MK slams J Street for statement on Gaza

Statement had mistakenly claimed that "over a dozen Palestinian civilians" had been killed in airstrikes.

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March 14, 2012 00:31
1 minute read.
The scene of an explosion in Gaza [file photo]

The scene of an explosion in Gaza 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/ Ismail Zaydah)

 
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MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) sharply criticized J Street, the left-leaning American “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying group, in the Knesset on Tuesday, for a statement it made on Sunday about the confrontation this week between the IDF and terrorist groups in Gaza.

The statement made on Sunday morning expressed concern for “rockets fired on Israeli cities and towns and airstrikes on Gaza that have killed over a dozen Palestinian civilians.”

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During the clashes, 22 Palestinian terrorist operatives were killed along with four Palestinian civilians. On Sunday, when J-Street issued its statement, 16 terrorists and two civilians had been killed.

“At a time when a million Israeli citizens have been living in bomb shelters for four days and four nights, have not gone to school or work and anxiously await the next siren, the terrorists firing on them are getting encouragement and support, not just from Iran and Hezbollah, but also from the left-wing Jewish American organization J Street,” Schneller said in the Knesset plenum on Tuesday.

“The anti-Israel and anti-ethical statement of J Street should serve as a warning for Israeli politicians and left-wing activists, including members of my party, against supporting and identifying with J Street, as they have done in the past,” he added.

J Street subsequently revised the statement on their website by removing the reference to the “dozen Palestinian civilians.” By Tuesday afternoon, the organization had also added a brief apology saying, “Please note the original statement misstated the number of civilian casualties. We regret the error.”

On Tuesday night, a spokeswoman for J Street told The Jerusalem Post that the organization regrets the error and had misreported the number of civilian casualties “based on an unfounded report.” She emphasized that the mistake was corrected “within a couple of hours of the publication of the original statement.”

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