J Street has acknowledged substantial donations from billionaire George Soros, reversing years of claims by the group that it had nothing to do with the liberal financier, and apologized for making misleading statements about his role.
Jim Besser explains why this matters:
There’s no way this isn’t going to make the politicians supported by J Street and those who may be considering accepting its endorsement incredibly nervous. Instead of providing protection for the politicians they supported, J Street essentially hung them out to dry – not by accepting Soros money, but by lying about their connection to the controversial philanthropist.
And there’s no way this doesn’t sow mistrust among commentators and reporters who write and speak about J Street, and who were repeatedly misled by its officials. J Street sought to create a climate of trust with a press corps that was being spun heavily by its opponents; this news undoes a lot of that effort.
J street was no doubt correct when it asserted that “his involvement would be used against the organization.” The JTA article lays out the controversial things Soros has said about Israel, and the way his ideological opponents have demonized him.
But is “controversial” the same as “anti-Israel”? At this point that distinction doesn’t matter, since J Street’s fudging over the years seems to suggest that Soros was too hot to handle, at least publicly.