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J Street Deletes Gaza 'Dead Civilians' Claim

Radical group makes no apology for stating IDF killed 12 Gaza "civilians," deletes reference to missiles fired from Gaza as well.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/13/2012, 11:15 AM

Building said hit by IAF bombs
Building said hit by IAF bombs
Reuters

J Street, a lobby group that presents itself as Jewish and pro-Israel, has deleted part of a statement on the latest fighting between Israel and Hamas. The deleted words contained a false reference to 12 supposed "civilians" whom the IDF had allegedly killed in Gaza.

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released a statement Sunday that read: "J Street is deeply concerned about the most recent spate of violence between the Israel Defense Forces and militants in Gaza, which, in three days, has already resulted in over one hundred rockets fired on Israeli cities and towns and airstrikes on Gaza that have killed over a dozen Palestinian civilians."

The report clearly contradicted reports by news agencies and outlets, most of which have little to no sympathy for Israel, which portrayed the Gaza dead as being terrorists," or "militants." Voice of America reported that "Sixteen Palestinian militants and two civilians have been killed since violence began on Friday, while Israel has been battered by more than 120 rockets."

The Associated Press reported a day earlier that all of the 15 Arab casualties at the time were "militants" and reported, "Israel pounded Gaza for the second day in a row Saturday, trading airstrikes and rocket fire with Palestinian militants and killing 15 of them as the deadliest Gaza violence in over a year showed no signs of abating."

Even The New York Times, which regularly adopts a tone hostile to Israel, reported that "up to 15 Palestinian fighters have died in the airstrikes. At least 10 of the dead belonged to the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the group said in a statement."

The CAMERA blog said that JStreet's website now carries a revised version of the statement by Ben-Ami. The reference to "one hundred rockets fired on Israeli cities and towns and airstrikes on Gaza that have killed over a dozen Palestinian civilians" was removed.

There is no apology for the earlier claim. J Street appears to have intentionally removed the reference to 100 rockets fired at Israel as well, although unlike the 12 Gaza civilian dead, this is an event that actually took place.

It has recently been reported that Bill Benter, billionaire and prominent supporter of JStreet, is also funding the left-leaning media watchdog  Media Matters. Billionaire George Soros has also admitted to funding JStreet.