The White House appears to be distancing itself from the liberal advocacy group J Street that it once embraced as its envoy to the U.S. Jewish community after disclosures that nearly half the group's funding for 2008 came from a single Hong Kong donor.The battle pro and con about whether the White House should disassociate itself from J Street has already started:
White House spokesman Thomas Vietor declined to comment when asked on Monday if the White House would continue its past practice of inviting J Street's leaders to take part in conference calls with senior White House officials and to other White House events, and whether senior Obama administration officials would take part in future J Street conferences.
In an interview Monday, Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican and House minority whip, said: "The White House needs to disassociate itself from J Street, denounce J Street and cut off all ties."This, of course, is just the beginning. A lot will depend on how the issue is framed: major donations from the controversial billionaire, a huge donation by an unknown foreign woman--or the fact that J Street lied about where they got their funding from.
Mr. Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House, added that "I am hopeful this revelation will now cause people to begin to ignore what they say. They are not reflecting the mainstream position of the pro-Israel community in America, nor do I think they help benefit the U.S.-Israel relationship."
"I don't know anything about George Soros' funding or this Connie woman, but I do know J Street is an organization that has effectively lobbied on the Hill for peace in the Middle East, for Israel, the Palestinian people and the United States of America and that is win, win, win," countered Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennessee Democrat and a J Street supporter.
Technorati Tag: J Street and George Soros and Consolacion Esdicul.