars in aid despite Abbas's new partnership with terrorist group Hamas. Hamas has steadfastly refused to negotiate with Israel, has called for an end to the "Zionist project" and is committed to armed struggle against the Jewish state.

Ignoring widespread criticism of Abbas's reconciliation with Hamas from newspaper pundits who argue that such a move "spells the end of the institution-building program under Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad" and turns its back "on the prospect of U.S.-brokered peace talks", from US government members who point out that "U.S. law prohibits aid from being provided to a Palestinian government that includes Hamas," and from critics who insist that Abbas's partnership with Hamas is a betrayal of any peace process with Israel, Bronner instead cites someone who endorses Abbas's agenda, namely Jeremy Ben-Ami, the President of J Street.

Of course, Bronner neglects to identify J Street as a lobby group. Nor does he mention the controversy that surrounds the group that attempts to position itself as a "pro-Israel" organization while so many of its stances indicate quite the opposite. For example, J Street rejected US House of Representatives' Resolution 867 condemning the libelous Goldstone report on the Gaza war and it urged the US to withhold its veto of a UN Security Council resolution against Israel. In fact, the latter position prompted a falling-out with one-time supporter Rep. Gary Ackerman who explained:

After learning of J Street's current public call for the Obama administration to not veto a prospective UN Security Council resolution that..would give fresh and powerful impetus to the effort to internationally isolate and delegitimize Israel, I've come to the conclusion that J Street is not an organization with which I wish to be associated.

Nor is anything mentioned about J Street's funding: it initially denied but later acknowledged receiving funding from George Soros, who is well-known for his philanthropic support of organizations hostile to Israel , and it reportedly has received donations from dozens of Arab and Muslim Americans and pro-Palestinian and Iranian advocates.

While citing only J Street, without properly alerting readers to leanings and track record, Bronner --intentionally or not--bolsters the organization's own agenda, which would have Israel negotiate with a group sworn to its destruction while the US foots the bill.

Posted by jp at May 17, 2011 02:44 PM

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