The Man Behind the J Street Smear Campaign

The hit-and-run attacks on J Street are pretty impressive, in a Joe McCarthy/Glenn Beck kind of way.

There sure is a lot of effort going into discrediting an organization that is, in fact, only a little to the left of the "mainstream" pro-Israel organizations and which is "guilty" of nothing more ominous than supporting Obama's Middle East policies over Netanyahu's. (Note: J Street is an American organization so its support for the American president should not be too surprising or upsetting).

But it is to some people and they are determined to crush J Street in advance of its conference next week. They will not succeed (a thousand people are coming and some 150 Members of Congress have gone on record as welcoming them).

The hits on J Street won't stop after the conference. The goal is to shut it down in order to perpetuate the myth that the American Jewish community supports not only Israel but any and all policies of the Israeli government. This is a a strange idea considering that Jews are overwhelmingly liberal and tend to be well to the left of their own governments, including the Obama administration. (78% of Jews voted for Obama but 62% even voted for George McGovern and 80% for Walter Mondale). Jews criticize their own government but we are told we can't criticize Israel's. Are these people crazy?

In any case, I read the Pajamas Media piece and discovered that it is the handiwork of one Lenny Ben-David, a consultant in Israel who also was a top Netanyahu aide during Bibi's first term as prime minister.

I know Lenny well. I knew him as Lenny Davis, an American who lived near me in Silver Spring. In the early 1980s, before I came to my senses, I worked at AIPAC where Lenny also worked. In fact, he worked at AIPAC for 25 years.

And what was his job at AIPAC? He was in charge of (1) putting together dossiers on "enemies of Israel," which meant anyone even mildly critical of Israeli policies. (2) He created a program whereby he dispatched recent college graduates to infiltrate groups deemed unfriendly to Israel. Lenny had a list of WASP-y names, identities and post office boxes that would be assigned to young AIPAC employees for their use when they pretended to be Arab-American, leftist, Palestinian, Methodists, or whatever.

I know one guy who spent most of his tenure at AIPAC pretending to be an Arab-American, hanging out at Arab-American conferences, taking names and reporting back to Lenny. Another young man would go to meetings in Congressional offices friendly to Palestinians to find out who the Arabs considered good guys, bad guys, etc. All this information went to Lenny's voluminous files a la J. Edgar Hoover.

Lenny is now retired, living the sweet life in a West Bank settlement, and is still close to AIPAC and the government of Israel. What a coincidence that he is now leading the charge against J Street. I do have to wonder who is paying for his efforts; Lenny does not work for free.

Last point. After Lenny moved to Israel, the job of spying on unfriendlies went to one Steve Rosen. Yes, that same Steve Rosen. He liked turning college kids into infiltrators as much as Lenny. Well, almost as much. Nobody enjoys that kind of thing as much as Lenny Davis.