March 2, 2012 · 0 Comments
By Philip Weiss:
Just in time for the AIPAC conference and Netanyahu’s visit to Barack Obama, the New York Times today features a full page ad from neoconservatives saying that liberals must support Israel. The ad attacks two Democratic Party-linked thinktanks, the Center for American Progress and Media Matters, for criticism of Israel. It names M.J. Rosenberg of Media Matters and says he is a bigot. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The ad has a scare image of a wolf, and features quotes from Alan Dershowitz and Spencer Ackerman (inaccurately characterizing the use of the term “Israel Firster”). It asks people to call the foundations that fund the two thinktanks– notably the Pritzker foundation. The Pritzker family has supported Barack Obama.
I’d point out once again that if conservatives sought to coach liberal New York Times readers on any other issue — say, abortion rights, or gay rights, or gun rights– they’d be laughed out of the hall. The reason that Bill Kristol’s neoconservative outfit is spending this money is that This is an inside-the-Jewish-establishment conversation. Neoconservatives have broad traction inside the American Jewish community. They are family, we have to listen to them.
Or we did anyway. Mitchell Plitnick has a great piece up taking on the bullies:
Alan Dershowitz, who has openly called for Israel to bulldoze entire towns in response to terrorist attacks, is on the warpath against MJ Rosenberg of Media Matters for America. He is incensed that Rosenberg has pointed out the very obvious fact that, when it comes to foreign policy matters involving Israel, some people are basing their views of US policy on what is best for Israel.
I have known MJ Rosenberg for years. MJ is as Jewish a guy as you’ll ever meet, and you should see his face when he talks about how much he loves Tel Aviv. He has been to Israel many times and has a lot to say about the positive aspects of that country.
But MJ, who once worked for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is also disgusted by the tribalism that has infected the Jewish community, and he’s very concerned about the pressure being brought on the Obama Administration to attack Iran when it is plainly not in America’s interest to do so. The case being made involves not US, but Israeli worries (which do not, outside of fear-mongering, include the fear that Iran would be willing to face nuclear attack itself in order to nuke Israel, an act which would, kill as many Palestinians as Israelis, and would put some of Islam’s holiest sites at serious risk.)
Dershowitz, who could learn a lot about being a Jew and a mensch from Rosenberg, is trying to rally momentum to have MJ fired, not by bringing a scintilla of evidence contradicting MJ’s claims or arguing his views, but by hurling baseless accusations of anti-Semitism.
It’s another example of the sort of tactics employed when one cannot win the argument on its merits.
Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.