Hamas’s best U.S. buddies

November 22, 2011

Once upon a time, it was thought that J Street (the left-wing group hypercritical of just about everything the Jewish state does) was thought to be a potentially influential voice in D.C. on Israel. But then came its letter in support of easing the Gaza blockade, the revelation that it is largely funded by George Soros and a mysterious woman from Hong Kong, its shilling for Richard Goldstone and its freakish conventions featuring Iran apologists. To be honest, I rarely write about the group because not even the administration listens to J Street (the administration reluctantly did veto a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its settlements, to the dismay of the J Street crowd).

But a piece by Adam Kredo caught my eye, illustrating just how far into the fever swamp of anti-Israel ideology the group has wandered. Kredo reports:

With Middle East peace talks all but stalled, one of J Street’s top board members took it upon herself to meet with Hamas earlier this month.

That J Street board member is Kathleen Peratis (also an initial founder of the group), a partner at the New York law firm of Outten & Golden LLP. She also co-chairs the Middle East and North Africa Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch. . . .

Peratis, however, recounts her experience as a fun-filled joy fest spent with friends. She quotes one smuggler as saying: ”Please tell your friends that Hamas people are ordinary people. We are not barbarians.”

A Democratic Hill staffer e-mailed me: “It seems that J Street, or at least its board members, have more influence in the Gaza strip than on Capitol Hill. For J Street to ever be taken seriously by Members of Congress, it can start with terminating its relationship with anyone who seeks to show the ‘human side’ of these barbaric Hamas terrorists. But unfortunately for J Street, I can’t say that many of my colleagues are surprised to see the kind of company J Street keeps.”

Josh Block, former American Israel Public Affairs Committee spokesman and longtime Democrat was equally dismissive. “The fact that one of J Street’s founders and board members is out there meeting with Hamas again and again, and worse, suggesting they are just ordinary people, tells you all you need to know about who funds and supports that group. And by that group, I mean J Street, not Hamas.” In the battle over terminology, Block doesn’t equivocate: “Is that activity pro-Israel? Not by my definition. The fact that this same person serves on the J Street board and chairs the Human Rights Watch Middle East committee, which is responsible for so many modern blood libels against the Israelis, is further evidence, if any was needed, of her outright hostility to Israel.”

The good news in this is that there is virtually no market for what J Street is peddling. Americans remain overwhelmingly pro-Israel and have no trouble spotting barbarians (for those who have any doubt, that would be the Hamas terrorists who spout Nazi ideology and aim to kill Jews) .

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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