Guardian fails to correct erroneous claim by J Street leader Jeremy Ben-Ami

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder and president of J Street, the far-left and self-proclaimedpro-Israel‘ US lobbying group, penned an attack piece in the Guardian on the US Ambassador to Israel which includes some of the favorite tropes of the pro-Palestinian commentariat.

The June 26th piece on Ambassador Freidman includes the oft-repeated ‘Israel’s eroding democracy’ narrative.  If David Friedman and the Israeli right get their way, Ben-Ami argued, “Israel’s democratic institutions and norms will be steadily stripped away” by the state’s increasing authoritarianism.

However, as we noted recently, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual report ranks Israel 30th out of 167 countries surveyed – higher than even a few European countries.

Ben-Ami’s Guardian op-ed also skirts close to the dual loyalty charge against the Jewish-American Ambassador in charging that he acts more like a lawyer for Israel than a representative of “American interests”.  

The J Street leader also misleads readers by asserting that “Friedman has asserted the legitimacy and legality of the settlements, contradicting longstanding US policy”, ignoring the fact that US policy since the early 80s has consistently avoided characterising the settlements as “illegal”. 

Additionally, the piece included one flat-out error, in this sentence:

In an administration where climate change deniers regulate the environment and xenophobes shape immigration policy, it may not shock that a West Bank settler is upending American policy on the conflict.

Leaving aside the lumping together of settlers with climate change deniers and xenophobes, note how Ben-Ami falsely characterises Friedman as “a West Bank settler”.  He’s of course an American, not an Israeli citizen, yet alone a “West Bank settler”.   

We complained to Guardian editors immediately after spotting the inaccuracy, but editors still haven’t corrected the sentence.

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3 replies »

  1. Jeremy Ben-Ami is a disgrace and a liar. It was so funny when he denied that J-Street receives money from George Soros, lying on camera about it, and it was later shown to be true.