Friday, July 2, 2010

MJ Rosenberg At TPM

A commentator over at Solomonia named Bruce Levine pointed me to an MJ Rosenberg article from December 2009 at Talking Points Memo. It's informative because Rosenberg not only peddles his usual anti-AIPAC line but relies on shoddy journalism to make that happen...again. It's short so I'm going to use a screenshot just in case it disappears, but here's the original link.

Here is the article that Rosenberg links to from Ha'aretz. The quote about "a thorough background check" is unsupported by any kind of evidence, which leads me to conclude that the author of the article was being facetious. In other words, although the American Jewish community might thoroughly look at candidates that they think might be anti-Israel a "background check" doesn't literally happen.

Rosenberg, on the other hand, takes that idea and runs with it, declaring it truth. He sounds like a conspiracy theorist when he claims that someday there might be a case where "everyone in the room is an AIPAC guy," especially when you consider that even if American Jews do take a look at every candidate, they couldn't possibly stop every single one that they didn't like from getting elected. Talk about granting AIPAC fictional superpowers! Let's not even get into why an article like that wouldn't appear in American media.

Especially when you consider that it is Rosenberg alone who assumes that the American Jewish community considers "pro-Israel" to be "AIPAC." As far as he knows a candidate just needs to be in support of Israel's right to exist and defend itself and American Jews will leave him or her alone. No one needs to swear allegiance to Netanyahu or any Israeli policy, Jews just want to know that their concerns are being heard in Congress. Which, last time I checked, was the way democracy is supposed to work.

The Solomonia commentator called Rosenberg out on his misrepresentation of the Ha'aretz article. Click below for Rosenberg's answer.

Here's the original link. We'll go through it together, I'm going to edit it slightly for length. Rosenberg starts with an ad hominem attack and then talks about how the tide is turning against AIPAC. Then we have this:
"I admire J Street and it is doing God's work by serving as an alternative to AIPAC no matter what it says publicly."
Remember, this is a secular, assimilated American Jew talking about "God's work." If I wrote here that the IDF was doing God's work in the West Bank, I think readers would be rightfully unnerved. I am certainly unnerved by Rosenberg's sudden and brief spiritual awakening on the subject of J Street.

Secondly, from the perspective of a pro-Israel observer, J Street really doesn't strike me as a real "alternative" to AIPAC. As I have written before, J Street constantly says they are pro-Israel, but when the world comes baying for Israel's blood J Street is right up there with them. One would hope that a pro-Israel lobby, at least, would be willing to wait to get all the information before passing judgment against Israel, but J Street didn't do that. AIPAC did. There isn't much of a choice there, in my opinion.
"But it is an intermediate step, a way station (a nachtasyl in Herzl's words) to a place where AIPAC is replaced with...nothing. And American Middle East policy will be made with reference only TO US interests, one of which (but only one) is Israel's security."
Now remember this is someone who claims that he is pro-Israel and loves Israel and wants it to succeed. Even his support of J Street is apparently another means to an end, the goal being a USA who is not "pro-Israel" but is instead completely self-interested. Presumably if Middle East policy is made only a basis of what is in America's interests, Rosenberg wouldn't mind if America sold Israel down the river in exchange for cheaper gas from Saudi Arabia. That hardly sounds like the mindset of someone who is truly pro-Israel.
"Foreign countries are entitled to lobbies, registered lobbies, nut they are not entitled to block a President from choosing whoever he chooses to serve as his adviser."
 Again, notice the implication that AIPAC is not a lobby made up of Americans but is instead populated by foreigners. Nor did AIPAC stop the President from choosing Robert Malley. According to my research, AIPAC attacked him but they didn't have the power to stop the Pres even if they wanted to. They just made a big fuss about it and he backed down. Which, in my understanding, is the way democracies are supposed to work (kind of).
"Nor are they entitled to press a President to hire only Jewish and pro-Israel activists as Middle East mediators. At Camp David in 2000, the Palestinian delegation (including Arafat) politely joined in Shabbat prayers on a Friday night with their Israeli and American counterparts, every one of whom was Jewish. Can anything be more ridiculous? Or offensive. Yes, one thing, every proposal submitted to the Palestinians by the Americans was drafted by the Israelis;some had their handwriting on it."
I lack the time to pour through the history and check all of this but I find it difficult to believe that only Jews were mediators. As for "pro-Israel activists," what does that mean? We've already established that Rosenberg thinks everyone to the right of him is "neoncons" who are bringing down Israel with their stupidity, so somehow I can't help but wonder if he's not the right person to be asking about it. When I read The Much Too Promised Land no mention of "Israeli drafting of American proposals" was made, and I know Aaron David Miller is no activist.

"This is the way it was. But not for long, no matter how much the Israeli-firsters weep, wail and worry, worry, worry."
"Israel-firsters", huh? Thanks David Duke.


  1. I am quite convinced that MJ is in the pay, either directly or indirectly, of the vast international funding network traceable back to Saudi and Kuwaiti money that ultimately reaches NGOs and opinion makers that shields the donors from their anti-Israel operations.

    If true it would be ironic that someone bitching and moaning about AIPAC would in fact be acting on behalf of foreign interests. These networks have become so pervasive it has become almost impossible for an independent journalist to dare undertake it's exposure. Oh my G-d, I've become a conspiracy nut!

  2. MJ Rosenberg is a nutcase as obsessed with the existence of a fictional conspiracy as the kind of the people the Left used to deride as cranks. Only the cranks today are in the Left's own house and they're given respectability and a forum. So that is where Rosenberg gets a place to influence millions on the HP even though he is absolutely dead wrong about the influence of AIPAC upon the US government and its Middle East policy and he knows next to nothing about Israel!

    Today, they produce "experts" qualified only by the sheer amount of ignorance they hold on a subject they should be familiar with. Rosenberg appears to be as familiar with American Judaism and with Israel as some people are familiar with the technology of the wheel in pre European Amerindian cultures.

  3. 一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼............................................................