Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Alan Dershowitz: Media Matters Hurts Obama
It’s the kind of anti-Jewish hate speech you’d expect to find on a neo Nazi website or in a Patrick Buchanan column: American Jews who support current Israeli policies are accused of dual loyalty and called “Israel Firsters” because they place their loyalty to Israel above their loyalty to the United States.
AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) fares even worse:
“saying AIPAC is guilty of dual loyalty is giving it credit for one more loyalty that it holds.”
In other words, this widely respected American organization, and the hundreds of thousands of Jews (and Christians) who support it, including senators, congressmen and other elected officials, have absolutely no loyalty to our nation; their sole loyalty is to the foreign nation of Israel.
This false accusation of disloyalty to their own country finds its roots in the Biblical villains Pharaoh and Hamen who accused the Jews of Egypt and Persia of disloyalty. It was a central tenet of Nazism, Stalinism and other anti-Semitic regimes that made the Jews pay lethal consequences for their alleged dual loyalty. Today, it is the mantra of David Duke, Patrick Buchanan, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Jew haters of every race, religion, and national origin.
In fact I first came across some of these hateful quotes about “Israel firsters” and “dual loyalty” on an actual neo-Nazi website called Reporters Notebook, which features Holocaust denial claptrap and anything that demonizes Israel and those who support the Jewish state.
Surprisingly, however, the quotes were attributed, not to the usual suspects, but to a spokesman for Media Matters, a hard left Democratic media attack and watchdog group, with close connections to the Obama White House, that started out as an antidote to Fox News, but has now turned much of its attention to Israel.
The author of these hateful quotes is MJ Rosenberg, who is the Senior Foreign Policy Fellow of Media Matters and its official voice on issues relating to the Middle East and Israel. Speaking at a symposium (with Stephen Walt, the author of The Israel Lobby), Rosenberg explained why Media Matters hired him:
“Until I got there [Media Matters] had nothing on foreign policy. They hired me specifically to be involved with this issue, with the Palestinian issue, with [the issue of] stopping the war with Iran.
And Rosenberg has become involved with a vengeance, using as his primary weapon the poisonous charge of “Israel firsters” and dual loyalty.
Let there be no doubt that Rosenberg’s accusation of dual or singular loyalty to a foreign country is an anti-Semitic canard historically reserved for Jews.
Rosenberg doesn’t accuse Arab Americans who support Hamas and Hezbollah—America’s sworn enemies– of being “Palestinian Firsters”. Nor did he accuse Irish Americans who supported the Sinn Fein of being “Irish Firsters”. And the bad old days when observant Catholics were accused of dual loyalty with regard to the Vatican are, thankfully, long past. But Rosenberg defends his charges of disloyalty to America against those who sincerely believe that it is in America’s interest to support Israel against threats from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other enemies of both nations. Indeed, he boasts of having “popularized” the term “Israel Firsters.
By Alan M. Dershowitz