Liberal PR firm drops Gaza advocacy group under pressure

Fenton Communications is a well-known liberal, Democratic public relations firm that caught the “adoring” eye of the Israeli Likudnik crowd because liberal Zionist lobby group J Street founder Jeremy Ben Ami is a former Senior Vice President. Back in March, 2009 Fenton signed a contract with the Qatar based Fakhoora campaign to advocate for accountability over Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Accountability and Israel-now that’s a no-no for the pro-settler lobby. But back then, the right wing echo chamber couldn’t do anything with that information, Ben-Ami had left the year before and denied any connection.

Fast forward over a year and The Israel Project and their right wing buddies are after Fenton (and Ben Ami) again. Amazingly, this time, they were successful and Fenton dropped the account. Completely. JTA reports:

July 11, 2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A U.S. public relations firm said it will not renew its contract with a pro-Palestinian group that helped to organize the flotilla that aimed to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The announcement from Fenton Communications, which specializes in PR for not-for-profit groups, followed The Israel Project’s distribution of a news release publicizing Fenton’s representation of Fakhoora on June 23.

The release noted Fakhoora’s role in helping to organize the flotilla of six aid ships. An Israeli raid on one of the ships on May 31 resulted in the deaths of nine passengers on board.

The release was issued to The Israel Project’s mailing list and Fenton clients.

“The purpose of a public relations firm is to help provide a good name to their clients, and only a PR firm with their own good name and reputation can succeed in business,”  said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder of The Israel Project.

Representatives from Fenton were unavailable for comment. The firm, well known in Democratic and liberal circles in the United States, has represented Jewish groups, including the American Jewish World Service, a relief group.

According to its website, Fakhoora is a campaign to help improve education for children in Gaza. The organization is supported by the second wife of the emir of Qatar, whose office paid Fenton to represent Fakhoora from March 1 to Aug. 31.

Fenton distributed materials on the Fakhoora’s website, such as a “flotilla action alert,” and helped spread the organization’s message through social networking sites such as Facebook. Fenton has offices in New York, Washington and San Francisco.

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