‘Huffpo’ shames pro-war Democrats, blames AIPAC (and gets lectured by Foxman)

Foxman and the vice president at ADL centennial gala last week

Foxman and the vice president at ADL centennial gala last month

Huffington Post has called out the 15 Democratic Senators who are pushing a bill to kneecap the Iran deal and enable Israel to tangle us up in another Middle Eastern war. Check out the roll of dishonor at that post, and the lead:

As the United States finally puts a decade of war behind it, a group of senators, including 15 Democrats, is defying the White House and threatening to push the country into a fresh war with Iran.

Harry Hjalmarson notes that Huffington Post’s coverage has included criticism of Israel and its lobby. “I think the HP has decided to invest political capital in a push-back that started already. In my simple reasoning, the motivation here is anti-war, but the end result will be another attack on Zionism.”

He notes that the Huffpo commenters are not shy about Israel. “The majority of the 240 comments are negative about the AIPAC/Menendez/ADL point of view. Many are thoughtful and carefully written.”

I checked out the comments today and saw a mix of anti-war comments and ones critical of Israel.

The headline should be AIPAC sell outs…very disappointed to see Booker but not surprised because of his close proximity with Rabbi Boteach who is a war monger…

This one, from Clifton B, is very thoughtful and makes the important point that many of these Senators were given their jobs by the antiwar Democratic base:

A self-described “Zionist Babe” offering any opinion relating to the US and the Middle East….how completely unsurprising. The Anti-War movement is a central element of the Democratic party. It has helped launch the career of many of these men and women. The majority of Americans wanted an end to the constant bloodshed in the Middle East. We have an opportunity to prevent another war. There’s absolutely no legitimate reason for passing this sort of legislation at this moment.



Hjalmarson says, “I think the Huffington Post flipped to the anti-Zionist camp. One reason is the Zionist linkage to undesirables: war, Saudi Arabia and non-American motivations.”

Like this comment: “Israel has long grown well beyond being merely tiresome and annoying.”

That was a response to an earlier Huffpo article on the Iran-sanctions bill, initially titled “Saboteur Sen. Launching War Push.” Huffpo changed the headline to “Iran Sanctions Bill From Sens. Bob Menendez And Mark Kirk Could Endanger U.S. Negotiations,” but the piece was more explicit than the latest piece about the role of AIPAC–

[T]he argument that the [legislation] is aimed to benefit the White House is undermined by the White House’s own vehement opposition to it. It is further undercut by the lead supporter of the Menendez bill, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has pushed hard to derail the talks and encouraged Congress to undermine the president’s effort. Schumer and Menendez are close allies of AIPAC.

That piece led to an Abe Foxman letter to Huffpo that says Huffpo is trading in anti-Semitic tropes.

We were deeply disturbed by the Huffington Post’s front-page handling on December 19 of the bipartisan introduction in the Senate of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act.

The initial headline, “Saboteur Sen. Launching War Push,” by itself was outrageous and inappropriate. While legitimate arguments can be made in support of and against the legislation, your headline impugned Senator Menendez’s loyalty, insinuating that he is not acting in the best interest of the United States as he sees it. Running a photo of Sen. Robert Menendez speaking at the podium of an AIPAC event further implies that he was trying to “sabotage” the administration’s efforts on Iran for reasons related to Israel under pressure from American Jews. We are shocked that a version of the anti-Semitic theme that “Jews manipulate the U.S. Government” was boldly featured on your site.

Whether done intentionally or not, it is deeply troubling to see how easily even a well-respected mainstream media outlet like the Huffington Post can fail to see the ugly stereotype projected when the language of “sabotage” is combined with the image of an identifiably American Jewish organization known for its effectiveness in promoting U.S. political support for Israel. The charge of dual loyalty leveled against Jews has, for centuries, been a catalyst for scapegoating and vilifying Jews. It has no legitimate place in our society.

I agree with Hjalmarson that anti-war messaging blurs quickly into criticism of Israel and the lobby. It is great to see this consciousness-raising occurring in the left American grassroots. And cheering to imagine that a shaming on Huffpo could cause Senators to rethink their betrayal of the Obama administration.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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  1. a blah chick says:

    We need to start taking it to these old farts like Foxman. At his next presser someone should ask “Mr. Foxman, why doesn’t your organization support human rights in Israel?” That should get him going.

  2. Reds says:

    Interesting that both Foxman and Oren get a on demand type article to gate keep stuff they don’t like. And because of this I doubt Huff posts will go to far from the Zionist narrative without right after having a Foxman type denounce it.

    Let’s not forget Huff hosted a 3 part piece attacking though the name of the author escapes me. Or look at the piece on Huff post from Rabbi Block ” Bds: biased, dishonest, self defeating? Notice no space for critics of the piece?

    • lobewyper says:

      The HuffPo is the most visited political blog on the web by a huge margin. Here is some information about it:

      “The Huffington Post is the number one most popular blog on the web, specializing in reporting breaking news from practically every major topic you could think of, including world news, entertainment, politics, business, style and several others. Founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Jonah Peretti in 2005, the blog was acquired by AOL in February 2011 for US $315 million and employs over 9,000 bloggers who contribute newsworthy written content on a wide range of topics.”

      It is far more balanced than the typical “liberal” mouthpiece. To say that it is “influential” would be an understatement. Our side is becoming more and more
      center by the minute.

  3. Denis says:

    It’s interesting, all Uncle Abe can hope to do now with his public rants is try and keep the choir together, and, maybe, justify his $700,000 salary, although my guess is that if you could examine both sets of books closely enough you’d find that ADL is funded largely by GoI.

    link to forward.com

    There was a time back when the KKK was still hot when Uncle Abe could expect a steady stream of scared new converts to his toxic, racist, zio-semetism, but those days are long gone. Now he turns even KKK-hating gentiles livid, and he is an embarrassment to fair-minded Jews. His dwindling choir is all he has. I might even wager that the percent increase in ADL’s membership for 2013 is less than the percent increase in MW’s subscribership.

    But that doesn’t mean ADL doesn’t still have a lot of clout. Although it seems to be part of our collective POV here that AIPAC is the group most effective in working the controls of Israel-firster politicians like Menendez and Kirk, my guess is that ADL has far, far tighter control by means of dirt they have on these pols. Recall the 1993 ADL scandal in San Francisco where ADL offices were raided and the FBI found its own files on the ADL computers along with dossiers on over 9000 individuals and groups. Those files were just released in Nov.2013 on a FOIA request by the Israel Lobby Archive.

    link to irmep.org

    But did Uncle Abe get busted???? Here the way ILA puts it:

    However, like San Francisco District Attorney Arlo Smith who failed to prosecute the ADL for invasion of privacy, tax evasion; or indict Tom Gerard and Roy Bullock as unregistered agents of a foreign government, the FBI investigation was suddenly stopped in its tracks.

    They’re sitting on a mountain of dirt on SFPD, FBI, prosecutors, local pols, national pols – who’s gonna’ bust them? We’re talkin’ the J. Edgar Hoover program for eternal immunity here, except it probably ain’t eternal in the literal sense. At least I hope not.

  4. Reds says:

    Phil should pick the pieces on Israel,Palestians, Likud, West Bank,BDS,Iran from the last 3 months and see if pro Zionist views dominate?

    Then see if pro/anti Zionist views were critized by others at Huffpost

  5. Reds says:

    J-street did respond to Abe on Huff post. At the same time huff post published a piece against BDS

  6. American says:

    You are all wasting your breath on morons like Foxman, he will always be a racist moron and respond to everything like a zio moron.
    Its the traitor politicians that deserve your attention.

  7. Icarusverum says:

    I commend the Huffington Post and other outlets for calling out AIPAC for war mongering. It’s not quite to the level of highlighting Israel war crimes and apartheid, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    What the Abe Foxman’s of the world don’t seem to understand is calling something anti-semitic because it’s critical of Israel’s policies doesn’t work anymore. It has been used and overused and now a majority of people are rightly skeptical when they hear that term being applied … even more so when they hear the term applied incorrectly.

    There are a whole host of Democratic and Republican Senators who might as well be wholly owned subsidiaries of AIPAC; they get a lot of money from that organization and they don’t push back on anything they’re asked to do. I don’t think that reality is consistent with the theme “the Jews run the government” because the same can be said regarding pharmaceutical, banking, oil and defense lobbies not to mention influential unions and the NRA.

    If Foxman doesn’t think these organizations have influence – he’s out of his mind. And if he thinks AIPAC is the only lobbying firm that should be above reproach because it operates on behalf of the Israeli government … then he’s going to be in for a world of emotional trauma.

    Maybe AIPAC and Israel were able to exist with a double standard in the past but the tide has turned and those days are long gone.

    • Jeff D says:

      I’ve heard and read assertions from several philosophically-divergent sources that no candidate for Federal elected office lacking AIPAC support has prevailed over an AIPAC-supported opponent since at least 1974. I would love to find hard data to confirm or refute that assertion. If true, I think it’s easily the most damning thing anyone could say about The Best Congress Money Can Buy™, several Administrations, and their effective if not conscious loyalties.

      Also, if you apply Five Whys to fiascos like (pick any US policy on/response to events in the Middle East for decades, like Iraq and Afghanistan), it starts looking even better. After all, in most of these cases, it became obvious to most Americans who were paying attention that the stated cause was lost very early on. Why keep writing the checks if you know they’re being poured down a rathole? Because your bosses, not an informed, engaged American electorate, tell you to.

  8. Amar says:

    HuffPo is not consistent. They frequently give space to the likes of Dershowitz and Bernard Henry Levy and others peddling zio memes. Fortunately, their comment sections are often in opposition to and effectively push back.

  9. Krauss says:

    It is quite telling that anti-Zionism is increasingly the same as anti-war.

    Secondly, I noticed the front page, too. The picture was awesome, Menendez speaking to AIPAC with their logo plastered all over the background. Of course Menendez is a political whore for Israel and not the U.S.

    Just as Mark Kirk is, he even said as much on a conference call. Foxman cannot handle the facts. And blah chick is right, it is long past time to expose the fraud of the ADL as a “civil rights organization”.

    Huffpost is a barometer for the grassroots left. I believe we have already won this debate within the left. Now for the center. The right will be late for this party, as always.

  10. MRW says:

    a shaming on Huffpo could cause Senators to rethink their betrayal of the Obama administration. . . .

    . . . and, more importantly, the American people.

  11. Blownaway says:

    I think Menendez and Kirk were surprised by being called out in places like Huffpo and Foreign policy. I would love to see the emails between them and the lobby imploring them to fight back. That’s where the real quid pro quo is going on. Can these Israel firsters be made to pay a price politically? That would be a real turning point.

    • Shingo says:

      The fact is blown away, that these guys would have a hard time getting elected at all were it not for the lobby. Their base is shrinking so they campaign on pro Israeli ticket to get then over the line.

  12. John Douglas says:

    I see a new thread in the discussion of Israeli behavior toward Palestinians. Previously the issue has been a humanitarian one emphasizing the suffering and suppression of the Palestinian people. I would never want to see this change. But a secondary issue is now coming out, the damage done to the U.S. by virtue of its “Israel right or wrong” support, the “not one inch of separation” claptrap. I am pleased to see this developing because it is so important to the U.S. and because it is the argument most likely to change the allegiances of Americans. Who knows, it might even affect the way Israel and its supporters treat the U.S. and the Palestinians.

    • Citizen says:

      @ John Douglas
      I’d like to Mearsheimer and Walt do a second book detailing all the facts as to when and how the “special relationship” has hurt America to date. Or, maybe that will be a next book for Max Blumenthal? Maybe they could all work as a team to get a book out to John Q Public ASAP. It’s later than many think.

    • American says:

      ”But a secondary issue is now coming out, the damage done to the U.S. by virtue of its “Israel right or wrong” support, the “not one inch of separation” claptrap. I am pleased to see this developing because it is so important to the U.S. and because it is the argument most likely to change the allegiances of Americans. “…John Douglas

      You’re right, that issue, the damage to the US, is the one that would end the US-Isr scheme the fastest if it were common knowledge among the public.

      • Yes, the steady undermining of the national security interests of the American people, by Israel. Day in and day out. Illegal colonies in the West Bank, growing, and growing, and growing.

  13. A very interesting brouhaha.

  14. bilal a says:

    Abe, There outta be a Law against anyone doubting congressional loyalty:

    Rep. Peter Deutsch lost his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2004, forcing him out of Congress for the first time in 12 years, he didn’t quite know what to do with himself.

    So he did something not entirely uncommon among American Jews who haven’t quite figured out their next step: He went to Israel.

    More than eight years later, Deutsch is still here, living with his family in Raanana, a Tel Aviv suburb. His 22-year-old son recently completed a stint as a combat soldier in the Israeli army, and his 21-year-old daughter is studying at an Orthodox women’s seminary.
    link to jta.org

  15. Daniel Rich says:

    “We are shocked that a version of the anti-Semitic theme that “Jews manipulate the U.S. Government” was boldly featured on your site.” – Abe Foxman

    Well, Abe, how about Joel Stein’s “>a href=”http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/19/opinion/oe-stein19″>Who Runs Hollywood” in the LAT, hmmmm? Mum’s the word, you say…?

    Antisemite/antisemitic is an Apartheid word, Abe, as it only embraces a selective few and excludes all others [for now]. Try to make an argument [for once] without relying on misplaced guilt [as it is completely worn out].

    What would your $50K p/m job be without it, eh?

    Oh, and what happened back in 1913?

  16. Hostage says:

    As the United States finally puts a decade of war behind it

    with no sign that the illegal Guantanamo Bay detention camp will finally be closed-down before another decade and the next war overtake us.

  17. piotr says:

    I read a study that a low level drug dealer barely makes minimum wage if one considers all time consumed by that endeavor and the costs, and not even including the risks.

    Similarly, war is increasingly unprofitable, and American war mongers who need some wars to justify extremely bloated military establishment run out of plausible causes. With one exception that could be called “AIPAC related”. It was not always so. There was time when wars with Indians and Mexico gained a lot of valuable territory. Afterwards, wars of colonial conquest (like Philippines ) and regional domination (like interventions in Central America) were inexpensive and lead to profit for a number of corporations.

    Like a drug dealer realizing that working for a fast food outfit or some such gives better living, by and large Americans realized that wars may sound cool but are not. Consider what the remaining prizes are. Cheap labor and/or cheap fruits? Trade negotiations deliver bulk of that. Leadership of the Free World? It is there by default, wars do not help (and may actually hurt). Overcoming existential threats from Canadian hordes or Zheng Ho armada sailing from China? Please be serious. It is not like 30 years ago when Sandinistas exhibited hostile attitude and secured positions mere 1000 miles from Texas.

    About 10 years ago we got a new set of war prizes: oil (not so new, but it sounded like something we need) and Democracy in the Middle East. One people who hated Democracy, or racistly thought that it does not fit noble folks in the Middle East, or who wanted to return the the age of buggy whips when we did not need any oil were in opposition. But it did not work out. The last hurrah of that was the intervention in Libya which lead to total mess: anarchy and a huge drop in oil production.

    So now the remaining convincing goal for deploying massive armies (and navies, and air force etc.) is steadfast defense of our most valuable ally, Israel. The situation is not yet 100% clear, but the causes of war as a desirable past time for USA and support of Zionism are increasingly conflated.

    In other words, as USA became the last remaining superpower, Zionists became the last reliable helpers of military-industial-demagogic complex. Other become as obsolete as “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” (that was a successful slogan extolling a Presidential candidate as a war hero). Being the last confers a lot of privileges (misperceived as “controlling American government”) but also a lot of trouble, like this unseemly resolution of ASA.

    • Citizen says:

      CSPAN devoted hours tonight to a panel of young female US Army and Marine veterans, former lieutenants and sergeants in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were coxed to give us their thoughts and experiences from their military enlistment. These varied, depending on their MOS (Job classification), but three things were common to all.
      1.) All of the young women had viewed joining the military as a way to be able to afford college, have a decent-paying job. An additional motive for those from the South was old-fashioned patriotism in the wake of 9-11.

      2.) All agreed Americans are the least aware of what their military boys and girls actually do around the world. It ain’t pretty.

      3.) All agreed rape in the military needed to be handled outside the military justice system.

  18. Citizen says:

    PS: What’s unseemly about the resolution of ASA?

    • piotr says:

      I wrote “inseemly” sarcastically. Surely there are a lot of complaints about it, from a certain former ambassador, leaders of Jewish organizations and a bevy of college presidents.

      And one of the complaints is “singling out”. My claim is as the last remaining reliable helper of military-industrial-demagogic complex (whose member needs arms, money and issues for grandstanding and “dire need” scenarios) Israel lobby has secure influence, but also secure opprobrium from the opponents of that complex.

      By the way, young people can be patriotic also to the north of Mason-Dixon line.

  19. Did I miss something?

    Huffpo dont mention israel nor aipac.

    • lobewyper says:

      Just,

      I think it’s supposed to be implicit. (I assume they didn’t mention the Republican warhawks is because they wanted to add party disloyalty to the warmongering charges against these folks.) When you accuse a senator (or congressperson) in thexe days and times of acting in a way that heightens the chances of war, that accusation is far more serious than one of collusion with AIPAC. Agree?

      • American says:

        ”When you accuse a senator (or congressperson) in thexe days and times of acting in a way that heightens the chances of war, that accusation is far more serious than one of collusion with AIPAC. Agree?”…lobewyper

        Acting for a war on Iran and being in collusion with AIPAC are one in the same in this case. It should always be pointed out that these politicians are acting for Israel ‘s benefit in demanding the US go to war–not acting for the US ‘s benefit.

        That is the ultimate ‘serious’ accusation.

        • The politicians are serving their own political interests, even if this undermines the national security interests of the American people. This is the heart of the matter.

      • lobewyper

        Ok but thent he headline is wrong.

    • piotr says:

      Joshua Hersh, Ryan Grim
      Iran Sanctions Bill From Sens. Bob Menendez And Mark Kirk Could Endanger U.S. Negotiations
      Posted: 12/19/2013 12:09 pm EST, Huffington Post

      But the argument that the move is aimed to benefit the White House is undermined by the White House’s own vehement opposition to it. It is further undercut by the lead supporter of the Menendez bill, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has pushed hard to derail the talks and encouraged Congress to undermine the president’s effort. Schumer and Menendez are close allies of AIPAC.

  20. Citizen says:

    They are rounding up blacks in Israel:
    link to southweb.org

  21. lobewyper says:

    Interesting that Menendez looks very much like the Chuck (“Born Again”) Colson of the Nixon era.