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Did I Get ‘Journolisted’?

After writing an expose of J Street, I was the target of character assassination from Journolist members — including a violent threat from Spencer Ackerman.

by
Lenny Ben-David

Bio

July 22, 2010 - 2:36 pm
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It was an amazing, likely coordinated attack. “My God! You’re radioactive,” a staffer from a real pro-Israel organization told me.
After reading the Ackerman strategy to attack those who sought to expose the Obama-Wright connection, it’s very clear the same tactic was deployed to protect J Street. Serious Washington reporters who can smell J Street’s type of fraud from a mile away have avoided investigating the outfit, originally called “the Soros project” in its early life. Several reporters have material on a Turkish donor to J Street’s PAC who was thrown off of the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 when they learned he was involved in the production of the anti-American, anti-Semitic film Valley of the Wolves.

But not a word has been written.

They’ve seen the FEC data on an eccentric “Wyoming Latin teacher” who gave the PAC $36,000 this year — the largest contribution ever given to J Street’s PAC.

But not a peep.

It takes one click on the FEC site to see that leaders of the Arab-American and pro-Iranian lobby are still making major contributions. But no one has challenged J Street to publish its board of directors or its major contributors.

Clearly, I had stepped on some very sensitive toes, and the journothugs didn’t like it. Therefore, to not be a victim of their thug tactics, I ask that you all read my original column that lit their fuse.

In October, I responded publicly to the Arab-American activist who was the supposed victim of my racism: 

My reference to your involvement with J Street has nothing to do with your ancestry, or even you personally. Your name could be Golda Meir as far as I’m concerned.  Your friends who label me a racist are only attempting to deflect attention away from the questions raised about J Street and its lack of transparency.

What I find disturbing about J Street is the deception surrounding it. One donor signed federal documents saying he is “not working” and living in Orlando when he’s actually a Palestinian billionaire from the West Bank. You are registered in the PAC as a “consultant” for USUS, not for the Arab American Institute. These disclosures have nothing to do with ethnic background. Why do Saudi employees and partners — “WASPS,” I presume — like lawyer Nancy Dutton and former CIA station chief Ray Close give to a “pro-Israel” organization? Why would life-long Arabist diplomats? Or activists in Muslim centers around the U.S., centers which identify with the Muslim Brotherhood? Or Genevieve Lynch, an officer in the Iranian-American lobby, give $10,000-plus to J Street’s PAC?

Already, some journalists are challenging or dismissing the Daily Caller’s exposé. The test of good journalists will be if they actually investigate the “Journolist” allegations, stiffen their backbones, and start investigating J Street.

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The writer served as a senior Israeli diplomat in Washington. Today he is a consultant on public affairs and blogs at www.lennybendavid.com.
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