Category Archives: Ben-Ami

The Friends of Mr. Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison, the black Minnesota congressman and the only Muslim in Congress, wants to become the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  But he has a checkered record on Jews and, quite frankly, on anti-Semitism.  To evaluate the responses to his candidacy, it is useful first to look at roughly four contending viewpoints concerning Israel.   I color-code them  from white to black.

1) CW Code White

This is the majority group among American Jews, and probably among  all Americans.  They are people who find no problem in standing for Israel.  I count myself in this group.  I attend AIPAC meetings when I can, I attend Salute to Israel parades, I contribute to the Jewish National Fund.  Like all the other categories, this one is not homogeneous;  there are a number of ways in which one can be CW on this issue.

2) CLG Code Light Grey

These are the people organized in groups like JStreet and similar formations.  Much of this activity is financed by George Soros (see my writeup here.)  The ideas behind this (thin) slice of American Jewish opinion  are roughly  as follows:  Well, yes, of course we are for Israel.  One hundred percent.  But the government over there ?  Can you believe it, it is right wing.  Not liberal, not humanistic, not like us at all.  They are a bunch of right-wingers, reactionaries, McCarthyites.  They are at war with the Palestinians because, well, because they are right-wing chauvinists.  They carry on this Occupation.  They don’t realize what is good for Israel.  We American Jewish progressives, we do know what is good for Israel. If only those unenlightened voters of Israel were to listen to us and were to vote for a left-wing splinter party and end the Occupation, there would be peace in the Middle East, pronto.

3) CDG Code Dark Grey

As things get darker here, we have little grouplets of Social Justice warriors, often overlapping with Code Black, who may not directly call for the destruction of Israel but who are close to it.  An example is the New York group “Jews for Racial and Economic Justice,” which I have described here.

4) CB Code Black

Electronic Intifada, Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace.  From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. Intifada ! Intifada !

*************

So much for background.  How does it relate to Keith Ellison’s candidacy ?  Who wants him in, who wants him out ?  A Google search reveals a cacophony of opinion on the matter;  I will here only mention those reactions that I found particularly enlightening.

First, there is a strikingly revealing contribution by Sami Rahamim, an undergraduate student who describes himself as “a pro-Israel activist and Jewish student leader,” as well as a “friend,” constituent, and supporter of Ellison.  But he also lists all the hostile public positions that Ellison has taken, against Israel, and yes, against Jews. Any careful reader of this piece will most likely take it not as the endorsement that Rahamim apparently imagines it to be, but rather as a fairly clear piece of damning with faint praise.

Next, there is the strident op-ed by Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of the CLG “JStreet.”  “Stop smearing Keith Ellison” apoplexes the heading to this piece.  “Ellison is but the latest public figure with pro-Israel views that depart from the hawkish dogma of the traditional pro-Israel establishment to find his personal credibility and qualification for high office under fire …” and so forth.  To be sure, “Ellison has made mistakes…,” but never mind a spot of anti-Semitism in the past. The true villains,  to Mr. Ben-Ami,  are Israel and its supporters.  And note the style:  those fully committed to Israel are not merely mistaken, they “smear,” which is to say they are morally reprehensible.

As we get into deep CB territory, there is even stronger vilification of Ellison’s critics.  Mr. Glenn Greenwald does Ben-Ami one better:  “The smear campaign against Keith Ellison is repugnant …” Once again the tell-tale propagandistic “smear.”  Mr. Greenwald finds that  Ellison’s charges against Israel constitute “indisputable fact.”  Criticism of Ellison, according to Greenwald,  “is sheer insanity: malicious insanity at that.”  Mr. Greenwald’s online “Intercept,” totally financed by the Iranian-American billionaire Pierre Omidyar, has now published at least 85 anti-Israel attack articles in its two and a half years of existence.

Another Code Black source, the “Electronic Intifada,” saluted Ellison in 2014 as constituting “a tiny but important crack in [the] unwavering support for Israeli crimes among US elected officials.”  Now, in November 2016, the Intifada regrets Ellison’s apparent opposition to the BDS movement.  Nevertheless, Electric Intifada advises its readers that “activists … believe Ellison … is still likely to be the best candidate for the job.”

So here is the upshot.  Ellison’s public record, in this respect not unlike that of many other American politicians, shows some inconsistency.   But there is wisdom in the old adage:  show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.  Those who hate Israel support Ellison.  Not a good recommendation for the job of chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

JStreet’s Mr. Ben-Ami is being "straightforward", but I have a better explanation

The Background

My previous posting concerning JStreet showed that, for the only fiscal year that is documented (2008-9),  eighty-seven percent of the group’s finances came from just twenty-one sources.  Three of these are members of the Soros family, who together provided $ 245,000.  Nobody else gave anything near that much — except for a mysterious payment of $ 811,697 from a mysterious donor named Consolacion Esdicul, resident of Hong Kong.

Now various reporters and bloggers have wondered:  how and why would a lady in far-off Hong Kong, hitherto completely unknown to one and all, how and why would this shadowy person step forward and send close to a million dollars to a cause that is not, in any obvious way, her own ? People pay to play, generally.  What is her game here ?

Well, to Mr. Jeremy Ben-Ami, the self-appointed leader and spokesman for JStreet, there is a “straightforward” explanation for  this apparent mystery:

Some press reports have … noted a large contribution on our return from a resident of Hong Kong named Consolacion Esdicul. The explanation for this is straightforward. Bill Benter, a philanthropist and political activist from Pittsburgh, is a major supporter of and contributor to J Street. He is a generous donor to a range of causes related to his hometown, national politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and a passionate advocate for peace.  

As we were launching J Street, Bill committed to contribute and to help raise substantial funds for the effort should we get it off the ground. One contribution he helped raise was from Ms. Esdicul, a business associate from Hong Kong, where he lives for part of the year and has business holdings.

So here we have it.  The friend of a friend sends $ 800,000, just like that.  What could be more natural, more “straightforward” ?  Actually, we know as little about “Bill” Benter (not Jewish either, apparently) as we do about Ms. Esdicul.  What are their motives ?  Remember, this Esdicul sum of money is substantially larger than the contribution of any of the other presumed billionaires who make up the rest of JS’s twenty-one angels.   In fact, the Esdicul money constitutes one half of everything received by JStreet in the only documented accounting that we have of the group.

Ben-Ami is not consistent in his “straightforward” explanation.  In another version, sent to a supporter of his in New York, he writes that “Bill Benter is the source of the donation which came through the account of his business associate in Hong Kong….” So what before was strictly Ms. Esdicul’s money is now Mr. Benter’s.  Which is it now, Mr. Ben-Ami ?  Liars should have good memories.

Either way, Mr. Ben-Ami is obviously not straightforward at all.  His explanation(s) cannot be taken seriously;  they defy all credulity on their very face,  So here I offer my own surmise of what is behind the “Esdicul” money:

My Surmise

Some time in 2008 a meeting took place somewhere in Pakistan on the subject of the oppressed Palestinian brothers.  A number of sheikhs attended, with one of them presiding, let’s call this one Sheikh O.B.L.   A visitor from Palestine came to the meeting with a request for $ 1,000,000 to be spent in a very particular way.  This is what the brother said:

Everyone here knows that the dwarf Zionist entity would vanish from the face of the earth without the criminal support it receives from America, may Allah punish it.   But how do the Zionists get America to support this ugly dwarf so consistently ?  Investigative reporters, some of them Jews themselves, have told the story:  it’s the Jew-Zionist lobby, called AIPAC, that  keeps the American government in line on behalf of the Zionists, primarily through the enormous bribes that it dispenses.   Ergo, without AIPAC, no American support to the Zionist entity;  without American support, no Zionist entity. And, Sheikh, we now have it our power to destroy AIPAC, and therewith the dwarf entity !

Now, praise to Allah, the Jews are a race that has no sense of solidarity, no more than the apes and the pigs from which it arose.  A Jew has now appeared in Washington — he calls himself Ben-Ami, ‘Son of the Jews’ —  who has taken it upon himself to destroy AIPAC, and we must help him do this !  This Son of the Jews has started a group called “Jew Street,” with the following program:  a)  force the Zionist entity to make concessions that will, in fact, destroy it, and b), as a first step, destroy AIPAC.   Now we have investigated this Son of the Jews, who says that he does not like us but who, in fact, is more valuable to us than a thousand of our own martyrs.  His father before him, though calling himself a Zionist, was already valuable to the cause of our people.  This was in the time of Ben-Gurion, the founder of the Zionist entity.  This father was a follower of a European Jew called Jabotinsky, whose group was effective in creating mayhem,  violence,  and confusion among the Zionists.  Just an example:  the Jabotinsky group executed one of the most dangerous Zionists of the time, one Chaim Arlosoroff, in 1933.  Praise to Allah, the Jews are their own worst enemies, and we must be smart enough to take advantage of that.

Now, with just a million American dollars — a drop in the bucket — we can help this “Jew Street” outfit get really started.  Obviously, discretion is required.  But I have secured some trusted intermediaries — among them a female infidel in China — to handle the transaction.  The infidels wanted a twenty percent commission, but I was able to jew them down to nineteen percent.  In other words, of your million, a full $811,697 will go to this  “Jew Street” group, which, with the help of Allah,  can destroy Satan’s AIPAC and Satan’s Zionist entity …

Now, dear reader, I leave it up to you.  Which explanation do you find more plausible, that of Mr. Ben-Ami, or my own surmise ?

 

 

My postings regarding JStreet:

JSTREET’S MR. BEN-AMI IS BEING “STRAIGHTFORWARD”, BUT I HAVE A BETTER EXPLANATION

OCTOBER 17, 2011

THE INNER AND THE OUTER LAYERS OF JSTREET

OCTOBER 13, 2011

A JSTREET “RABBI” ENDORSES HAMAS BOMBARDING OF SDEROT

JULY 11, 2011

JSTREET: THE GENTLE FACADE AND WHAT’S BEHIND IT

MAY 31, 2011