Until the election of Barack Obama J-Street was generally ignored by mainstream Israel advocates because its views generally did not take into consideration the safety of Israel. Indeed many (including me) have called the group anti-Israel. President Obama gave the group legitimacy, because he agrees with their anti-Israel/ appease terror positions. When the President started inviting Jewish leaders to the White House, he took the head of the Zionist Organization of America off the list and added J-Street. In a report filed today by Eli Lake (with some research help from yours truly), we find that anther of the reasons that the President may be trying to legitimize J-Street is that its receiving major funding from George Soros.
J-Streets leader, Jeremy Ben-Ami has always claimed that Soros gave the group some start-up money, but has not received any money since. That was a lie.
Tax forms I provided to Mr. Lake, reveal that Mr. Soros and his two children, Jonathan and Andrea Soros, contributed a total $245,000 to J Street from one Manhattan address in New York during the fiscal year from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009 (see the document embedded below: page 13)
Soro’s contributions represent a third of the group’s revenue from U.S. sources during the period. Another donor, named Consolacion Esdicul. provided nearly half of J-Streets revenues during the period.
Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street’s executive director, said in an interview that the $245,000 was part of a $750,000 gift from the Soros family to his organization made over three years. Mr. Ben Ami also said that in this same period he had raised $11 million for J Street and its political action committee.
Last year it was revealed that many of the donations to the J-Street political action committee come from Arab sources
Mr. Soros made billions as a hedge fund manager and currency speculator, founding the Quantum hedge fund that, until the early 1980s, was based in an offshore tax haven in the Dutch Antilles Islands. Both his business success and his subsequent patterns of charitable giving in support of favored political and social causes have made him a figure of immense controversy both in the United States and around the world.
Mr. Soros uses has vast financial resources to fun many progressive organizations which dictate much of the progressive agenda, the Center For American Progress, MoveOn and Media Matters for America.
Mr. Ben Ami in past interviews has described J Street as President Obama’s “blocking back” in Congress, with the group billing itself as the lead Jewish-American group supporting elements in the Israeli political spectrum who favor negotiating a lasting two-state peace deal with the Palestinians.
What he doesn’t tell you that all major Israel advocacy groups support those negotiations. The difference is they also support Israel’s right to defend itself. During the conflict with Hamas at the end of 2008 which was a response to thousands of missiles sent into Israeli civilian areas. J Street called Israel’s “escalation in Gaza counterproductive” and was “disproportionate.” It also made a moral equivalency argument between the policies of Israel and Hamas, stating they found difficulty in distinguishing “between who is right and who is wrong” and “picking a side.” The group has also advocated that the US negotiate with Hamas.
J-Street also fought the Congressional move to place additional sanctions on Iran:
J Street has sent out a mass e-mail opposing a bipartisan push in Congress for tougher sanctions on Iran. Here’s the relevant passage:
On Iran, the President is promoting tough, direct diplomacy to address concerns over their nuclear program, support for Hamas and Hezbollah, and threats against Israel. The President has made clear that the diplomatic road ahead will be tough — but the chances of success won’t be helped by Congress imposing tight time lines or a new round of sanctions at this moment.
It his efforts to grant legitimacy to J-Street, President Obama convinced Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) to put aside his support of the Jewish State, trading it for support of J-Street, allowing them to use his name on invitations as a way to give the group some “street cred” in the pro-Israel community.
In a section of the [J-Street] website called “myths and facts,” the group until this week included a section that read: “George Soros very publicly stated his decision not to be engaged in J Street when it was launched — precisely out of fear that his involvement would be used against the organization.”
After Mr. Ben Ami spoke with The Times, the website was abruptly amended Thursday night to read: “J Street has said it doesn’t receive money from George Soros, but now news reports indicate that he has in fact contributed.”
J-Street is a fraud, it says it is pro-Israel while taking anti-Israel positions, it said it gets no money from George Soros, until I happened to download their form 990. But like many groups associated with both George Soros and President, for J-Street truth only complicates their story. With the major funding from Soros, J-Street is achieve its true purpose, to give Barack Obama political cover for his anti-Israel agenda.
The rest of Eli Lake’s article in the Washington Times can be found here.
Jeremy Ben-Ami, President of the pseudo-Israel advocacy group J-Street has decided to respond to the allegations that, despite years of denial, Ben-Ami lied about George Soros being a major donor to the group. His response, published on the J-Street site, could best be described as “Guilty with an explanation.” According to the explanation Ben-Ami wants to put the “whole lie in perspective.