Jeremy Ben Ami is the new Don Draper

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By Sarah Breger

The interweb has been abuzz this past weekend over the publication of the NYT magazine profile of J Street.

Critics of the left-leaning Israel group have promptly responded, asserting that having moderate Arab and Muslim board members makes the group anti-Israel and calling into question polls J Street has published.

No matter how you feel about J Street, you have to admit it is pretty impressive that the not even two-year-old organization has received so much media attention. Or as M.J. Rosenberg at Talking Points Memo puts it, Don Draper has nothing on Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street’s executive director.

The bigger story however may be the decline of AIPAC, the once untouchable Israel group. As Robert Dreyfuss writes in this month’s Mother Jones:

“AIPAC is facing something of a perfect storm. Advocating for stronger ties between the Obama administration and the current right-wing Israeli government would be a difficult chore under any circumstances; on top of that, the megalobby has been weakened by a series of setbacks, including a long-running espionage drama involving two former officials accused of conspiring to pass along classified Pentagon Iran reports to Israel.”

(Moment covered the AIPAC spy drama and its effect on the Israel lobby in 2006)

But its gonna take a long time for AIPAC to go anywhere. As Dan Fleshler author of Transforming America’s Israel Lobby said:

“AIPAC is not the 800-pound gorilla everyone says they are.

They may be just a 400-pound gorilla.”


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