Monday, April 9, 2012

MJ Rosenberg's Attempt To Save Face (Part 1)

Well, it finally happened. Huffington Post blogger MJ Rosenberg finally got his greatest wish: to be a victim of the eeeeevil "Israel Lobby." Over the weekend the news came out that he is leaving (not being fired from) Media Matters, the same way he left (was not fired from) AIPAC, which I assume you already know about. This come on the heels of a couple of embarrassing misstatements/lies from Mr. Rosenberg, such as calling a journalist "racist" based on faulty information, blaming a Gazan baby's death on Israel, and the truth about where the term "Israel firster" came from being exposed by CAMERA.

So let's take a look at the story of why Rosenberg left. Adam Kredo has an analysis of the story but Rosenberg himself also has something to say, in the glorious Huffington Post of course. So let's take a look:
"It was provoked by all the right-wing "pro-Israel" types who don't believe I quit and insist I was fired because I attacked the dual holy of holies: Israeli government policies and the Israel lobby....They are wrong. I left on my own, despite the protestations of MMFA management."
I think we all know that Rosenberg considers Matt and I to be one of those "right-wing 'pro-Israel' types" for daring to disagree with him about some issues. If I'm going to be perceived that way, then fine but in that case than let me speak for that group: We never had a problem with Mr. Rosenberg's views. All the way back in November of last year we put down in black and white that it wasn't what Mr. Rosenberg thought with which we took issue but the way he expressed himself. I don't need to reiterate what we've been saying for months, but in short we didn't like how he used anti-Jewish "dog whistles" every time someone disagreed with him about anything. And because he was so on the left, people were always disagreeing with him, so he was always Jew baiting somebody on the pages of the Huffington Post.

And that is not a strawman of the "Israel Lobby's" position. If someone would like to find me a person who isn't a Rosenberg sympathizer who said that he is disliked for his political positions and not lies and use of terms like "Israel firster," please show it to me. People like Alan Dershowitz, the Lid, and HPM have all made it clear what we do and don't like about Rosenberg's writings. He is in fact strawmanning us by making it sound like it's about his political views when that can't be further from the truth.

So anyway he said that he left to protect Media Matters because their work slamming FOX News is just so important. Very well. But quickly he gets to another strawman, this time returning to the problem of "Israel firsters:"
" use of the term Israel Firsters, by which I meant those people who put the interests of the Netanyahu government over those of the United States, people who wouldn't hesitate to criticize an Obama or a Bush but defend anything and everything that comes out of a right wing Israeli prime minister's mouth. This dynamic did not apply to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin for obvious reasons."
Yes, those obvious reasons are that Yitzhak Rabin was perceived as being left wing. Unfortunately for MJR we've been keeping track of when and where he uses the term "Israel firsters," including when he solemnly swore he wouldn't use it any more, a promise which lasted all of two days:

But let's not get distracted: in the above paragraph Rosenberg actually provides two definitions of Israel firsters: Those who put Israel's interests over Americas and those who criticize American Presidents (apparently criticizing Bush is not acceptable either) but will defend Israeli politicians (but only right wing ones). The hypocrisy in this case is back in full force: Remember when left wingers will say that America is their country so they hold it to higher standards than foreign ones? Or that they feel more responsible for their own people than they do others? Apparently if Jews do this they are "Israel firsters."

Rosenberg can copy and paste his definitions all he likes but Matt and I have found what an "Israel firster" is endlessly changes: He first claimed that IFs are those who dare to think Netanyahu is right and Obama is wrong, and then said that IFs are those who don't swallow Palestinian propaganda at every turn, that IFs are "anti peace," then that IFs are simply people who don't hate AIPAC, and finally that IFs are those who don't mirror Rosenberg's politics. I think he should have just stuck with the last one, as it mirrors his agenda most clearly. And that's not even including a laughable attempt to declare that "Israel firsters" are really "Netanyahu firsters," a talking point that not even MJR could stick with.

But it really doesn't matter how he defines "Israel firsters." The fact that he uses it at all is the problem and shockingly he still doesn't seem to understand that. I thought that he might have seen the truth when he made the now false claim that he wouldn't use it any more, but even then he explained that he stopped not because it's morally wrong or because it spreads anti-Jewish canards, but because it was counterproductive. Which if you recall is the same logic the Palestinian supporters use to argue against terrorism.

I legitimately don't understand why Mr. Rosenberg still doesn't realize that it's the way he expresses himself and not the views that he holds that got him into such hot water. I thought that he may have engaged in some rare self-reflection when he promised not to use "Israel firster" any more even though it didn't last, but that wasn't the case. Perhaps he'd rather believe himself to be a victim of the lobby than of his own actions, and we will see that to be proven in the next installment. Stay tuned.


  1. I woke up to this news and can only say that I am thrilled that MJ has been exposed and humiliated. This may seem shallow, but allow me a few minutes of feeling vindicated as someone who has posted countless retorts to MJ's lies on the HuffPo. I assume he will find a vile website that will allow him to continue posting is screeds, only this time unfettered by any sense of decorum.


  2. Being in complete agreement with Califlefty, I'm also happy to see that MJ's rants and lies have come back to bite him in the arse. Like a true Palestinian apologist, he will point the finger elsewhere, and it is, and will be everyone else's fault but his own. MJ, like the Palestinians that he excuses and defends, will never take responsibility for anything they've said or done, or the actions and effects that they cause.
    They will never admit responsibility in any of it, in their world there is no such thing as "cause and effect", nor are they ever the cause of anything, only the victims of the effect.

    MJ is proof of the saying "What goes around, comes around". Poetic justice.
    Maybe he can go to ElectricIntifada or Mondoweiss.
    He certainly seems a good fit for either one.

  3. He'll get his 15 minutes at MSNBC, probably Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow, then it's off to PressTV for MJ.

  4. The vile website that will allow him to continue posting will probably be Huffington post.
    We'll see...


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