J Street Brings Jews, Muslims Together
It’s not uncommon for The New York Times and other media outlets to carry stories, usually heartwarming, about Jews and Arabs (or, more specifically, Israelis and Palestinians) working together, peacefully, on things like cultural initiatives or hospitals and education programs. Today, the Jerusalem Post has a story reporting that the same thing is happening in politics, specifically at J Street’s political action committee, which the paper reports has received about $111,000 in donations this year, including from a handful of people associated with various pro-Palestinian causes. Naturally, some are keen to cast the donations in a nefarious light; AIPAC’s Lenny Ben-David told the paper “once you introduce a large group and a large amount of money from people who are suspect in their pro-Israel credentials, J Street loses some of its credibility in claiming it is pro-Israel and representing the Jewish community.” But we’d argue that it’s actually probably just more evidence that, as Congressional Quarterly’s Jonathan Broder wrote earlier this week, J Street has managed to distinguish itself, in its short life, by being brilliant at manipulating the Washington money game to promote its interests. After all, as one unnamed Jewish leader told the Post, “Arab-American organizations or Palestinian American organizations have minuscule impact in Washington.” So, he went on, “if you’re looking for impact, for bang for your political buck, you’d give to J Street.”
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