Dershowitz wants MJ Rosenberg fired for daring to stop Iran war push

Israel/Palestine
on 92 Comments
MJ pic
MJ Rosenberg

This is awful. Alan Dershowitz has launched another headhunting/blacklisting campaign, this one aimed at journalist M.J. Rosenberg of the left-Dem shop, Media Matters.

The underlying reason for Dershowitz’s campaign is obvious: Rosenberg has had the guts to stick by his use of the term “Israel firster” as a means of calling out the Iran war-supporters despite a smear campaign by neoconservatives and Israel lobbyists.

Per Buzzfeed:

Dershowitz has been sharply criticizing Media Matters for weeks, but suggested for the first time today he intends to drive the controversy into the political conversation.

“I don’t know whether President Obama has any idea that Media Matters has turned the corner against Israel in this way,” he said. “I can tell you this, he will know very shortly because I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters.”

Why is Rosenberg the salient? Because as he explained at Huffington Post a month back, the phrase Israel firster seeks to explain to the American public who is pushing a war with Iran. If the Israel lobby can suppress Rosenberg’s analysis, it can diffuse responsibility for such an attack (as the lobby has successfully diffused its part in the Iraq disaster). 

And unlike the wobbly bobbleheads at the Center for American Progress, which wilted under the neocon smear effort, Media Matters have shown themselves to be real stalwarts. They haven’t apologized for Rosenberg. They haven’t gone all PEP (prog except for Palestine). They’ve extended the same incisive bite they bring to Fox News to the Israel lobby.

Still: It’s time to support MJ Rosenberg, who has been an unbreakable leader inside the Jewish community (during all those years that I among others was intermarrying and assimilating). 

Rosenberg on the lobby and Iran:

Right now, there is only one interest group in the United States that absolutely opposes any diplomacy to avoid war with Iran and which insists that the United States expressly state (as it has) that war with Iran is definitely “on the table.”

In fact, that interest group, AIPAC, actually got Congress to pass a bill, which President Obama signed, that bans any diplomacy with Iran without express approval of four Congressional committees in advance — as if AIPAC will ever let that happen.

Just read this AIPAC-drafted language that is now law:

“(c) RESTRICTION ON CONTACT.-No person employed with the United States Government may contact in an official or unofficial capacity any person that-
“(1) is an agent, instrumentality, or official of, is affiliated with, or is serving as a representative of the Government of Iran; and
“(2) presents a threat to the United States or is affiliated with terrorist organizations.

“(d) WAIVER.-The President may waive the requirements of subsection “(c) if the President determines and so reports to the appropriate congressional committees 15 days prior to the exercise of waiver authority that failure to exercise such waiver authority would pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States.”

Frankly, this makes me sick. Banning diplomacy almost guarantees war with Iran, a war that must not be fought.

I oppose war with Iran unless Iran attacks the United States directly. Period.

I do not want America to be dragged into a war that Netanyahu provokes and which the United States would then be dragged into. I favor diplomacy, unconditional diplomacy, with all issues on the table.

I oppose war because we lost 4,400 men and women in Iraq, a war built on lies and false premises, conveyed by many of the self-same people promoting war with Iran. I don’t think we should lose even one solider in a war against a country that does not directly threaten the American people.

…As for an Iranian nuclear weapon, we should use diplomacy to prevent its development. But if Iran gets the bomb, we are fully capable of containing a nuclear Iran the same way we contained the Soviet Union, which for 50 years had a massive nuclear arsenal pointed our way and whose leader constantly said, “We will bury you.”

I believe that pointing out who is pushing for war makes it a little less likely war will occur. If the neocons succeed in banning the term (that is their unachievable goal), they might be tempted to believe that if war starts no one will know that we were led there by Commentary, Binyamin Netanyahu, John Bolton, Jeff Goldberg, the Washington Post editorial page and, most of all, AIPAC.

I often write about the memo Steve Rosen, AIPAC’s then-director of research — who was indicted for espionage (the charges were dropped) — wrote to me on my first day at work at that institution. (I broke with AIPAC after Oslo when they worked to undermine President Clinton and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s peace efforts.)

Rosen wrote: “MJ, always remember. A lobby is a night flower. It thrives in the dark and shrivels in the sun.”

The term “Israel Firster” is my flashlight.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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92 Responses

  1. yourstruly
    February 28, 2012, 9:53 am

    the reason israel firster traitors go bananas whenever they hear themselves identified as such is because they know they’re guilty as charged. the vitriol that they unleash on anyone who uses israel firster is mindful of lady macbeth’s “out, damn spot.” ain’t gonna work for them any more than it did for her, and for the same reason – no way can guilt be washed away. so let’s keep going after them, fellow supporters of justice for palestine, for the discomfort they feel every time we label them israel firsters is nothing compared to what they’ll experience when put on trial for their treachery. and, yes, the constitution may have to be amended to get them for treason.

  2. Les
    February 28, 2012, 10:13 am

    Israel firsters probably have so little respect for Americans that they have the audacity to vote in OUR elections. Should we demand the right to vote in Israel’s elections?

  3. iamuglow
    February 28, 2012, 10:27 am

    I have nothing but love for MJ Rosenberg.

    Dersh, as always, comes off like some unhinged person you’d see yelling on a street corner.

    “I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters.”

    • Kathleen
      February 28, 2012, 2:00 pm

      Dersh is unhinged. He shouts and screams when he does not like what someone is saying or writing. Especially when they are telling the truth about the I/P issue.

      • seafoid
        February 28, 2012, 4:38 pm

        MJ Rosenberg should take this fight to the Dersh and the rest of the Zionist douchebags . They have been doing this for 4 generations.

        “The Foreign secretary’s hatred of the Jews was not hidden. it was only too apparent in New York. It gave colour to the view that Ernest Bevin wanted Jews crushed”

        It was a technique which the Zionists were to employ throughout their struggle. The technique of promoting damaging personal attacks on those who stood in their way rather than trying to counter their arguments.”

        “Such non conformists were subtly made aware that their jobs might be at risk, their books unpublishable, their preferment out of the question, their public reputations vulnerable if they did not renounce the heresy of anti Zionism ”

        Publish it not, Mayhew and Adams, 1975

  4. Dan Crowther
    February 28, 2012, 10:40 am

    Rosenberg: Guys like Dershowitz are “israel firsters” and will do anything to thwart discussion of Israel’s policies and ideology

    Dersh: Fire this man!!

    Rosenberg: See what I mean?

  5. RCiuffo
    February 28, 2012, 10:54 am

    “the vitriol that they unleash on anyone who uses israel firster is mindful of lady macbeth’s “out, damn spot.” ain’t gonna work for them any more than it did for her, and for the same reason – no way can guilt be washed away.”

    Hear! Hear!

  6. piotr
    February 28, 2012, 11:13 am

    So Democrats will loose elections because of M.J. Rosenberg and Shas will loose elections because of Ovadia Josef.

    In the meantime, majority of American supports avoiding the war. M.J. Rosenberg is politically astute, apart from being correct on the facts.

    • John Douglas
      February 28, 2012, 12:59 pm

      M.J. Rosenberg is a courageous man. Imagine the pressure he’s under. I salute him.

      If I were forced to come with an alternative to “Israel Firster” to describe the likes of Dersh (and don’t forget Senators Leiberman and Casey) I’d consider “Israel Onlyers”.

  7. HRK
    February 28, 2012, 11:16 am

    I was in favor of the term “Israeli firster” because I was thinking it was referring to one who made Israel his or her first priority among typical political issues (abortion, gun control, tax reform, etc.). But if Israeli firster refers to someone who puts Israel’s interests ahead of America’s interests, I have to say that such an accusation probably shouldn’t be made except in rare cases in which there’s actually hard evidence that this has been the intention. Yes, I do think that the effect of people who are single-issue Israel is often the same as if they were consciously putting Israel’s interests ahead of America’s. But I don’t think they are consciously doing that. In probably almost all cases, there’s no intentionality. Someone like Alan Dershowitz really believes his own hype–that supporting Israel is akin to supporting the most important civil rights movement in the world right now–which is certainly something America should do (assuming it were true).

    I prefer “single-issue Israel.”

    • Annie Robbins
      February 28, 2012, 12:03 pm

      But if Israeli firster refers to someone who puts Israel’s interests ahead of America’s interests, I have to say that such an accusation probably shouldn’t be made except in rare cases in which there’s actually hard evidence that this has been the intention.

      too much equivocating HRK, these are dire times and we are being pushed to war. if you believe (and i do) a war on iran serves, not america’s interests, but israel’s then by calling those who push for war ‘israel firsters’ it communicates that. a demand for hard evidence just plays into their hands. there’s no reason we should allow them to draw the boundaries of the debate. when our own military is saying there’s no evidence iran is developing a nuclear weapons program then who is taking israel’s word over our own intelligence? who is putting israel and netanyahu’s word and judgement first, over american intelligence? they are.

      • Kathleen
        February 28, 2012, 2:01 pm

        With you Annie

    • Citizen
      February 28, 2012, 12:56 pm

      What’s not “Israel first” about anybody who has is moved politically only by a “single-issue Israel”?

    • Oscar
      February 28, 2012, 2:50 pm

      No, “Israel first” is the appropriate term. The interests of the USA are always secondary. That’s why the IF crowd came up with the canard that the interests of the usa and israel are always exactly the same, when they’re not. IFers often have no problem sending American soldiers off to war to die in the name of wiping out an “existential” threat to Israel, while the IDF focuses its resources on suppressing the Palestinians and stealing their land.

      Many IFers think Americans are generally dumb, and their arrogant mental superiority is always on display when their columns and appearances are all meant to manipulate our Congress and our president into launching a catastrophic war against Iran when there is absolute no clear and present danger to the United States.

      No, Israel-first is an accurate description. Goldberg, Jen Rubin, Kristol, AIPAC, podhertz, the Dersh, adelson.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      February 28, 2012, 3:14 pm

      Yes, I do think that the effect of people who are single-issue Israel is often the same as if they were consciously putting Israel’s interests ahead of America’s. But I don’t think they are consciously doing that. In probably almost all cases, there’s no intentionality.

      HRK, I don’t want you to interpret this as an ad hominem. So let me say simply that you seem hopelessly naive.

  8. Anar Green
    February 28, 2012, 11:23 am

    Everyone must stand with him. And I agree with his analysis: light is the only solution, at this late a stage.
    I do recognize the danger of the term Israel Firster. But, at this precipice, inaction would be worse.

  9. Annie Robbins
    February 28, 2012, 11:46 am

    And unlike the wobbly bobbleheads at the Center for American Progress

    !!!!

    i love the way you write phil. or think..or whatever.

  10. Annie Robbins
    February 28, 2012, 11:50 am

    The term “Israel Firster” is my flashlight.

    shine on and lead the way mj, you are a beacon of light.

  11. CitizenC
    February 28, 2012, 11:58 am

    “Still: It’s time to support MJ Rosenberg, who has been an unbreakable leader inside the Jewish community (during all those years that I among others was intermarrying and assimilating). ”

    Is this the M J Rosenberg who used to edit Near East Report at AIPAC? See
    link to huffingtonpost.com And contributed a piece on Jewish self-hatred to the 1973 “Jewish radicalism” reader of Porter and Dreier?

    M J has doubtless turned over many new leaves since those days, good for him. But it seems despite, not because of, his involvement in “the community”. He is living that down, becoming a liberal citizen, beyond his ‘Jewish Identity’

    link to questionofpalestine.net

    • Citizen
      February 28, 2012, 1:00 pm

      Meh. “… inside the White community (during all those years that I among others was intermarrying and assimilating with blacks, browns, yellows).” Perish the thought!

      • CitizenC
        February 28, 2012, 1:22 pm

        I stand corrected, by analogy with the anti-apartheid movement in the US, which as we all know was led by “progressive whites”.

  12. DICKERSON3870
    February 28, 2012, 12:00 pm

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  13. hophmi
    February 28, 2012, 12:22 pm

    You know, Phil, in all honesty, talking about deterrence, as if it was bloodless, is really ridiculous. The Cold War cost millions upon millions of lives in Vietnam and elsewhere. An Iranian nuke would set off an arms race in the Middle East. It is the height of naivete to suggest that things would be OK if Iran got a nuke, and I’m saying that as someone who opposes an attack.

    • MarkF
      February 28, 2012, 12:58 pm

      Maybe so, but the heart of the post deals with someone who is being blacklisted for an opposing view and for expressing his feelings about AIPAC and the AIPAC led bill.

      Desent from desent is cool, shutting desent up isn’t. Forcing them to lose their job isn’t either.

      • Kathleen
        February 28, 2012, 2:02 pm

        Don’t forget Jinsa

    • Doctor Pi
      February 28, 2012, 1:13 pm

      Whaaaaaat? It is Israel with it’s nukes that’s set off the nuke bomb race.

      • hophmi
        February 28, 2012, 1:24 pm

        “Whaaaaaat? It is Israel with it’s nukes that’s set off the nuke bomb race.”

        I don’t see any Arab states looking for nukes in response to Israel’s nukes. Sorry, I know the truth is more complicated than blaming Israel for every misfortune.

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 28, 2012, 1:42 pm

        “I don’t see any Arab states looking for nukes in response to Israel’s nukes.”

        Yeah, those acts of war by Israel on Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007 weren’t actually against Arab states. They were all figments of everyone’s imaginations.

      • Dan Crowther
        February 28, 2012, 1:44 pm

        Israel bombed nuclear facilities in iraq and syria — egypt has the capacity, but no weapons. thats fine, cuz of the peace treaty though – also, during the shah’s reign, we (the US) helped the iranians to start a nuclear project……

      • Kathleen
        February 28, 2012, 2:03 pm

        Without a doubt. Letter after letter from leaders in that part of the world at the IAEA website expressing fears about Israel’s nuclear capabilities that go un inspected. Israel needs to sign the NPT

    • teta mother me
      February 28, 2012, 2:16 pm

      hophmi your disingenuity belies hasbara skills developed over many long shifts in MFAs bunker, and your concern for the people killed in Viet Nam is touching.

      So here’s a thought — how about Israel open up its nuclear weapons stores to oversight by the international community so that nobody has to be afraid of anybody, and nobody feels compelled to engage in an arms race to provide to their populations the bare minimum of security against Israel’s nuclear threat. Deal?

      besides, if the Middle East were to disavow an arms race, what would happen to Israel’s GDP? or would Israeli arms merchants just be forced further afield to market their wares?

      • hophmi
        February 28, 2012, 5:42 pm

        “hophmi your disingenuity belies hasbara skills developed over many long shifts in MFAs bunker, and your concern for the people killed in Viet Nam is touching.”

        Pointing out the fallacy of the argument that the Cold War is an example of how the Iranian issue is a simple question of deterrence is not hasbara. It’s an argument that you haven’t responded to.

        “So here’s a thought — how about Israel open up its nuclear weapons stores to oversight by the international community so that nobody has to be afraid of anybody, and nobody feels compelled to engage in an arms race to provide to their populations the bare minimum of security against Israel’s nuclear threat. ”

        Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are not worried about Israel’s nukes. They’re worried about Iran’s.

        “besides, if the Middle East were to disavow an arms race, what would happen to Israel’s GDP?”

        I don’t see it happening if Iran gets a nuke.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 28, 2012, 6:05 pm

        hopmi, why bother to copy paste whole paragraph and not address the content? you act like the global community has no concern for israeli nukes. how about Israel open up its nuclear weapons stores to oversight by the international community?

      • hophmi
        February 28, 2012, 6:20 pm

        “you act like the global community has no concern for israeli nukes. how about Israel open up its nuclear weapons stores to oversight by the international community?”

        They don’t. Because they know Israel is not going to use them.

        How about Iran complies with international law and cooperates with the IAEA instead of changing the subject?

      • teta mother me
        February 28, 2012, 7:03 pm

        in fact I revamped the entire comment, hophmi, but the edit and the posting function crossed in the ethernet and the revised comment did not post.

        Your analogy is still disingenuous, however, which a great deal of history details. The Cold War did not have to happen; Herbert Hoover carefully journalized his thoughts and actions concerning FDR’s decisions to take US to war in Western Europe. (The were published recently: Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath.** Hoover strongly believed the war did NOT have to happen. In 1939 Hoover met with both Chamberlain and Hitler; all of them understood that Germany sought eastward expansion. Hoover came away from those meetings believing that engagement in that battle on a WESTERN front would harm France (it did) bankrupt Britain (which it did) and harm the US in ways that would not fully unwind for generations (which is true). Hoover counseled that the west stand back and let Russia and Germany “annihilate each other,” which would have obviated the ‘cold war’ and could have saved such massive harm to Jews in Germany.
        But major agitators in the zionist organization engaged in numerous provocations of Germany — which Eric Larson describes in “In the Garden of Beasts,” — including a crippling boycott — as Edwin Black discusses (also disingenuously*) in “The Transfer Agreement;” at least two mock trials in Madison Sq. Garden calculated to delegitimize diplomatic efforts between the US and Germany; numerous films and conferences in the US and Great Britain whose goal was to engender hatred of Germans — these are all matters of record; you can find the information on the Norman Lear website. Benjamin Netanyahu’s father was a leader in zionist organizations pressing for war; Jabotinsky made several multi-city speaking tours in the United States (he thought the US dull and provincial) drumming up war in Europe for the zionist cause.
        Had the United States followed policy advice from Hoover and many, many officials in the US State Department, there are strong arguments to support the case that war in Western Europe could have been avoided, and Germany and Russia would have checked each other, thus obviating the Cold War.

        A similar situation pertains today: you present a false dilemma, that EITHER war is waged on Iran NOW to prevent Iran from having that which Iran is entitled to have — namely, nuclear enrichment — or engage in a cold war to “contain” Iran against that which Iran does not seek — a nuclear weapon.

        Your final comment, in response to my statement, “besides, if the Middle East were to disavow an arms race, what would happen to Israel’s GDP?” —“I don’t see it happening if Iran gets a nuke”
        causes one to be just a tad suspicious that Israel’s real intentions are to create an atmosphere for an arms race precisely so that Israel can keep the revenue flowing. As Israeli soldier turned peace activist Elik ElHanan has stated, Israel is not a civil society, it is a militarized society.

        *I call Edwin Black’s writing in “The Transfer Agreement” ‘disingenuous’ because he writes, on the flyleaf:

        “The terms [of the Agreement]: that the Jewish-led boycott of German goods would cease in return for the transfer of German Jews to the Holy Land. Eventually one-tenth of Germany’s Jews were saved, thus helping to form the seedbed of modern Israel.”

        BUT the boycott was NOT revoked.

        **about “Freedom Betrayed,” from the link above:

        “a revisionist reexamination of the war and its cold war aftermath and a sweeping indictment of the “lost statesmanship” of Franklin Roosevelt. Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath originated as a volume of Hoover’s memoirs, a book initially focused on his battle against President Roosevelt’s foreign policies before Pearl Harbor. As time went on, however, Hoover widened his scope to include Roosevelt’s foreign policies during the war, as well as the war’s consequences: the expansion of the Soviet empire at war’s end and the eruption of the cold war against the Communists.

        On issue after issue, Hoover raises crucial questions that continue to be debated to this day. Did Franklin Roosevelt deceitfully maneuver the United States into an undeclared and unconstitutional naval war with Germany in 1941? Did he unnecessarily appease Joseph Stalin at the pivotal Tehran conference in 1943? Did communist agents and sympathizers in the White House, Department of State, and Department of the Treasury play a malign role in some of America’s wartime decisions?”

        One studies history to avoid making the same mistake twice.

        Hoover argues that forces antithetical to the best interests of the US pushed US into war in western Europe, with consequential involvement in the Cold War that you raise as a caution, hophmi.
        Caution duly noted: Let’s not succumb to the same sorts of “antithetical forces” a second time.

      • eljay
        February 28, 2012, 9:47 pm

        >> Because they know Israel is not going to use them.

        No one knows with 100% certainty that Israel will never use its nukes. And no one knows 100% certainty that Iran will use its nukes…should it actually ever develop them in the first place.

        (Given the numerous existential threats that continue to be made against it, I personally think Iran has no choice but to develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent. But that’s “a whole ‘nother story”.)

      • teta mother me
        February 28, 2012, 9:52 pm

        Iran does cooperate with the IAEA and has been subjected to more intrusive oversight by IAEA than any other NPT signatory.

        The facts are not on your side hophmi, and we are not stupid. Nor are we willing to let folk like you get away with repeated a talking point that is verifiably not true. Repetition of a lie does not create a truth.

        You and Dersh are birds of a feather — he seeks to silence a truth teller and you seek to bury truth in a pile of lies.

    • lysias
      February 28, 2012, 2:26 pm

      Iran has repeatedly expressed approval of the UN’s calls for a denuclearized Middle East.

      If you want to avoid an arms race in the Middle East, isn’t that the way to accomplish that end?

      • hophmi
        February 28, 2012, 6:21 pm

        “Iran has repeatedly expressed approval of the UN’s calls for a denuclearized Middle East.”

        Yes, and it has also held Holocaust denial conferences, so who really cares what they have to say?

      • Shingo
        February 28, 2012, 8:12 pm

        Yes, and it has also held Holocaust denial conferences, so who really cares what they have to say?

        Except when you want to cite the false accusation that they called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

      • eljay
        February 28, 2012, 9:40 pm

        >> Yes, and it has also held Holocaust denial conferences, so who really cares what they have to say?

        Meanwhile, it matters what a religion-supremacist, oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, Nakba-denying state has to say. Interesting.

      • teta mother me
        February 28, 2012, 10:08 pm

        yes and Israel has also killed Iran’s nuclear scientists and, in the words of Ronen Bergman, proclaimed that from its establishment Israel has used assassination — and on foreign soil — more than any other nation, and claims this practice as a “moral right.”

        But then, as Chas Freeman noted in a speech (that should be printed in the textbooks and become part of the lexicon of every child in US public schools), prominent Israelis speak and act as if gradually eroding the rule of law until it becomes a pile of sand is also admirable behavior:
        link to thejerusalemfund.org

        Humanitarian law and the law of war are arguably the supreme moral artifacts of Atlantic civilization. Jewish lawyers made a disproportionate contribution to the crafting of both. The resulting legal principles were intended to deter the kinds of injuries and injustices that European Jews and other minorities had long suffered and to protect occupied populations from persecution by their occupiers. Both objectives are very relevant to contemporary Palestine. It is, however, hard to find any principle of due process, the several Geneva Conventions, or the Nuremberg trials that has not been systematically violated in the Holy Land. Examples of criminal conduct include mass murder, extra-judicial killing, torture, detention without charge, the denial of medical care, the annexation and colonization of occupied territory, the illegal expropriation of land, ethnic cleansing and the collective punishment of civilians, including the demolition of their homes, the systematic reduction of their infrastructure and the de-development and impoverishment of entire regions. These crimes have been linked to a concerted effort to rewrite international law to permit actions that it traditionally prohibited, in effect enshrining the principle that might makes right.

        As the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

        “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

        A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

        “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

        These references to Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the extent to which the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples. The expediently amoral doctrine of preemptive war is such an Israeli transplant in the American neo-conservative psyche. Neither it nor other deliberate assaults on the rule of law have been met with concerted resistance from Palestinians, Arabs, or anyone else, including the American Bar Association. The steady displacement of traditional American values – indeed, the core doctrines of western civilization – with ideas designed to free the state of inconvenient moral constraints has debased the honor and prestige of our country as well as Israel.

        American determination to protect Israel from the political and legal consequences of any and all of its actions has also taken its toll, not just on the willingness of others to credit and follow the United States, but also on the authority of international organizations and the integrity of international law. The United Nations Security Council was conceived as the ultimate arbiter and enforcer of an international order in which law could protect the weak and vulnerable from the depredations of the strong. The world has occasionally allowed its sympathy for Palestinians, as underdogs, to override its legal judgment, but the U.S. has routinely exercised its veto to prevent the application of well-established principles of international law to Israel. The Security Council has been transformed from the champion of the global rule of law into the enemy of legality as the standard of global governance. Repeated American vetoes on behalf of Israel have reduced the United Nations and other international fora to impotence on fundamental questions of justice and human dignity. Confidence in these institutions has largely disappeared. Thus, the Israel-Palestine dispute has shaped a world in which both the rule of law and the means by which it might be realized have been deliberately degraded. We are all the worse off for this.

        Israel’s strength and prosperity depend on American government and private subsidies as well as Washington’s political and legal protection. For Israelis, the moral hazard created by such irresponsible indulgence and unsparing American support has been a tragedy. It has enabled Israel to follow its most self-destructive inclinations by relieving it from the requirement to weigh their consequences. It has bred hubris that encourages the Jewish state to pursue short-term advantage without consideration of the resulting risks to its long-term viability. For the Palestinians, America’s slavish support of Israel has meant an unending nightmare, trapping them in a limbo in which the protections of both law and human decency are at best capriciously applied. For the United States, deference to Israel’s counterproductive policies and actions has become a debilitating drain on American power to shape events by measures short of war. The United States is now so closely identified with the Jewish state that Americans cannot escape perceived complicity with any and all of its actions, whether we agree or disagree with them. In the eyes of the world, Israel’s behavior is a reproach to the American reputation as well as its own.

      • Keith
        February 29, 2012, 7:50 pm

        TETA- “…the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples.”

        Only Chas Freeman could attempt to turn a mass-murdering Uncle Sam into Snow White. It is one thing to criticize Zionism and Israel, quite another to shamelessly whitewash US imperial behavior. US contempt for international law when it would interfere with US warmongering should be beyond dispute. Uncle Sam’s body count exceeds Israel’s by orders of magnitude.

      • Citizen
        March 1, 2012, 9:02 am

        Keith, I don’t see how Chas Freeman has whitewashed US imperial conduct at all. I think he is referring to the contrast between the principles, operating rules–Rule of international Law as laid down at Nuremberg (& their Geneva progeny) and how the US has veered from those principles by mirroring Israel’s contrary principle of expediency. The US fought with Stalin especially, and with the Brits too–to make the Nuremberg something more than “victor’s justice.” He is lamenting the fact how the US now operates and rhetorically justifies its conduct (abroad, & increasingly, at home via HMS) is not far from Goering’s “might makes right.” While Israel has actually stated on the record that current international law is made via acceptance of violations, the US leaders have yet to be so honest. There is no question, in 1945, the world looked to the US to model their own international values. Monkey see, Monkey do. That Israel flaunts its rogue conduct is no biggie as it has never been a model for the world as the US still is significantly (now for the worse, not the better).

      • Keith
        March 1, 2012, 11:25 am

        CITIZEN- That the US was instrumental in the writing of international laws that it has consistently violated is not in dispute. Neither is the fact that the US frequently attaches clauses and exceptions to these laws which render them moot in regards to US conduct (where is Hostage when you need him?). What you regard as high principle I would describe as rank hypocrisy. Freeman’s ongoing pretension that Israel has led a noble US astray is shameless propaganda and imperial apologetics. Freeman once was a high ranking official of empire who bears significant responsibility for US imperial actions. There is more than enough to criticize about Israel and Zionism without holding them responsible for the vast crimes of empire.

      • David Green
        March 1, 2012, 12:24 pm

        Keith, it seems to me that Freeman’s sanitization of U.S. imperialism isn’t that different from the assumptions that underly about 8 out of 10 of Medea Benjamin’s much-lauded points from the other day. A fantasy of American goodness and purity, allegedly undermined by AIPAC. God love her, but why the need to be such a suck-up?

    • Shingo
      February 28, 2012, 8:10 pm

      An Iranian nuke would set off an arms race in the Middle East. It is the height of naivete to suggest that things would be OK if Iran got a nuke, and I’m saying that as someone who opposes an attack.

      The latest NIE (all 16 US intelligence agencies) and Mossad agree Iran is not producing nukes. It is therefore the height of dishonesty to keep talking as though Iran’s pursuit of a nuke is a foregone conclusion.

      But then, that’s what we’ve come to expect from you isn’t it?

  14. seafoid
    February 28, 2012, 12:59 pm

    “Publish it not” is a wonderful compendium of Zionist career destruction and assassination both of character and of body and the Dersh just continues the gruesome tradition. It’s about time the Jewish people stood up to their hoodlum cousins in Israel and AIPAC.

  15. DICKERSON3870
    February 28, 2012, 1:27 pm

    RE: “Alan Dershowitz has launched another headhunting/blacklisting campaign, this one aimed at journalist M.J. Rosenberg of the left-Dem shop, Media Matters.” ~ Weiss

    SEE – Dear liberal American Jews: Please don’t betray Israel, by Dahlia Scheindlin, +972 Magazine, 2/14/12:

    (excerpts). . . After two weeks in America visiting family and friends, two observations struck me powerfully. First, the understanding that Israel is committing terrible deeds that are destroying itself and its neighbors, has penetrated among you…
    …On this trip, I was stunned to learn that now you don’t even really want to visit Israel because you can’t face what you’re increasingly coming to see as a brutal occupying entity flirting with fascist notions. . .
    …My second observation is that because of your fear – not of the goyim or the anti-Semites, but of yourselves! – you are keeping a low public profile. On this trip, I suddenly realized how naïve it was to imagine that J Street had sufficiently opened the door for anyone who cares critically for Israel to speak out. I underestimated how deep and terrible the intimidation has become and that one political lobby group is far from enough.
    I do understand: those of you who still call the Jewish community home, are afraid of the onslaught that you will receive from your (our) very own people. I hold no illusions about how vicious the attacks might be. We Jews, not the goyim, will call you the most painful names, will threaten in various ways to label you as beyond the pale of your people, should you voice your critique. You might be chastised in your professional community. You will be hit not only by shadowy bloggers but by the very cherished and established groups you have loyally, even automatically, supported over the years. The anger might come from your friends and it might even come from your family. . .
    …Here’s how that made me feel: abandoned, by the liberal Jews of America. You were swept away by Ruth Wisse’s thesis that liberals betrayed the Jewish cause by believing too much in rational universalism and failing to acknowledge the unique, everlasting threat of anti-Semitism…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to 972mag.com

  16. mjrosenberg
    February 28, 2012, 1:46 pm

    Thanks for all the great comments. Yes, I used to be mainstream Zionist. Then I was lucky enough to be on White House lawn for Arafat/Rabin handshake.
    I changed overnight. Now I wanted peace for both people and started working for it.
    Little did I know that the organized community would dedicate itself to destroying any chance for peace, along with immense help from Ehud Barak, Bibi Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon.
    I’m a peace guy and I’m done with all nationalism, except for my love for this country that took in my family 100 years ago and my wife’s after they survived the Holocaust (Mindy was born in a DP camp in Germany).
    There are two reasons to get older (1) to be with the people you love and (2) to read, experience, learn and get smarter.
    I did. I’m not the same person I was before. I’m a better person.
    And, for me, the term “my people” which once meant “the Jews” now means all people who are dedicated to peace and justice for all.
    Asked recently if I was upset that my second son is “intermarrying,” I said, “he’s not.
    He’s not marrying a Republican or an Israel Firster.”
    Anyway, thanks.

    • tree
      February 28, 2012, 2:07 pm

      There are two reasons to get older (1) to be with the people you love and (2) to read, experience, learn and get smarter.
      I did. I’m not the same person I was before. I’m a better person.
      And, for me, the term “my people” which once meant “the Jews” now means all people who are dedicated to peace and justice for all.

      Beautiful, MJ. More power to you. And thanks for the succinct statement on getting older. Wonderfully put and I heartily agree!

      • Dan Crowther
        February 28, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Rosenberg for the WIN!!

        Cheers, Brother!

    • dalybean
      February 28, 2012, 2:17 pm

      You are brave and awesome. What would you suggest the average citizen do to help with this whole situation?

      • mjrosenberg
        February 28, 2012, 5:51 pm

        It depends who your Representative and Senator is. In general, I recommend looking for them when they are back home and calmy telling them that you are aware of their record and strongly oppose their support for the occupation and/or Israel.
        If they are progressives, it’s easier. Find other like minded people who will say they will not support your Rep unless he stops his/her mindless support for Bibi.
        Frankly I have not organized (I do my writing) but I never vote for my liberal Rep. Chris Van Hollen because he is an AIPAC tool and I never will.

      • dalybean
        February 28, 2012, 7:11 pm

        Well, mine are Van Hollen, Mikulski and Cardin, and I live around the corner from Van Hollen, but you are saying the chances are not good of any success, right? Even on the issue of the US starting an unnecessary war in Iran? Arrgh!

        Thanks for your reply though.

      • MarkF
        February 29, 2012, 9:07 am

        Cardin is on the AIPAC bill. Pretty dissapointed.

        My rep is Edwards. She’s cool. The lobby’s working big time to take her out. Hope she can withstand and thrive.

        I was impressed when Van Hollen first won the seat. Yeah, it was rigged, but still… He stood outside the next day at the Takoma Metro station in freezing rain shaking hands and thanking them for their vote.

        Now to be somewhat fair, he did try to speak out during the 2006 Gaza war, but he was smacked oretty hard by the lobby. He had to twist into a pretzel to “clarify” his remarks/letter, but he tried. Unfirtunately he was forced to lock heels.

      • teta mother me
        February 29, 2012, 10:49 am

        couple years ago I saw a comment on the orange blog that said van Hollen’s district is now known as the “Little Apple.”
        Steny Hoyer is more AIPAC than AIPAC.

        iirc Edwards took Gilchrest’s seat. In 2007 Gilchrest spoke eloquently on a panel sponsored by the Washington National Cathedral’s Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation about how the reckless rhetoric has to stop, and the US should engage with Iran. link to c-spanvideo.org
        Stephen Kinzer, Trita Parsi, Yale professor Abbas Amanat and Bruce Laingen, who had been a hostage in the US embassy, were also on the panel. Gilchrest lost his bid for reelection shortly thereafter, but Edwards is a keeper.
        Last year the National Cathedral sustained heavy damage to towers and roof in an earthquake. zionists probably caused it ;>)

        ____
        EDIT: I was wrong.
        Edwards defeated Democrat Ed Wynn; Gilcrest was defeated by Harris —

        “Edwards Bests Wynn in Heated Battle; Gilchrist Also Loses

        Date: 2/13/2008
        Source: Washington Post

        Edwards Bests Wynn in Heated Battle; Gilchrist Also Loses

        By Rosalind S. Helderman
        Washington Post Staff Writer
        Wednesday, February 13, 2008; 12:04 PM

        Prince George’s County lawyer Donna F. Edwards ousted eight-term Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D) yesterday, as voters backed her liberal insurgency against one of the state’s longest-serving congressmen.

        A second longtime congressman, Eastern Shore Republican Wayne T. Gilchrest, was also defeated by more conservative state Sen. Andrew P. Harris, who declared victory shortly after midnight.

        Both Wynn and Gilchrest had been targeted by aggressive advertisement campaigns, funded in part with unprecedented spending by national groups, to convince voters they had fallen out of step with their districts during long years in Congress.

        “The deed is done,” Wynn told reporters. “I think the only thing that remains is to support the winner.”

        Just before midnight, Edwards emerged in front of a cheering crowd of supporters at a Largo hotel to claim the Democratic nomination.

        “Today the voters went to the polls looking for a change, and they went out there looking for new leadership,” Edwards told the crowd.cript src=http://

        URL: link to washingtonpost.com

      • yourstruly
        February 29, 2012, 5:45 pm

        he should call his aipac minders israel firsters, and when they try to pin the antisemite label on him, not only not back down but point out that any increase in antisemitism is caused by the israel firsters themselves – their putting the interest of israel before those of the u.s. of a.

    • CitizenC
      February 28, 2012, 2:18 pm

      Well said and well done, thank you M J.

      I received the following from a friend recently:

      On another note, my daughter called today – she’s a junior in college – and explained that she was writing a paper for her African-American Studies course on Palestinian Hip-Hop as a form of cultural resistance. She recounted that she responded to the queries from her prof. as to whether she had some familial connection to the issue by explaining that she had a Jewish background but did not consider herself Jewish. Proud Dad. . .

      I suspect that, as the horrors in Washington, Palestine and west Asia deepen without respite, this will become the “new normal”.

    • Bumblebye
      February 28, 2012, 2:18 pm

      Don’t we live in a topsy turvy world, when it lionises liars and ostracises honesty!
      Congrats to your son.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 28, 2012, 2:19 pm

      i adore you mj, thanks for all your hard work, insight, honesty and courage. you are making a huge difference.

    • teta mother me
      February 28, 2012, 2:22 pm

      We of the non-Israel-first set welcome you and your son, M J. We’re really not a bad lot, once you get to know us. And we, too, are capable of change and growth.

      thanks for wise words.

      • Pixel
        February 29, 2012, 2:19 am

        tme,

        I like your comment and second it.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 28, 2012, 2:23 pm

      mj, thank you for responding to my tweet! that makes me so happy!

      • seafoid
        February 28, 2012, 3:01 pm

        That vignette by MJ Rosenberg is full of wisdom and decency.

        Very similar to the sentiment expressed by that Iranian filmmaker when he won the Oscar. Who can stand up honestly for hatred and fear mongering ?

        And of course it reminded me of this :

        link to vimeo.com

      • mjrosenberg
        February 28, 2012, 3:03 pm

        You write such good stuff here. I’m a fan!

      • Annie Robbins
        February 28, 2012, 3:17 pm

        you so just made my day/week/month and beyond.

        ;)

      • seafoid
        February 28, 2012, 5:02 pm

        Annie

        You need to sit down and have a nice cup of tea ;)

      • Annie Robbins
        February 28, 2012, 5:06 pm

        you’re probably right

    • Oscar
      February 28, 2012, 2:55 pm

      MJR – you’re a courageous voice. Greatly appreciate your twitter feeds and MM columns. You have the strong support of the Mondo community and many others who stand with you. Stay strong.

    • gamal
      February 28, 2012, 3:02 pm

      110% Respect MJ.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      February 28, 2012, 3:42 pm

      M.J., you are an inspiration to all of us in the pro-Palestinian, antiwar effort. Thanks so much for your steadfast dedication to the cause of peace and justice. For persons of conscience, you are a testament to the potential for moral growth over time.

      • Kathleen
        February 28, 2012, 4:05 pm

        Pro Palestine
        Pro Israel (67 border)
        Pro Peace

        MJ thanks for reporting based on facts and truth. Keep shining your light. Am sure that Phil and team will let us know exactly what we can do to support you with Dersh on your back

    • Kathleen
      February 28, 2012, 4:11 pm

      MJ some really important Iran, Israel, NPT conversations on Chris Hayes Sunday news program UP. Scahill and Anne Marie Slaughter went a few rounds. Facts won out.
      Also Dr. Zbig Brzezinski had a great deal to say about the upcoming visit with Obama and Netanyahu. Dr. Zbig said President Obama really needs to draw the line letting Netanyahu know the US does not support a military strike on Iran, we will not back them up. He went even further and said let Israel know that they can not fly through US controlled air space. Know he has said this in the past. Important coversations on both those shows on Sunday.

      Also a Mr. Dickers (economist I think) on Up and a Mr. Stockman on GPS both went into detail about oil speculators betting on an attack on Iran by Israel and the effects of the sanctions in July.

      • Daniel Rich
        February 28, 2012, 5:02 pm

        @ Kathleen

        Q: …let Israel know that they can not fly through US controlled air space.

        R: Let it be known that this airspace is thousands of miles from the US’ shores. Japan only controls 30% of its airspace. The rest is under US ‘control.’ Anyone flying into or from Narita [airport] will notice the weird angles planes have to follow to stay out of ‘US controlled airspace.’ Very arrogant, I’d say…

    • Shingo
      February 28, 2012, 8:14 pm

      You’re an inspiration MJ.

      Dersh is obviously scared of you because you:

      1. know your stuff
      2. have insider knowledge of the workings of AIPAC

      Keep up the great work!!

      • Pixel
        February 29, 2012, 2:23 am

        3. have a kind of courage that he’ll never dream of having

    • Citizen
      February 28, 2012, 11:12 pm

      mjrosenberg, I just love your comment. It is so humane, so American in the best way–it brings hope; I just wish you the best–keep on truckin’!

    • Pixel
      February 29, 2012, 2:15 am

      mj,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Thanks for being who you are.

      Thanks for all you do.

  17. quercus
    February 28, 2012, 1:49 pm

    I called my two senators and representative, and the White House today with this comment: “Until the State of Israel publicly declares how many nuclear weapons it has in its arsenal, opens its nuclear facility to full inspections, and signs the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, I am uninterested in hearing about Iran’s ALLEGED nuclear weapons program.

    I would humbly suggest each of you do something similar.

  18. Les
    February 28, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Someone should tell the people in charge of the NY Times to read their paper. Here’s a headline in today’s online edition:

    “Iran Calls Nuclear Arms Production a ‘Great Sin'”

    link to nytimes.com

    • Thomson Rutherford
      February 28, 2012, 3:57 pm

      NYT – Amid heightened tensions with the West over its nuclear program, Iran on Tuesday called for negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons and condemned their production or possession as “a great sin.”

      Under extreme pressure from AIPAC, Congress is passing laws forbidding any American official from even talking to any Iranian official, much less thinking about negotiations.

      • lysias
        February 28, 2012, 4:33 pm

        Under extreme pressure from AIPAC, Congress is passing laws forbidding any American official from even talking to any Iranian official, much less thinking about negotiations.

        Surely any such legislation would be an unconstitutional limitation of executive powers.

  19. Justice Please
    February 28, 2012, 3:54 pm

    I bet if there were two public demonstrations, one in support of Dershowitz, the other in support of Rosenberg, Rosenbergs supporters would outnumber Derhs 10 to 1.

  20. HarryLaw
    February 28, 2012, 4:06 pm

    I have been very impressed with reading articles by MJ Rosenberg over the past year, being an ex AIPAC representative makes his views all the more credible. Attacking such a substantial person will not be easy, nor will MJRosenberg be concerned, it could well rebound on the learned Professor, or should I say imbecile.

  21. Daniel Rich
    February 28, 2012, 4:57 pm

    Strange. A few years back Rosenberg wrote a very positive and totally biased op-ed for the State of Israel on an AlJazeera [web] page. As to Dershowitz, defending Israel and OJ…, hmmm… seems like he prefers to stand up for ‘evil-doers.’

  22. talknic
    February 28, 2012, 11:49 pm

    How Dersh keeps his position is truly a miracle. His interpretations of International Law in respect to the M East are worse than nonsense, he’s an outright liar.

    I’d love to debate him. Apoplexy 101 close up would be fun.

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