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.
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.