Will J Street invite me?

J Street and J Street U are sponsoring a number of events around the country featuring UNRWA’s Gaza Director John Ging.

Are these people aware of the seriousness of what they are doing in hosting Ging?
With assistance from friends, I have learned that during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2009, Ging hid the fact that Hamas fighters were firing weapons near a UN school compound that was hit by IDF fire, and also fed the propaganda claims of deaths inside the school. Only after the war did he admit that there were fighters right outside the grounds (more or less where the IDF fired) and that nobody was killed in the school. (CAMERA has a summary of the media''s accounts, including some of Ging''s statements.) In NGO Monitor''s report on NGO mis-statements about the incident, it is shown how Ging''s statements were responsible for the demonization of Israel on this incident.
A quick Google search will show similar occurrences of Ging repeating the Palestinian narrative of demonizing Israel and de-legitimizing self-defense measures. He also has some statements in support of flotillas into Gaza. (See, for example, here, and also here and as well, here, too).
David Bedein’s site provides additional information like here and here.
There are these reports.
But, to be fair, Ging was threatened by Hamas.
As an historical aside, UNRWA was, right after its establishment, responsible also for Jewish refugees from the area of the Palestine Mandate, which included Judea, Samaria and Gaza.  However, according to a memo from the UN I received in October 2003, it was in July 1952 that UNRWA was requested by Israel to cease its assistance to the Jewish refugees of Palestine which numbered about 17,000 "internally displaced Jews coming from the original mandate Palestine" and with other nationalities, the number Israel begin to assist independent from UNRWA was 19,000.  If Israel had no so acted, after the 1967 war, it is conceivable that the UN would have had to assist in the rebuilding of Jewish communities in Gush Etzion (Kfar Etzion, Revadim, Tzurim and Massuot Yitzhak), north of Jerusalem (Atarot and Neveh Yaakov) and along the Dead Sea (Bet HaArava)
But now, to return to J Street’s Ging connection, a letter (I reproduce it below) relating to the John Ging lecture has come to my attention.
I particularly noted this line in the letter:

We think it''s important to hear from experts on our issue that speak from many perspectives, even if we don''t necessarily agree with everything they have to say.

In that spirit, I offered myself to J Street as a guest speaker and wrote them my own letter:

I have been residing in Shiloh in the Benjamin Regional Council area since 1981.  I have been mayor of Shiloh, a member of its governing village council, have represented it at the Benjamin Regional Council plenum as well as to other bodies including Gush Emunim, as a member (several times) of the secretariat council of Amana, the arm of Gush Emunim that facilitates Jewish residency beyond the Green Line and other bodies.  I also was not only of contributor to Nekuda but a member of its governing committee and editorial board.  I have also been a spokesperson to the foreign media and diplomatic corps for the Yesha Council for almost three decades.   I was executive editor of Counterpoint between 1983-1988.

If this offer is amenable, please let me know what dates are available.  As for payment or honorarium, I will agree to whatever Mr. Ging agreed to or whatever is customary in these cases.
Yisrael Medad

If you think that I should be a J Street guest, can I ask you to write to Abby at [email protected] and suggest that she take up my offer?

The J Street letter:

From: "Abby Backer, Just Peace" <[email protected]>

Sent: Fri, November 12, 2010 10:51:59 AM
Subject: Support J Street U Students: See John Ging at Columbia
It is an honor to invite you to Columbia to hear John Ging, Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, discuss his reflections on peace and the difficult situation in Gaza. The event is this Sunday, November 14th at 7 PM in Room 304 of Barnard Hall at 3009 Broadway at 117th Street.
As student organizers with Just Peace, we were looking forward to hosting an event for John Ging because we think it''s important to hear from experts on our issue that speak from many perspectives, even if we don''t necessarily agree with everything they have to say. Other community organizations on campus took issue with our involvement with Mr. Ging, and we are now unfortunately unable to co-sponsor the event.
We believe strongly in the need to create a space on our campus and in the Jewish community where we can wrestle with our commitment to Israel and concern for some of her actions. We are thankful to the five Columbia groups, including the Columbia Political Union, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and the Columbia Democrats, for working with J Street U to hold this event.
It has been a difficult week for pro-Israel, pro-peace students at Columbia and your support, by joining our discussion with John Ging, will go a long way. On campus, it can be easy to feel like you are in a bubble. It is always great to know that there are so many wonderful people who care so deeply about changing the way we engage as a community around these issues.
My board and I will proudly be at this important discussion and look forward to seeing you there! Please say hello! Email us at [email protected] to learn more.
Abby Backer
President, Just Peace at Columbia University
November 12, 2010
This clarification followed Abby''s letter which doesn''t alter the J Street-Ging connection:
J Street Supporter --
We apologize for a technical glitch that may have caused you to receive an email that was only intended for J Street supporters in New York. We are sorry to have inconvenienced you.
-- Isaac
Isaac Luria
V.P., Communications and New Media
J Street
November 12, 2010