Monday, October 11, 2010

The J Street Scandal

The recent scandal involving the lobbying group J Street, a liberal organization founded in 2008 that bills itself as "pro-Israel and pro-peace," may seem to some like a tempest in a teapot. In fact it is very significant, especially to anyone concerned about Israel, its future, and its relationship to the United States.

The scandal broke on September 24 with the publication of a Washington Times article by the reporter Eli Lake revealing that one of J Street's largest donors was the billionaire financier George Soros. The fact that Soros was funding a liberal organization was hardly surprising, given his well-known political views; but his stance on specifically Jewish issues has been controversial at least since 2003, when he asserted that the rise in global anti-Semitism was the result of policies being pursued by Israel and the United States.

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