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Thursday, October 22, 2009

And another J Street withdrawal

JTA's Washington Bureau Chief, Ron Kampeas has dropped out of the J Street conference next week. That makes 12 members of Congress and five speakers who have dropped out in recent days upon discovering that J Street really isn't 'pro-Israel, pro-peace.'
Some of those who called were "concerned we were carrying water for J Street," Eden said. "For sure there were people who have concerns about J Street." While saying repeatedly that he had absolute confidence in Kampeas's ability to maintain his objectivity while moderating a panel at the event, ultimately Eden said it was necessary to be "sensitive to the perception" that Kampeas's participation would undermine JTA's credibility.

With the departure of Kampeas, J Street has now lost five speakers -- the three def poets that they cut for the "use and abuse of Holocaust imagery," Geoff Davis, the Kentucky Republican whose name disappeared from the conference program today and whose office refuses to comment on the matter, and now Kampeas. In addition to the 12 members of Congress who've yanked their support, that's 17 individuals who have either distanced themselves from J Street or have been thrown under the bus by J Street lest they provoke any more controversy. When was the last time a conference saw 17 names dropped from the program in the week before the conference started -- and that doesn't even include the Israeli Ambassador who declined J Street's invitation or Senator John Kerry, who looks likely (but is not certain) to be a no-show.

I would love to get a copy of the registration list to see how many Jews are actually participating in this conference. Anyone want to bet it's less than 50% by the end of the day?


At 1:43 PM, Blogger Mr. Gerson said...

I would like to see the percentage of people who dropped out. That will give a broader picture of the true impact of these drop-outs.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

They are very damaging. All that needs to be done is to destroy J-Street's credibility. Time will take care of the rest.


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