Monday, February 11, 2013

MJ Rosenberg Dreams a Dream of No Jews in Government

Unemployed hobo MJ Rosenberg is back on the Huffington Post this time to paint a word picture of a beautiful world, a world where Jews and supporters of Jews aren't allowed to have a voice in American government, a world where there is no Israel lobby. You would think an article complaining about a minority voice having a say in government would be shouted down on the Huffington Post, but not apparently when that minority is Jews.

Rosenberg leads off (after a butchered John Lennon rewrite) with a blatant lie:
"I'm in good company when I contemplate a world without the lobby. Upon his election as prime minister in 1992, Yitzhak Rabin told the main component of the lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), that Israel would be better off without it and that it did more harm than good. He wanted AIPAC out of the way because he was planning a peace initiative with the Palestinians and knew that AIPAC would try (as it did) to thwart his efforts."
I have a rule when I read MJ Rosenberg: If he's talking about actual facts, double check his work.

If you follow the link he posted, it's to a New York Times article from 1992 about Rabin's statement about AIPAC. Rosenberg claims Rabin told AIPAC "Israel would be better off without it" and the lobby group "does more harm than good." But what does the article actually say?
"They [AIPAC] had done more harm than good, waging battles "that were lost in advance," he [Rabin] said. They should not pursue their own initiatives but rather take instructions from the Israeli Embassy in Washington. In a particularly stinging comment, he complained that they had failed "to bring Israel one single cent.""
Well, Rosenberg got the "more harm than good" part right. But he blatantly lied about Rabin saying Israel would be better off without AIPAC (that phrase does not appear in the entire article and no Rabin quotes turned up on Google when I searched for it). Nor is there anything in the article about Rabin seeking peace with the Palestinians and AIPAC preventing it.

If anything, the article is reporting that Rabin doesn't think the lobby is following the Israeli government enough or being effective enough. Did you read the part about how AIPAC should "take instructions from the Israeli Embassy in Washington"? MJ Rosenberg either didn't or he pretended it wasn't there so he could claim Rabin supported his position.

I think I've pretty well established how much Rosenberg lied at this point, but I just wanted to lastly say according to Michael Oren, when President Ford attempted to "reassess" the American relationship with Israel, "Rabin responded by mobilizing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee --- AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby --- against the president." Odd behavior from a guy who didn't want AIPAC to exist, no?

Let's move on to Rosenberg's next lie:

He moves on to his favorite proof of the lobby's omnipotent power, Chuck Hagel having to answer questions in order to become Secretary of Defense. Here comes the lie (emphasis added by me):
"In fact, neither hearing should have been about Israel. Although both the heads of the Department of Defense and the CIA have some involvement with Israel (the CIA director actually more) Israel is not a major concern of either one. Nonetheless, the Hagel hearing was almost entirely about Israel while Brennan's was about actual CIA policies, largely drone strikes and interrogation practices."
Here's a link to the contemptible Mondoweiss site, I know it's a terrible place but it's also the only place I could find a full transcript of Hagel's Senate hearings. Take a look for yourself and decide if it's "almost entirely about Israel". It's not. The hearing ranges from cyber security and defense spending cuts to nuclear-armed Iran. Yeah, Israel comes up some, but mostly in the context of a nuclear Iran. The hearing is not "almost entirely about Israel" by any stretch of the imagination. Another Rosenberg lie.

That pretty much wraps it up, actually. Rosenberg whines more about how the mean old lobby is forcing Hagel and the senators to do it's bidding, but at this point his credibility is shot and I don't feel the need to debunk anymore.

I do want to point you to one of the top comments from the thread, though:

Huffington Post approved and manufactured through their mouthpiece, MJ Rosenberg.

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