Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Jerry Seinfeld to Make Comedy Debut in Israel

    Jerry Seinfeld to Make Comedy Debut in Israel – Famed Jewish-American comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld is slated to make his comedic debut in Israel later this year. Seinfeld, who was born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents from the Ukraine and Syria, will perform in Tel Aviv’s Mitvtachim Menorah Arena on Dec. 19 as part of a world tour. The comedian is most known for his enormously popular NBC sitcom Seinfeld, which ran from 1989-1998 and is widely considered one of the greatest TV series of all time. […]

    Read more →
  • Food Israel New Video Shows American Kids Reviewing Israeli Food After Tasting Dishes for First Time (VIDEO)

    New Video Shows American Kids Reviewing Israeli Food After Tasting Dishes for First Time (VIDEO)

    A new video circulating online shows eight American children reacting — mostly positively — to their first taste of the famed Israeli eggplant salad/dip, known in Hebrew as “salat hatzilim” and in other parts of the Levant as baba ganoush. The clip, created by, features the youngsters trying a variety of exotic dishes from other countries as well, such as Hawaiian poi, Colombian pork belly and Russian borscht. The Israeli delicacies served include schnitzel, slices of pita, hummus and the baba ganoush salad. “If someone […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Pioneers/Philanthropists ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit

    ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit – Forbes magazine announced Tuesday that it will host its Under 30 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Summit in Israel for the first time in April 2016. The conference is expected to bring together some 600 young entrepreneurs, with 200 from Europe, 200 from the U.S., and 200 from Israel. The summit has been hosted in Philadelphia for the past two years. It will include presentations, speeches, a pitch competition, and cultural immersion opportunities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Beliefs and concepts What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David?

    What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David? –  “What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?” That’s what visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City asked last week. The wedding gown, created by leading Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi, is part of the 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, an event that blew into town as the Sukkot holiday got underway. Mizrachi, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, created the dress that floats majestically over the Tower of David, the main exhibition site […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    Israel is a holiday destination on many travelers’ bucket lists. No matter the style of holiday you are after, Israel has the answer. Whether you prefer to relax by the beach, hike up mountains in the desert, visit religious and historical sites, eat your way through the country or just enjoy some retail therapy, your journey through Israel will be one to remember. While there are obviously so many things to see and do, here is a list of 10 of […]

    Read more →
  • Pioneers/Philanthropists US & Canada Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO

    Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO – Jewish American fashion mogul Ralph Lauren announced his plan to step down as chief executive officer of the renowned fashion brand. The head of Gap Inc’s Old Navy brand will take over the position. The 75-year-old Lauren, who founded Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1967, will continue to serve as executive chairman and will continue leading the fashion house’s design team, according to a statement by the company. After the announcement, Ralph Lauren shares rose 3.79 percent while Gap shares […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports US & Canada Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish boxer Dustin Fleischer, who said his quest is to become the first world champion descended from a Holocaust survivor, stayed unbeaten with a first-round knockout. Fleischer, nicknamed “The White Tiger,” moved to 4-0 with the defeat of Ira Frank on Saturday night in Beach Haven, New Jersey, near his home, he reported after the fight on his Facebook page. The 26-year-old welterweight has won all his bouts by knockout. Read full story at JTA.

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Pioneers/Philanthropists Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Renowned New York attorney Sandor (Sandy) Frankel, one of four trustees of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was in Israel earlier this month to look at additional philanthropic options and to observe the progress of those endeavors already funded – to the tune of multi-millions. Frankel, who recently joined the prestigious Park Avenue law firm Otterbourg P.C., met with Israeli politicians and other bigwigs to get a sense from them about which projects in the country […]

    Read more →