Israel lobby aided Hill visits for U.N. report author

S. African excoriated Gaza war campaign

continued from page 2

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After speaking with Mr. Ben-Ami, Ms. Avital changed her story during a conference call and said, “About Goldstone I am very firm, I don’t know anything about J Street organizing things in the United States. There may have been disagreements about how we each saw the Goldstone Report. I never mentioned that they organized these things for Goldstone.”

However, The Times has an audio recording of the conversation that contradicts her later statements.

Ms. Avital said during the initial interview that she continues to think J Street “is a good organization.”

“We didn’t always see eye to eye on their priorities, including in Israel, so we parted ways — as friends,” she said.

“I really don’t want to speak about my agreements or disagreements with them,” she said. “Honestly, I think they have enough problems as it is.”

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About the Author

Ben Birnbaum

Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.

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