My New Think Again column is called, “And they Call it Democracy,” and it’s here.
Here are two good questions I saw raised in this fine article from the often neocon-friendly Tablet magazine profile of J Street:
It’s not clear how J Street’s tax returns wound up being released to the general public. People involved with the organization speculate, darkly, that in an election cycle awash in money from undisclosed sources, only an intentional leak from inside the IRS could explain why J Street was the only group apparently affected. “Why only J Street? Who in the IRS did that? Were they affiliated with our adversaries? I don’t know the answers,” said Victor A. Kovner, a prominent New York attorney and longtime board member of Americans for Peace Now who is co-chair of the finance committee for J Street’s PAC. “We didn’t announce who they were because they had an expectation of confidentiality.”
But the controversy over the Soros revelation, while driven by J Street’s regular critics on the right, gained traction among even its sympathizers because it hit a nerve that had nothing to do with political litmus tests. It was instead about the kind of group J Street’s supporters wanted to imagine they were building, which is to say, the antithesis of AIPAC, which many of the left view as overly secretive. “J Street has positioned itself so that it smells and feels OK to that constituency that does not have its sole Jewish identity through Israel politics,” said Bunzl. “It is an organization that smells and feels good to people who go to shul.”
Speaking, as we often do, of Jews, I was leaving Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center last night where I saw Kenny Warner do a show with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and I entered into an elevator full of them. I wondered aloud at the oddity of the sight, I mean Jews like Jazz, but not only Jews… I was informed that they were there for a benefit performance to raise money for the American Jewish World Service. Now as it happens, I actually wrote a check this year to the AJWS for $528 and raised $472 more this year in honor of a friend of mine who does some work for them, but I don’t recall an invite. But given the excellent show I saw, I didn’t mind. But all this is by way of suggesting you watch this wonderful Judd Apatow video and give them some gelt yourself.