WaPo publishes J Street anti-Israel oped replete with misleading information

The article calls on Biden to pressure Israel without mentioning the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. 

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

An oped published this week in the Washington Post by J Street founder and president Jeremy Ben-Ami is replete with misleading information. It essentially blames Israel for perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, watchdog site Honest Reporting claimed on Wednesday.

The Post opinion piece, titled, Biden needs to address the coming crisis between Israel and Palestine, calls on the visiting U.S. president to extend overtures to the Palestinians, including pressuring Israel to cease construction in Judea and Samaria and reopening the U.S. Consulate in eastern Jerusalem  – the de facto Palestinian mission that was shuttered by the Trump administration following the embassy move.

But Ben Ami’s article is riddled with facts that are either manipulated or come from questionable sources.

The article opens with a precursory line describing the left wing J Street as a “pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy group.”

J Street supported the Ben & Jerry boycott of Israel, spoke out against an anti-BDS law in Arkansas, and this week expressed support for the nine European countries that have chosen to continue funding Palestinian NGOs that Israel has designated as terrorist organizations.

As Honest Reporting‘s Gidon Ben Zvi notes, the oped cites Israel 77 times but fails to mention the Palestinian Authority or Hamas at all, instead obliquely referring to them as “the Palestinians” — stripping the Ramallah government and the terror group in Gaza of any agency. As Ben Zvi writes, the omission suggests “Israel is to blame for the Palestinian terrorism that was unleashed against innocent civilians.”

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Ben-Ami also takes pains to expound on Israel’s decision to build homes for Jewish Israelis in Judea and Samaria, as well as “settler violence” – fringe incidents that the J Street founder puts on par with a token mention of “Palestinian terrorism.” He doesn’t mention Palestinian incitement.

“By not being informed of the frequent Palestinian incitement that precipitated the latest wave of terror, Washington Post readers are likely to come away with a mistaken impression that Israeli policies are the root cause for the outbreak of violence,” Ben Zvi writes.

He cites the mob violence, instigated by both Hamas and the PA, on the Temple Mount that kicked off the 11-day conflict and 4,500 rockets in May 2021.

“Over one-tenth of Israel’s Jewish population now lives in occupied territory,” writes Ben-Ami. The statistic is taken from the anti-Israel Al-Jazeera, according to Honest Reporting.

Construction in those areas are “fueling instability in Palestinian politics and society,” Ben-Ami claims.

Counters Ben Zvi: “He fails to even reference the Israeli government’s repeated good-faith efforts to jump-start the peace process or the Palestinian leadership’s ceaseless intransigence.”

Ben Zvi denounces The Washington Post for “not checking Ben-Ami’s facts, [and] allowing its vast readership to be misled by J Street – a group with an evident anti-Israel agenda.”