Ben Smith writes at Politico that a battle has ensued that does not even touch on the issue of Israel itself, with Media Matters defending J Street and attacking Ben-David in return.
The most interesting thing about this is Media Matters place as a fairly central group in the new, White-House aligned progressive infrastructure; if they're defending J Street, that's because J Street is seen as part of a team that is basically aligned with the White House. (The White House and some prominent Democrats on the Hill are also standing by the group this week.) [emphasis added]
If no one decries this influence of a pro-Israel lobby on the Obama administration--maybe its because everyone recognizes that it isn't.
UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin has a post about J Street and compare it with AIPAC:
Is it really pro-Israel? Well, it doesn’t act like it. Its mission was to provide an alternative to and oppose AIPAC at every turn. The latter’s goal is to promote a robust relationship between the U.S. and Israel and to foster American support for the defense of Israel. To declare yourself against that mission pretty much gives up the game.
Moreover, by declaring that it knows better than Israel, J Street seeks to infantilize the state, to assert that Israel is unable to discern its own interests. Unlike any other state, Israel is declared incompetent to control its own destiny. That’s an odd definition of “pro-Israel.”
But it would explain why the Obama administration would be interested in supporting it.
Technorati Tag: J Street.