Former AIPAC lobbyist assumes weighty mantle (and travel budget) of US Special Envoy on anti-Semitism

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This sums up the political use of anti-Semitism. The new State Department Envoy on anti-Semitism is former AIPAC lobbyist Ira Forman, a guy whose entire career has been dedicated to advancing the policies of the Israeli government, at AIPAC and then as head of the National Jewish Democratic Council, where he worked to ensure that Democrats were more hawkish on Israel than Republicans.

And why is there a Special Envoy on anti-Semitism? Why is that the one form of hate granted a special post at the State Department? You know why: because the lobby wanted it. And it gets to place its ex-lobbyist in it.

What does the Special Envoy do? He does the same thing that David Harris of the American Jewish Committee does (except Harris doesn’t do it on the taxpayers’ dime). He travels around the world, kibitzes with various world leaders, stays in fancy hotels, eats in great restaurants, goes on great tours and then, every now and then, admonishes his hosts to be more vigilant about anti-Semitism (which, nowadays, usually means criticism of Israeli policies— demonizing Israel, delegitimizing it, or applying a double standard). Then he issues a report (an official State Department report!) that announces that anti-Semitism is on the rise.

To what purpose: To buttress the case for standing with the Israeli government, no matter what it does. In other words, the lobby has succeeded in creating one more “pro-Israel” organization, headed by another organizational hack, but housing it in the State Department where it can do what these organizations usually do (nothing except help crush opposition to Israeli government policies) but with the imprimatur of the State Department and paid for by taxpayers!

About M.J. Rosenberg

M.J. Rosenberg served as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network, and prior to that worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. You can follow his work at

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