Lobbyist privately calls on journalists to hector Schumer & Pelosi about ‘anti-Semites’ at Democratic thinktank
(Mondoweiss) -- by Philip Weiss --
Justin Elliott has an important story up at Salon on an email list of rightwing journalists called "The Freedom Community" to which former AIPAC staffer Josh Block sent a call-to-arms yesterday. Block was telling the list to flog Ben Smith's important piece in Politico on a new rift inside the Democratic Party over Israel, evidenced by bloggers critical of Israel at the Center for American Progress. Block smears them. Elliott:
Block’s email to The Freedom Community list arrived under the subject line “Important piece to echo and the research to do it….” – a reference to the Politico story. He wasted no time throwing around more accusations of anti-Semitism....What I find interesting about Block's call-to-arms is that this stuff transcends party lines: the lobby is there to ensure that neither party can stake out political ground that's critical of Israel, which is Block's anxiety now re the Center for American Progress. Salon is right to call this list "rightwing." But if a rightwing activist on abortion issues sent out an email to rightwing friends saying The Democrats are pro-abortion-- no one would care, they'd say, If you care about abortion, vote Republican. But Block's constituency, the lobby, obviously is much wider than one party or another, it's its own party and wants to keep it that way. So when he says Call Pelosi, Call Chuck Schumer, he's asking for the Democrats to excommunicate the good folks at Center for American Progress-- just as he'd turn around and ask Republicans to excommunicate writers supporting Ron Paul. He's enforcing orthodoxy on our political debate. And Democrats fear this assault because they fear they could lose a pillar of the party, Jews. (Remember that LBJ gave up the southern white vote for civil rights...)...MORE...LINK
“This kind of anti-Israel sentiment is so fringe it’s support by CAP is outrageous, but at least it is out in the open now — as is their goal – clearly applauded by revolting allies like the pro-HAMAS and anti-Zionist/One State Solution advocate Ali Abunumiah and those who accuse pro-Israel Americans of having ‘dual loyalties’ or being ‘Israel-Firsters’ – to shape the minds of future generations of Democrats,” Block writes. “These are the words of anti-Semites, not Democratic political players.”
The email continues by encouraging journalists on The Freedom Community list to ask Democratic members of Congress about the story.
“I wonder if Steny Hoyer or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or Chuck Schumer or Dick Durban or James Clyburn agree with CAP?” Block asks. “I wonder if they will say they disagree and condemn this stuff and expect better. You know how I feel – look at the below — and ask them how they feel about this discourse from CAP and Media Matters.”
He goes on: “YOU SHOULD AMPLIFY this. And use the below [research] to attack the bad guys.”
What follows is thousands of words of opposition research focusing on CAP writers Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, and Ali Gharib and Media Matters’ M.J. Rosenberg. I’ve posted the full text below.