Peeling Off J Street's Invisibility Cloak: What Today's NY Times Magazine Won't Tell You
In all fairness -- and presumably with a straight stage face -- Khouri told the Jerusalem Post that “he donated to the J Street PAC because ‘I believe that they are sincere about being pro-Israel and they are sincere about being pro-peace. And AIPAC I consider an enemy of Israel rather than a friend of Israel because they're not helping it to achieve peace.'" Khouri’s definition of peace, of course course, is not widely accepted, certainly not by Israelis and friends of Israel in the U.S.
Other JStreet PAC contributors include an “attorney” whom J Street doesn’t reveal as a board member of the hyper-critical-of-Israel Human Rights Watch, a “teacher” who was actually a founder of an Islamic school in Virginia, a “housing specialist” who is the national co-chairman of Middle East Network of United Methodists, another serial defamer of Israel, a Washington lawyer who actually works for the Saudi Embassy, and many more.
Does the Sphinx answer another riddle?
On July 13, J Street was invited to meet with President Obama as part of a delegation of national Jewish organizations. Some eyebrows should have been raised again when it was invited to a small meeting of Jewish organizations with Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak in Washington on August 17. Perhaps it’s logical that President Obama’s favorite Jewish organization would be invited by an Egyptian leader seeking to score points with the White House.
But a closer look at J Street’s supporters may explain how it got its ticket to the show. The organization has several prominent Egyptophiles on its board of advisors and among its financial supporters.
The Jerusalem Post recent exposé revealed that the head of the Egyptian desk at the State Department, Nicole D. Shampaine at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, contributed $1,000 to J Street’s political action committee last year.
Sitting on J Street’s advisory council are a couple of former U.S. ambassadors to Egypt, and one of them, Robert Pelletreau, was also registered at the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent for Egypt, working for the firm of Afridi, Angel & Pelletreau.
Another J Street advisor, Judith Barnett, once served as the deputy assistant secretary of commerce for the Middle East and Africa. Upon leaving government service, she set up her own consulting firm and affiliated with the international PA Consulting Group, where she worked for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade. In her own words, she “created Egypt, Inc., a major initiative to increase trade and investment for the Ministry … which included a worldwide assessment of Egypt’s commercial services for its companies, a commercial website, and a series of national outreach programs in the U.S.”
After writing a sycophantic piece in the Washington Post in 2004 about the changing role of women in Saudi Arabia [“I found … that the role of Saudi women is changing far more quickly than most in the West realize.”], Ms. Barnett went on to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for Saudi Arabia, as well.
So it should be no mystery why J Street was invited to meet with President Mubarak. Would that the organization have such prominent advocates for another Middle East country, one called Israel.