Skip To Content
Fast Forward

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

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 [email protected] or on Twitter @nathanguttman

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.