J Street is calling on US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to return thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Irving Moskowitz, a Florida businessman who has made controversial purchases of homes in the heart of east Jerusalem for Jewish inhabitants.
J Street charged that he "actively works to derail the chances for a two-state solution by funding Jewish settler housing in the middle of Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem" in calling for the money to be given back. Ros-Lehtinen was not immediately available for comment.
The move drew a furious response from Jack Rosen, chairman of the American Council for World Jewry. In a letter to J Street head Jeremy Ben-Ami, he argued that while J Street could criticize Ros-Lehtinen's positions, "it is reckless and misleading for you to question the financing of her re-election campaign on this basis," particularly when the organization "failed to demonstrate that Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen acted inappropriately in accepting donations from a US citizen who happens to support Jewish settlements in the West Bank."
Rosen added, "Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, still in her first days as the new Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has proven one of the most consistent and vocal supporters of Israel. You may choose to disagree with her over policies, but you have no moral right to challenge her ethics and those of your fellow American Jews.