There is no issue like the Israel issue on which deviation from the line will likely get you fired unless you are big enough, like Tom Friedman, that you are untouchable. Look at Congressional Democrats like Al Franken and Barbara Boxer pretending to be Likud zealots out of fear. (The Republicans don’t have to fake it! ) Look at MSNBC which never even mentions the lobby that is controlling US Mideast policy– with the great exception of Chris Hayes the other night at DNC. Look at the big name bloggers with the exceptions of Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan.Not even the NRA exerts this kind of control and, in any case, it represents a domestic not a foreign issue. The good news is this. The lobby is terrified by us. That is why the Israel Firster meme caused them to go into purge overdrive.
But it’s too late. We have succeeded in making them self conscious and nervous. And it has affected the drive to war with Iran because they know that this time there will be no argument about who coerced us into war. Everyone knows it is them.
As a progressive Democrat, I am convinced that on issues as important as the US-Israel alliance and the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, there is no room for uncivil discourse or name calling, like ‘Israel Firster or ‘Likudnik’, and policy or political rhetoric that is hostile to Israel, or suggests that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, has no place in the mainstream Democratic party discourse. I also believe that when it occurs, progressive institutions, have a responsibility not to tolerate such speech or arguments
Block paid for the campaign by losing a job of his own– he had to resign from a thinktank because of his tactics. (Though he keeps landing on his feet; he is now head of the rightwing Israel Project.) His smear campaign was soon joined by Commentary magazine and Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel, which published a full-page ad in the New York Times attacking the Center for American Progress as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
After that Block’s antisemitism charge was echoed by another “liberal” Democrat, Spencer Ackerman in Tablet.
In February Alan Dershowitz said that Media Matters should fire MJ Rosenberg, and he was going to the president about it.
“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.”
First, in a full-page ad in the New York Times—featuring an image of a particularly malevolent-looking wolf, attired in a suit and tie, and holding a sheep mask—E.C.I. attacked two liberal advocacy organizations, the Center for American Progress (closely aligned with the White House) and Media Matters. It quoted the American Jewish Committee; the Anti-Defamation League; Alan Dershowitz, of Harvard Law School; and others, denouncing the groups’ work as anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic. Listing some of CAP’s and Media Matters’ donors, and their phone numbers, E.C.I. demanded, “Call these foundations and ask them: Why are you funding bigotry and anti-Israel extremism?”
Ms Bruck, time to follow that up!