Here’s the latest in the Media Matters controversy. Alan Dershowitz, who teaches constitutional law at Harvard, has gone on Fox News to push his campaign to have MJ Rosenberg fired by the liberal thinktank Media Matters for daring to suggest the Iran war campaign originates with “Israel firsters.”
Dershowitz says that Media Matters has “crossed the line” into anti-Semitism. Fox:
Dershowitz, though, argued that Israel’s and America’s interests are aligned, [Reader is this true?] and said Rosenberg was effectively accusing people like him of “treason.”
“It’s the oldest of charges … accusing Jews of dual loyalty, and it can’t be tolerated, whether it comes from the left or the right,” he said. “The tent is not big enough to include people who have engaged in bigotry against the Jewish people.”
But Media Matters has made its reputation by taking on Fox. Do you really think that the Media Matters funders care what Dershowitz says on the network? I sure hope not.
Oh, and by the way: MJ Rosenberg schooled a generation of us on the Israel lobby. Journalists, academics, activists– this brave, funny, salty, menschy journalist who can’t go a D.C. lunch without telling you to read Chaim Grade or I.J. Singer on the Jewish experience in central Europe– Rosenberg taught them about the Israel lobby. He spent years at AIPAC, and later the Israel Policy Forum, working for the two-state solution. Now I have to wonder, Where are those journalists and academics, when Rosenberg is taking the spears?
On to the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel, which ran a full-page ad in the New York Times yesterday saying that anyone who says Israel Firster is a bigot.
I need to ask a common sense question: If you name your American organization “The Emergency Committee for Israel,” is it fair for you to accuse people of bigotry when they say you are Israel Firsters?
Liberal Spencer Ackerman is upset that the Emergency Committee is using him in the ad.
But a month ago, Ackerman, a liberal Zionist, attacked anyone who uses the term “Israel Firster,” saying it was an anti-Semitic trope. And Ackerman singled out MJ Rosenberg. He wrote:
For months, M.J. Rosenberg of Media Matters, the progressive media watchdog group, has been throwing around the term “Israel Firster” to describe conservatives he disagrees with….
“Israel Firster” has a nasty anti-Semitic pedigree…
Well then yesterday, the Emergency Committee for Israel quoted Ackerman’s attack on Rosenberg in its full-page ad in the Times, and it used the quote above.
And Ackerman said he didn’t like being quoted by the Emergency Committee:
just to clarify: to be clear, what I wrote is public, and ECI is within its rights to use whatever. Had ECI asked me, though, this is what I would have told them: Guys, c’mon. Here I am, trying to carve out a space for liberal Zionism, and that includes calling out anti-semitic dogwhistles when they get on my nerves. You guys aren’t liberal Zionists, and we disagree on a lot of shit, but I would hope you’d agree that as long as we’re all Zionists, it’s better for liberal Zionism to exist than not exist. Putting my quote in your ad will make liberals suspicious of me, which in turn makes it harder for me to make a case for liberal Zionism. How is that helpful? Besides, people who read New York Times print ads probably have no idea who I am, but I guess that’s your business.
Gosh, what to say? We still in Kansas?