‘Tablet’ says writers who talk about Israel Firsters are channeling Hitler

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This is the graphic at the start of a piece by Spencer Ackerman at Tablet decrying the use of the term “Israel firster.”

Hitler graphic at Tablet for Israel firster piece 1
Hitler graphic at Tablet for Israel firster piece

I would point out only one absurd statement in Spencer Ackerman’s argument:

On Tuesday, writer Max Blumenthal used a gross phrase to describe Goldberg: “former Israeli prison guard.”

Does Ackerman actually believe this? Goldberg himself wrote a book called Prisoners. I will quote you the cover of the galley when Knopf published it in 2006:

They met in 1990 during the first Palestinian uprising. One was an American Jew who served as a prison guard in Ketziot; the other was his prisoner– a leader of the PLO.

As always, Haaretz is more intelligent. Here is Mairav Zonszein of +972 wrestling with Israel firster and finding some merit in the expression:

When progressive entities like the Center for American Progress and figures like M.J. Rosenberg use the term “Israel-firster,” they are attempting to deconstruct and challenge the notion that being “pro-Israel” means demanding unchecked support for Israeli policies, even when they directly conflict with the U.S. administration’s stated positions and its declared role as an arbiter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Such people are trying to dismantle the equation between opposition to Israel’s current reckless agenda, and concern for Israel’s long-term interests and impact on American geopolitics. They are identifying those, whether Jewish or Christian, Democrat or Republican, who, as Rosenberg put it, “consistently – and without exception – thwart the efforts of U.S. presidents to achieve Middle East peace.” “Israel-firsters” are not those who put Israel first, but rather those who put an Israeli right-wing agenda first, even at the expense of American interests.

Or as a Jewish speaker at last night’s event for Jack Ross in Brooklyn said, The issue of dual loyalty is at the heart of the suggestion by the publisher of an Atlanta Jewish newspaper that Mossad agents based in the U.S. assassinate Barack Obama because he is too tepid on Iran.

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So what are we supposed to think when an American says something like this… “In a talk to an Israeli group in July, 2010, Adelson said he wished he had served in the Israeli Army rather than the U.S. military—and that he hoped his young son would come back to Israel and “be a sniper for the IDF,” a reference to the Israel Defense Forces. (YouTube video of speech http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EGgCdChPOw) “I am not Israeli. The… Read more »

All this prostration before the golden calf of Zionism for Jewish money and Evangelical votes http://www.haaretz.com/news/u-s-elections-2012/romney-palestinians-don-t-want-two-state-solution-they-want-to-eliminate-israel-1.409459 Governor Mitt Romney said on Thursday that the Palestinians are not interested in a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, rather that they are interested in the elimination of the State of Israel. The leading candidate in the race to become the Republican candidate for presidency was prompted by a question posed by a Palestinian-American Republican at a CNN-sponsored… Read more »

Glen Greenwald has a good column about this:
“The predictable aftermath of the anti-CAP smear” at

You know you’ve been reading too many books on the Nazi Era and Second World War when the first thing you think in looking at that graphic is that it must be flipped because Hitler’s part is on the wrong side…

It just ought to be remembered in talking about this what the Spencer Ackermans on this issue are effectively saying: To wit, that no matter how true it is that a jewish person puts Israel first in all things—that indeed no matter if they stand up and say “I’m an Israeli Firster!,” you cannot call them that if they are jewish because that plays into “an anti-semitic trope.” In other words, jews have a special… Read more »