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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jeremy Ben Ami boycotts 'settlement goods' and still takes money from Soros

None of you should be surprised to hear that J Street head Jeremy Ben Ami boycotts 'settlement goods.' What's more surprising is that he seemed to try to avoid admitting it.
MT: Peter Beinart will be featured prominently this year at the J Street Conference. He advocates, among other things, what he calls “Zionist B.D.S.” It’s basically a boycott, as I understand it, of settlements. That’s not your position. Is that right?
JB: It would be a very boring conference, it would be a very boring life, if the only people you ever invited to engage with you were the people you agree with.
MT: That’s fair, but Beinart offers a position that is not extreme and is slightly more passionate. Do you worry that young, liberal American Jews might say, “Well, J Street, those are my grandparents, so I’m going to go to the Beinart school, I’m going to be in favor of a partial boycott. I am going to make sure that if the Park Slope Coop is offering products from the settlements, I’m not going to buy them”?
JB: I think probably a lot of people in J Street don’t buy settlement products. I would hope that the politically strategic young people still find [our organization] to be the more effective way to have joint, communal political action. We have the ear of the White House; we have the ear of a very large segment of Congress at this point; we have very good relations with top communal leadership in the Jewish community. If you want to have a voice in those corridors of power, then get involved with J Street.
MT: Do you buy settlement goods?
JB: I don’t. I just feel uncomfortable providing personal economic support to the settlements. But that’s just me. It has nothing to do with building an organization and a political and communal voice that stands for a certain set of policies and viewpoints. I’m very comfortable with that distinction.
Do as I say, not as I do? (J Street claims not to favor BDS). 

And by the way, J Street is still being financed by George Soros.
MT: Do you still take money from Soros?
JB: Absolutely. His son is a contributor now, too.
What could go wrong?

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