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November 12, 2013 1:54 pm

Jewish Daily Forward ‘Top 50″² Includes Promoter of Anti-Semitism Glenn Greenwald

avatar by Adam Levick

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Glenn Greenwald. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Jewish Daily Forward 2013 ‘Top 50‘ represents their annual survey of the 50 men and women who’ve made “a significant impact on the Jewish story” over the past year, and is informed by “rules require that every one is an American citizen whose actions speak with a Jewish inflection.” Their 2013 list includes such prolific Jewish voices as Philip Roth and Ruth Wisse – as well as a former Guardian columnist we’ve commented on quite frequently:

Their selection of Glenn Greenwald is explained thusly:

The biggest story of 2013, and possibly the decade, has been the exposure of the National Security Agency’s domestic and international surveillance program, including the extent of intelligence-sharing between America and Israel. At the center of this story — its conduit — is Glenn Greenwald.

As a columnist for the Guardian, Greenwald came into contact with the NSA security contractor Edward Snowden in May. Snowden was ready to reveal the extent of the agency’s spying, and Greenwald’s first story ran on June 6. At that point, Greenwald became the world’s most important journalist — though some question whether he is a journalist or an advocate.

Greenwald, 46, is based in Brazil, where he lives with his partner, but he grew up in New York and Florida and worked as a constitutional and civil rights lawyer before he started a blog in 2005 and saw his career take off.

Though his fame over the past year has been due to the NSA revelations, Greenwald’s columns, at Salon and the Guardian, frequently dealt with Israel in a critical way.

Whilst the far-left orientation of the paper, which once ran a glowing profile of a prolific opponent of Israel’s continued existence known as Ali Abunimah, at least partly explains the honor they bestowed to Greenwald, their characterization of his politics as ‘critical of Israel’ represents a simply egregious deception.

As we’ve demonstrated continually, it is not at all an exaggeration to characterize Greenwald’s hostility to Israel (and the U.S.) as similar to the hate rhetoric of Islamist extremists – a fact that may in part explain Greenwald’s defense of Hamas, Hezbollah, and even, on at least one occasion, an American Al Qaeda operative.

Additionally, to get a sense of The Jewish Daily Forward’s ideological airbrush of Greenwald – employing the Guardian tactic of characterizing commentators who engage in antisemitism as merely “critical of Israel” – here is a collection passages from his columns that ‘deal with Jews in a critical way‘.

  • Large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups are the ones agitating for a US war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devoted to promoting Israel’s interests.” – Feb. 3, 2007, Unclaimed Territory
  • “The dominant narrative among neocons and the media is that, deep down in his heart, [Obama] may be insufficiently devoted to Israel to be president of the United States. Has there ever been another country to which American politicians were required to pledge their uncritical, absolute loyalty the way they are, now, with Israel?“  May 13, 2008 Salon
  • If you don’t…pledge your loyalty to our policies toward Israel and to Israel, what will happen to you is what just happened to Charles Freeman. You’ll be demonized and have your career ended.“ – Jan. 8, 2009, interview on Hugh Hewitt  Show
  • “Those [American Jews] who favor the attack on Gaza are certainly guilty…of such overwhelming emotional and cultural attachment to Israel and Israelis that they long ago ceased viewing this conflict with any remnant of objectivity.” – Jan. 4, 2009 Salon
  • “So absolute has the Israel-centric stranglehold on American policy been that the U.S. Government has made it illegal to broadcast Hezbollah television stations and has even devoted its resources to criminally prosecuting and imprisoning satellite providers merely for including Hezbollah’s Al Manar channel in their cable package.  Not even our Constitution’s First Amendment has been a match for the endless exploitation of American policy, law and resources to target and punish Israel’s enemies.” – March 9, 2009, Salon
  • The real goal [of the Israel lobby], as always, was to ensure that there is no debate over America’s indescribably self-destructive, blind support for Israeli actions. [Charles] Freeman’s critics may have scored a short-term victory in that regard, but the more obvious it becomes what is really driving these scandals, the more difficult it will be to maintain this suffocating control over American debates and American policy.” – March 11, 2009 Salon
  • “The point is that the power the [Israel lobby] exercises [is] harmful in the extreme. They use it to squelch debate, destroy the careers and reputations of those who deviate from their orthodoxies, and compel both political parties to maintain strict adherence to an agenda that is held by a minority of Americans; that is principally concerned with the interests of a foreign country; and that results in serious cost and harm to the United States. In doing so, they insure not only that our policies towards Israel remain firmly in place no matter the outcome of our elections, but also that those policies remain beyond the realm of what can be questioned or debated by those who want to have a political future.” – March 11, 2009 Salon
  • “[Charles] Freeman is being dragged through the mud by the standard cast of accusatory Israel-centric neocons (Marty Peretz, Jon Chait, Jeffrey Goldberg, Commentary, The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb, etc. etc., etc.).” –March 9, 2009 Salon
  • “Meanwhile, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Congress — Rep. Anthony Weiner, last seen lambasting President Obama for daring to publicly mention a difference between the U.S. and Israel — today not only defended Israel’s attack. – June 1, 2010 Salon
  • This is a truly disgusting spectacle…commentators — all of whom are writing well within the range of mainstream opinion on Israel — are being publicly smeared early in their careers as anti-Semites as part of a coordinated, ongoing campaign planned by Josh Block and carried out by numerous journalists with large media platforms, and aided and abetted by Jewish groups trading on their credibility to suppress debate. – Jan 19, 2012 Salon

On The Jewish Daily Forward’s history page, we are told that the paper (which originally launched as a Yiddish-language daily in 1897) has fought, over the years, for social justice, and has been “among the nation’s most eloquent defenders of democracy and Jewish rights.”

So, perhaps the paper’s editor, Jane Eisner, can explain how they can reconcile their commitment to promoting social justice and defending Jewish rights with their decision to honor an extreme ideologue who trades in explicitly racist narratives about the injurious influence of ‘disloyal’ American Jews on the body politic.

Adam Levick is the managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

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  • To refer to fratricidal leftish ex-Jews like Glen Gruenwaldt (let’s spell it correctly, folks )as ‘Jews’ is slanderous. He is no more a Jew than Hitler, said to have had a Jewish grandfather. Those who choose to side with the enemy ARE the enemy. Gruenwaldt sind nicht Judeschen. Shovel more bodies into the ovens, Glen. I’m sure all your German ancestral relatives murdered in the European Holocaust would be so proud of the mensch you think you are.

  • Jeffrey Yahooda.Sternberg

    Now, here are my concerns, from my recent reading of this publication. There was a report on Brooklyn College extending an invitation to a pro-Palestinian speaker, well known for his anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli slanders and slurs the other day. I grew up in Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn College, many years ago, and the foolishness of the staff of the CEO with her remaining intentionally silent in their citing bogus freedom of speech claims, in a case where this the Administration is inciting Jew baiting more than troubling to me. It is morally outrageous and contemptible.

    If I were the CEO of CUNY, I would hand the lady her walking papers, publically accuse her of dereliction of duty in promulgating civility and intelligent inquiry on campus as an educator.

    Any one care to comment?

    I for one

  • Steven Kalka

    Pat Buchanan seems to believe that by throwing Jews under the bus, peace will break out amongst other warring factions. That is, appeasement of the Islamists will get them to stop their war against everyone else, including Christians.

  • Lynne T

    A gay Jew who finds common cause with the xenophobic, homophobic, miscogynistic facists of Hezbollah, Hamas, et all, is largely informed by a personality disorder.

    • Jeffrey Yahooda.Sternberg

      I really liked your comment. It was witty and to the point about a writer, who is largely irrelevant in most matters of meaningful concern to Jews. That he speaks and writes twaddle, reveling in his notoriety, earns him his paycheck. That’s about it. On the Snowden matter, this is a concern of the staff of Attorney General Holder’s, for the USAG to prosecute, and bring him to justice, as I see it.

  • Prof. Dershowitz, blasts anyone who criticizes Likud’s
    actions. He also says he too is not in accord with some of Likud actions. but all criticisms should not be made public since Israel is small and vulnerable.

    However many Likud actions do not serve Israel’s self-interest. For example- Israel selling weapons to South American dictators, helping apartheid South Africa build an atomic bomb, hiring and training MEK Iranian terrorists, helping Reagan violate the Boland Amendment by supplying arms to the Contras, etc., etc.

    Silence also does not serve Israel’s long term self-interest.

    • Jeffrey Yahooda.Sternberg

      Silence is a very un-Jewish trait. Comment is what we do, some more informed than others.

  • Prof. Dershowitz, who can be counted on to rebuff anyone
    who has anything critical to say about Likud, also says

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    Glenn Greenwald recently appeared and spoke at a Marxist-Leninist-Communist convocation on the West Coast. You can check it out on the Internet. Mr. Greenwald simply is a Marxist-Leninist-Communist..that’s the whole story in a nutsehell.

    • Lynne T

      You’re on the wrong thread MARTY.

  • Bill Hicks

    Jane Eisner doesn’t have to explain anything to you. Your type is the cause of much anti-semitism, not Greenwald. Your type will hasten Israel’s demise with your vile and violent rhetoric, not Greenwald.

    • Jack

      Your type is what promotes antisemitism in today’s world.

    • Efram

      It actually seems as if you are the type to cause much of anti-Semitism. It is the old wheeze of ‘be good Jews, don’t make waves.’ It has always been nonsense, and is nonsense now. If you want to criticize Israel, do it in the context of the region. You point out ONE SINGLE ATROCITY committed by Israel that is greater than the atrocities committed daily by its ‘neighbors.’ Greenwald is the typical bend over backwards Jew. So desparate is he to prove he is ‘a good Jew.’ he spews lies. That represents him in total.

    • So, ‘Jews who complain about antisemitism cause antisemitism’? I’m not sure what this even means, other than representing another shameful example of Jews being blamed for the racism that is directed towards them. But perhaps you can try to defend what Greenwald has said, and tell me how questioning the national loyalty of Jewish Americans, and evoking the ‘injurious’influence of Jewish money on American politics, is not in fact antisemitic.

  • You can read this if you want to get up to speed on the antisemitic history of such ideas.


    The hard question here is, to what extent are Greenwald’s views accurate and reality-based? Simply listing his criticisms does not refute them.

    • Mike P.

      The issue here, Cynic, is the way he discusses these controversies. Rather than addressing the merits of the arguments of each side, rather than asking the question of which opinion is better for the U.S., instead he delegitimates any view that may be beneficial to Israel as automatically being bad for the U.S. and as automatically coming from people who do not care about the U.S.

      The reality may actually be the other way around. It could be the case, in fact, that Jewish values and Israeli values and American values are similar–pro-freedom and pro-human and pro-progress–and therefore, that those who assume that what is good for Israel is bad for America are the truest threat to actual American values.

      I do not believe, therefore, that Israel-firsters are a real issue. I believe the real threat to American values are the Israel-lasters. They will place American interests last, so long as Israel loses against its enemies. Frankly, this is what Hitler did in Germany. He bit off more than he could chew in Eastern Europe because that was where the Jews lived. It resulted in Germany being destroyed. Was he a patriot? Or blinded by hate?

      Just to bring it all home, and I don’t want to make any assumptions about you, but to use an example that everyone is familiar with, Pat Buchanan is blinded by hate. He is therefore not capable of being a good patriot and determining what is actually good for the U.S.

      Simple example: suppose that Israel figured out a way to defeat Islamic radicalism and asked the U.S. to help. People like Pat Buchanan and Glenn Greenwald would veto the idea and accuse anyone who supported it of dual-loyalty (classical anti-Semitic nonsense). In fact, those who would support the plan would be the true patriots.

      Israel has already saved the U.S. from a nuclear Saddam–1981–and from a nuclear Assad–2007…against the wishes of the U.S. administration…so obviously, the U.S. administration itself does not always represent the American interest…and that was under Reagan and Bush Jr, no less.

      Glenn never asks these questions fairly in his reporting. He simply concludes that what is good for Israel is bad for America and the best thing for America is probably whatever is the worst case for Israel. So Glenn is an Israel-laster. Therefore, he is not a patriotic American, he is simply a hater.

      • Chaim

        Glen, thanks for your well stated response to Cynic. I often wonder why people like Bill Hicks and Cynic read websites like this one. It seems to me their only reason for doing so is to post hateful comments against Israel and its Jewish supporters.

      • Efram

        Bravo! Very well said.