Photo Credit: Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

Something’s Wong When You’re Too Extreme For J Street

The George Soros-funded J Street, a leading critic of Israel, has reversed its endorsement of Rashida Tlaib, the Democratic Party candidate for Congress in Michigan who advocated slashing U.S. aid to Israel, called for a one-state solution, and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

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A J Street statement released on Friday reads: “After closely consulting with Rashida Tlaib’s campaign to clarify her most current views on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that a significant divergence in perspectives requires JStreetPAC to withdraw our endorsement of her candidacy.

“While we have long championed the value of a wide range of voices in the discussion of the conflict and related issues, we cannot endorse candidates who come to the conclusion that they can no longer publicly express unequivocal support for a two-state solution and other core principles to which our organization is dedicate.”

Tlaib reportedly actively sought the endorsement of J Street when she was running in the primary for the Democratic nomination. The organization’s vetting process includes personal interviews with candidates.

After she clinched the nomination, Tlaib gave numerous interviews in which she made her controversial remarks about Israel.

Speaking to the radical left In These Times website, Tlaib was asked whether she supported a one-state solution.  Palestinian activists routinely use the one-state solution phrase to refer to a state that replaces Israel.

“One state,” she replied. “It has to be one state. Separate but equal does not work. I’m only 42 years old, but my teachers were of that generation that marched with Martin Luther King. This whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work.”

Tlaib told Britain’s Channel 4 she would consider cutting U.S. military aid to Israel.

“Absolutely, if it has something to do with inequality and not access to people having justice,” she said. “For me, U.S. aid should be leverage. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the U.S. when they still promote that kind of injustice.”

Prior to the withdrawal of its endorsement, J Street hailed Tlaib’s presumptive election as “a historic milestone for the Palestinian-American community and for the United States as a whole.”

“We strongly support and are encouraged by her commitment to social justice, and we are inspired by her determination to bring the voice of underrepresented communities to Capitol Hill,” the J Street statement said. “We wish her and her campaign well, and we look forward to a close working relationship with her and her office when she takes her seat in Congress next year.”

The loss of J Street’s support demonstrates just how beyond the pale are Tlaib’s remarks about Israel, even among the far-left arm of major American advocacy groups related to the Middle East.

While the Soros-funded J Street describes itself as a liberal, pro-Israel lobby, it has faced mounting criticism for the policies it advocates, which many argue are harmful to the Jewish state.

In 2009, the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. refused to send its ambassador to J Street’s first national conference, explaining that the organization’s policies could harm Israel’s interests.

J Street strongly supported the international nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heavily lobbied against on the grounds of Israeli and U.S. national security.

J Street was reportedly financed to the tune of $576,500 by a group tied to Obama White House efforts to sell the Iran agreement to the public. J Street’s financing to advocate for the deal reportedly came from the Ploughshares Fund, a group that advocates a nuclear-free world and was identified by Obama administration officials as central in helping to market the Iran nuclear deal to the news media.

Ploughshares is in turn financed by Soros’ Open Society Institute, the Buffett Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Another Ploughshares donor is the Tides Foundation, which is one of the largest funders of the radical left. Tides is funded by Soros.

Ploughshares has donated to the Institute for Policy Studies, which calls for massive slashes in the U.S. defense budget. It has also financed the International Crisis Group, a small organization that boasts Soros on its board.

Besides funding from Ploughshares, J Street itself is directly funded by Soros.

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