On the J Street Controversy

Nathan Guttman puts the best spin possible on things:

(J Street President Jeremy) Ben-Ami took full responsibility for not revealing in public the fact that Soros has been providing funds to J Street. He issued a statement carrying this message as the press and right-wing blogs were already in a frenzy of criticism against the group, some predicting that the Soros affair would mark the beginning of J Street's demise, or at least the end of the Ben-Ami era.

But most observers now agree that neither scenario is likely to materialize.

"People see it as an aberration, not as a pattern," said Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, referring to Ben-Ami's post-Soros image in political circles. "Usually you get one free pass for things like this." Saperstein, who was also involved in initial talks that led to the creation of J Street, said he did not sense any concerns on Capitol Hill or in the administration about dealing with Ben-Ami or with J Street.

I don't know about "most observers," but most reporters -- not "right-wing" reporters, just reporters -- are waiting for Jeremy Ben-Ami to apologize for misleading them personally and repeatedly. Does he get a pass after that? Probably.  

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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