The AIPAC-J Street War

The latest salvo from a foreign lobbyist for Turkey and Georgia, and former AIPAC staffer, Lenny Ben-David, resorts to this:

So far, only J Street’s Political Action Committee has disclosed its contributors, as mandated by federal law. But who are the donors to the main J Street organization? Make that list public, and these pesky inquiries will probably go away.

When asked about J Street’s funding by the Jerusalem Post the newspaper that ran the original exposé you responded “at most 3 percent” of contributors were Muslim or Arab.  Now you state that the figure may be closer to 10 percent. One tenth of J Street’s budget of $3 million, or $300,000, is a substantial sum. Why do so many Arabs contribute to an organization that purports to be “pro-Israel?”

There are many Arabs in Israel and America. Why is merely being an Arab some kind of mark against someone contributing to a lobby seeking a resolution to the Israel-Palestinian stalemate? And why is it in any way relevant what the ethnic origins of any contributor is? The racist tribalism behind this kind of argument is surely part of the problem, not the solution. Ackerman is less polite but more to the point here.