J Street And The Republican Jewish Coalition Are At War—And Fundraising Off It by the Forward

J Street And The Republican Jewish Coalition Are At War—And Fundraising Off It

Image by Getty Images

Trading barbs is nothing new for the Republican Jewish Coalition or the dovish lobby J Street. One supports Republicans running for Congress, the other raises money for Democrats who share liberal views on Israel, and both have a lot to say about each other.

This latest round of sniping began with the launch of “Stop J Street,” a joint fundraising committee aimed at getting Jewish donors to support Wisconsin Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman, who is being challenged by former J Street political director Dan Kohl. The new fundraising operation was announced on the eve of RJC’s annual meeting held in Las Vegas on February 8.

J Street, in a fundraising letter sent to supporters, warned against the “right-wing megadonors” gathered in Vegas, “desperately searching for a strategy to maintain their extreme-right majority in Congress.” J Street’s solution: “They can have their handful of billionaires, so long as we have you.” To make things even clearer, the liberal group directed its supporters to a fundraising page, asking donors to help reach a fundraising goal of $25,000.

The RJC responded Wednesday with its own email to supporters. “They say we’re afraid of them because they’re involved in a record-setting number of congressional races across the country in 2018,” the appeal reads. “We aren’t afraid of J Street, but we are outraged that a self-proclaimed Jewish group turns its back on Israel and actively supports anti-Semites.”

RJC’s proof: Rep. Keith Ellison, a J Street endorsee and the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, attended a dinner in 2013 sponsored by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and attended by anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The Jewish Republicans offered a similar bottom line to that of J Street - “donate here to fight back,” they urged supporters.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman


Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

J Street And The RJC Are At War—And Fundraising Off It

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

J Street And The Republican Jewish Coalition Are At War—And Fundraising Off It

Thank you!

This article has been sent!