In a long, meandering, barely-coherent screed against the pro-Israel, pro-peace group J Street published in Pajamas Media, former AIPAC researcher, Netanyahu adviser, and current West Bank settler Lenny Ben-David attempts to raise suspicion about the group by noting that some of its supporters are Arab:
Take for example, the case of Rebecca Abou-Chedid. She appears in the federal elections records as contributing to J Street’s PAC. Her occupation is listed as “consultant” for “USUS LLC.” But until recently, she was also the national political director at the Arab American Institute where she “was responsible for formulating AAI’s positions on foreign policy … and represented the Arab American community with Congress as well as the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and State.” Today, Abou-Chedid is the director of outreach at the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force.
Spencer Ackerman writes “You will notice that nowhere in Lenny Ben-David’s post is there any accusation that Rebecca has taken any sort of objectionable stand or made any sort of objectionable point. And that’s because it is impossible to do so.” Ben-David’s attack on is premised entirely on her Arab background, and on the presumption that it is impossible for those of Arab background to be both pro-Israel and pro-peace.
MJ Rosenberg, who worked with Ben-David when he was research director for AIPAC, writes that Ben-David “compiled files on everyone who criticized Israeli policies in any way and used the material he gathered to destroy careers.” Looks like Ben-David’s habits haven’t changed much — only now he’s going after people simply for the offense of having an Arab name. “The racist tribalism” behind Ben-David’s argument, writes Andrew Sullivan, “is surely part of the problem, not the solution.”
Even Jeffrey Goldberg, who regularly smears those with whom he disagrees on the issue of Israel, thinks Ben-David’s post was too much. That’s saying something.