Media Matters Hurts Obama

February 28, 2012 8:40 am 0 comments

Media Matters Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, MJ Rosenberg. Photo: Pulse Media.

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 Haman 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 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.”

In addition to demonizing supporter’s of Israeli policies as Israel Firsters, Rosenberg has espoused numerous hateful positions regarding Israel that are in direct conflict with the way President Obama presents himself and his administration to the pro-Israel community. He has called Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose brother was killed by terrorists, a “terrorist,” and Israel’s peace-loving President Shimon Peres, an “uberhawk on Iran” who has “undermined” President Obama. He has denied that Ahmadinejad has ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map, suggesting it was a mistranslation, despite Iranian Revolutionary Guard posters in English demanding “Israel should be wiped out of the face of the world.” He had criticized those who call for punishing sanctions against Iran and has claimed that “if Iran gets the bomb, we are fully capable of containing a nuclear Iran…”

Rosenberg has compared the violence of weapons wielding anti-Israel activists on the Gaza flotilla with “civil rights demonstrators who sat down at segregated lunch counters through the south” and the blockade of Gaza with Jim Crow segregation. (I don’t recall any rockets being fired at schools from Birmingham.)

And he has defended Helen Thomas against charges of anti-Semitism for saying the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and criticized President Obama for “diss[ing] her,” calling instead for her to be “salute[d].”

It should come as no surprise therefore that Rosenberg’s hateful remarks are featured on neo-Nazi hate sites, along with those of David Duke and Patrick Buchanan.

Media Matters, whose spokesman on foreign policy is MJ Rosenberg, is currently associated with the White House where it has met with officials close to the president and with which it has frequent strategy calls. It is well funded by many Democratic contributors, including several prominent Jewish supporters of Israel, who are apparently unaware of Rosenberg’s rants.

Nor do I believe that President Obama is aware that an organization that claims close ties to his administration is saying such bigoted things about AIPAC, which is headed by his close friend Lee “Rosy” Rosenberg (no relation to MJ), and about Jewish supporters of Israeli policies, most of whom voted for him and are probably hoping to vote for him again. Indeed some of the positions that Rosenberg condemns as disloyal to America—punishing sanctions against Iran, the unacceptability of a nuclear armed Iran, support for Israeli security—are President Obama’s declared positions.

To allay all doubt on where the Obama Administration stands on these issues, President Obama should quickly dissociate himself and his administration from Rosenberg’s hate speech. Unless Media Matters fires Rosenberg, the President should also distance himself from Media Matters. He will be asked about this issue when he speaks to Jewish or pro-Israel audiences and when he is interviewed or participates in debates. He should be prepared with a strong answer, just as he was when he was asked about Reverend Wright.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.