Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MJ Rosenberg Continues to Cling to "Israel Firster"

Even while all of his friends at the Center for American Progress, J Street, and Tablet continue to back away from the term "Israel firster," recognizing the obvious anti-Semitic implications, MJ Rosenberg just will not let it go. Of course, a refusal to admit that you are wrong is a very common personality trait especially on the Internet, but I feel that Rosenberg has brought "the lobby" into it (as always) and now feels like it is some kind of personal contest. If he admits that "Israel firster" is anti-Semitic and wrong that would mean letting "the lobby" win. Which is something that Rosenberg just cannot do. For him, everything is personal, as we will see in this article. Speaking of personal, he arrogantly takes credit for mainstreaming the term "Israel firster," even though he surely knows that it was originally used by Neo-Nazis. I hope he is proud of that, because I doubt anyone else is.

Having first claimed that IFs are those who dare to think Netanyahu is right and Obama is wrong, and then claiming that IFs are those who don't swallow Palestinian propaganda at every turn, then that IFs are simply people who don't hate AIPAC, then that IFs are those who don't mirror Rosenberg's politics, he finally comes clean and changes the definition of "Israel firsters" yet again:
"They are those people (of whatever ethnic background) who invariably support Israel's policies over those of the United States."
Uh huh. So after all that this is what he clings to. I can't help but wonder what that makes people like Jimmy Carter who travel to other countries simply to bash America. Of course, neither Rosenberg nor any of his cheerleading squad can point to a specific example of a person or organization support Israel's policies "over those of the United States." That's the key part. This time around Rosenberg tries to use Iran as the key example. In this case, if you think the only way to effectively deal with Iran's nuclear program is the use of military power and not negotiations or sanctions, you are an "Israel firster." Yes, that means half the country are "Israel firsters" on some level.

But let's take a break from that and get back on the one trick pony: AIPAC bashing!
"In fact, that interest group, AIPAC, actually got Congress to pass a bill, which President Obama signed, that bans any diplomacy with Iran without express approval of four Congressional committees in advance — as if AIPAC will ever let that happen....Just read this AIPAC-drafted language that is now law"
I will say again, for what feels like the hundredth time: If Mr. Rosenberg would like to putforward some actual evidence that AIPAC was the one driving the bill and that they "drafted" it, I would really like to see it. Consider that a challenge to any Rosenberg supporter reading this as well. The thing is that it's not even so difficult to believe (at least compared to some other claims Rosenberg has made about AIPAC) but I find it ridiculous that the Huffington Post allow such tall tales to go by unquestioned. 

He claims that the bill AIPAC wants Congress to pass "bans diplomacy," but that also sounds like an exaggeration. Based on the section quoted it means that on an individual level government officials should avoid contact with those from Iran. If he would like to cite a commentary (perhaps by the Congresspeople that sponsored it) saying "yes the goal of this is to end diplomacy," I would like to see that too.

Finally, halfway through the article we get down to brass tacks: The possibility of war with Iran.
"I oppose war with Iran unless Iran attacks the United States directly. Period.I do not want America to be dragged into a war that Netanyahu provokes and which the United States would then be dragged into. I favor diplomacy, unconditional diplomacy, with all issues on the table."
As much as it is nice to see that Mr. Rosenberg is tempting to make an argument on the merits (as opposed to simply insulting those with whom he disagrees), it isn't so convincing. These points have already been made a long time ago. America has been engaging with Iran for what? Ten years? And Iran continues to develop nuclear material. Iran has not attacked the United States directly, but they have been arming those who would kill American soldiers as well as American soldiers and civilians around the world. Finally, what if that "attack on the USA directly" is a series of nuclear bombs detonated by proxy? What will Mr. Rosenberg say? "Oops, guess I was wrong. But at least AIPAC didn't win?!"

I'm not saying that Mr. Rosenberg is wrong. I'm not saying we should bomb Iran. I'm saying that if he wants to convince us he needs to bring something new to the table. But he doesn't, he just uses the same classic anti-war talking points that the left has been using for quite a while now:
"I oppose war because we lost 4,400 men and women in Iraq, a war built on lies and false premises, conveyed by many of the self-same people promoting war with Iran. I don't think we should lose even one solider [sic] in a war against a country that does not directly threaten the American people."
We lost 4,400 men and women partially because of the support that Iran gave to the insurgency. Is that a good enough reason for war? Probably not. Does it bother me as an America? Yes. Does it bother Mr. Rosenberg? Apparently not! Of course nothing how he blames the Jews lobby for the war in Iraq, as once again Americans are told they are not responsible for their own actions. How very convenient. As for the threatening of the American people:



Maybe Mr. Rosenberg would like to pull a Huffington Poster and tell me that only means "Death to America's policies." At this point in the article he waves the bloody shirt regarding wounded American soldiers, in the classic "we shouldn't fight wars because people will get killed" logic that we often see on the left. Again, I find that argument alone lacking. If it is really not in America's interest for Iran to have nuclear weapons, then we should shy away from our responsibilities just because soldiers will be wounded. If our elected officials decide that it isn't worth it and decide to back off, that's fine with me as well.


Next up, Rosenberg names, shames and prematurely blames:
"I believe that pointing out who is pushing for war makes it a little less likely war will occur. If the neocons succeed in banning the term (that is their unachievable goal), they might be tempted to believe that if war starts no one will know that we were led there by Commentary, Binyamin Netanyahu, John Bolton, Jeff Goldberg, the Washington Post editorial page and, most of all, AIPAC."
What, what term? I'm sorry it kind of came out of nowhere I had almost forgotten what you were talking about. But once again, Rosenberg is grievously insulting toward the American people (and their representatives) by saying that we can be "led into" war. He probably thinks he is the last American alive with a working brain (classic leftist ideology I might add) and that if only everyone else was as smart as him we wouldn't even be having this issue. But unfortunately the Jews Zionists AIPAC Israel firsters are just so conniving and tricky they are pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. Boo hoo:


That's the inevitable conclusion of this kind of thinking. Also it's kind of ironic that he attacks Netanyahu and Jeffrey Goldberg specifically, as Netanyahu has never been American (not to mention America pulling Israel into "peace negotiations" with Arafat that blew up), and Jeffrey Golberg wrote a more in depth analysis of Israel and Iran than Rosenberg could ever dream about. Unfortunately the lies don't end there:
"I often write about the memo Steve Rosen, AIPAC's then-director of research — who was indicted for espionage (the charges were dropped) — wrote to me...Rosen wrote: "MJ, always remember. A lobby is a night flower. It thrives in the dark and shrivels in the sun.".
Hm. Funny. Because the only evidence that he ever wrote that comes from (wait for it) MJ Rosenberg.

In the end history will tell whether "Israel firster" will end the mainstream discourse and with it a new low in thinly-veiled anti-Semitism. One thing I can practically guarantee you, though, is that the place it will make its final stand will be the Huffington Post, with the man who claims to have spawned it.

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