Does Guardian columnist Michael Cohen regularly follow the hate site, Mondoweiss?

The embedded hyperlinks in reports and commentaries at the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’ are often quite revealing, as the sources cited ostensibly serve to back up a claim or buttress an argument. (Though, as we’ve demonstrated, in the case of some Guardianistas the links do not in fact back up their claims at all.)  

Additionally, the specific “sources” used by ‘CiF’ and Guardian contributors often serve as a good window into their ideological sympathies. To boot, Guardian columnist Michael Cohen’s commentary excoriating the Israelis for having the audacity to object to the proposed Iranian nuclear deal (Frenemies: the US-Israel relationship gets rocky over Iran and peace talks, ‘CiF’, Nov. 13) leads us to quite radical ideological territory.

cohen

First, there’s this passage:

The Israeli position of no uranium enrichment, even for peaceful purposes, the removal of all enriched uranium from Iran and the shutting down of all enrichment facilities is a negotiation non-starter – and stands in sharp contrast to the US position.

Firstly, Cohen’s claim is at best extremely misleading, as the Israeli position is that any enriched uranium would eventually be used to produce weapons-grade nuclear fuel. Israel doesn’t oppose a ‘peaceful Iranian nuclear program’; they share the belief of most experts that their goal is to use such fuel to produce nuclear weapons. More interestingly, the link embedded in the words ‘Israeli position’ above takes you to an article at the site of the Hamas-friendly Middle East Monitor (MEMO).

memo

In 2011, CiF Watch reported the following about MEMO’s Hamas connections:

Daoud Abdullah, who is the director of MEMO as well as deputy secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and a senior researcher for the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Palestinian Return Centre, has two major claims to fame. The first is his lead of the MCB’s boycott of Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. The second is his signing of the Istanbul Declaration which potentially endorsed terrorism against British service personnel.

Senior editor of MEMO is Ibrahim Hewitt, who also heads ‘Interpal’ – the charity which has been the subject of three investigations by the Charity Commission and named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial in the United States, as well as having been banned in Israel because of its Hamas connections.

And, that’s not all.  The following paragraph in Cohen’s ‘CiF’ piece has an even more interesting link:

First, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that the failure to negotiate a final status agreement with the Palestinians could lead to a “third intifada” and further international “isolation” for Israel. Days later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not only blasted US diplomatic efforts to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program but openly encouraged American Jews to speak out against the potential agreement.

Whilst it’s unclear why Cohen finds it strange that the prime minister of Israel sought out the support of American Jews on an issue vital to his nation’s security, when you open the link in “encouraged American Jews” it takes you here:

mondoweiss

To those not already familiar with the ideological extremism which the Guardian columnist evidently fancies, here are excerpts from an essay I cross posted at Elder of Ziyon in 2010:

Nazi, Soviet, and, more recently, Arab anti-Semitic caricatures often portray Jews as spiders, cockroaches, and Octopuses – dehumanizing Jews by turning them into animals that are destructive, inhuman and evil. The cartoon below, by the notorious anti-Zionist cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, was posted on the “progressive” Jewish anti-Zionist blog, Mondoweiss recently – by a frequent Mondoweiss blogger named Seham – in reference to the Gaza flotilla incident.

image002

That such a cartoon would appear on the pages of Mondoweiss, funded by The Nation Institute is, sadly, not particularly surprising to anyone familiar with the blog. Mondoweiss is an openly anti-Zionist Jewish blog and consistently advances, among other classical antisemitic tropes, the argument that Jews exercise too much power over U.S. policy and that Jewish “progressive” voices on the Middle East are censored by the organized Jewish community. The viciousness and hatred towards Israel, and the state’s Jewish supporters, can’t be overstated. The main blogger, Philip Weiss, states that “Zionism privileges Jews and justifies oppression, and this appalls me.” Weiss has complained that the “suffering of Palestinians that has been perpetrated politically in large part by empowered American Jews who are all over the media and political establishment.”

Weiss has even called for ‘a quota’ on Jews who work in the media. 

Weiss, like fellow liberal, Glenn Greenwald, demonstrating a bizarre left-right anti-Zionist alliance, also has contributed to Pat Buchanan’s paleo-conservative magazine, The American Conservative. Weiss’s alliance with Pat Buchanan seems quite consistent with the blogger’s frequent tropes suggesting the existence of an organized Jewish community so powerful as to render the U.S. President impotent to confront its mendacity. In one post, Weiss complains that the U.S. President’s desire to oppose Israel “colonization” has been “nullified politically because of the Jewish presence in the power structure.”

He went on to warn darkly that, “[One fifth] of [the U.S. Senate] are Jews, even though Jews are just 2 percent of the population. Over half of the money given to the Democratic Party comes from Jews. Obama’s top two political advisers are Jewish, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. The news lately has been dominated by Obama’s aides Kenneth Feinberg and Larry Summers. And what does it mean that the Treasury Secretary gets off the phone with Obama to confer immediately with Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman and Jamie Dimon of Morgan (Dimon’s Jewish; Blankfein would seem to be)? As I have frequently said, the biggest money game in town on the Republican side is Sheldon Adelson, a Zionist Jew.” Such a passage would suggest that the hideously anti-Semitic cartoon posted by Mondoweiss blogger, Seham, isn’t an anomaly. Weiss genuinely seems to see Jewish tentacles wrapped around the Obama Administration.

Weiss has even taken positions which seem to flirt with the political dynamic known as the Red-Green Alliance, as exemplified by British politician George Galloway. In one post Weiss openly expressed support for the terrorist group, Hezbollah. In addition to the group’s open and repeated call for the destruction of Israel, Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has a long and well-documented record of engaging in extreme expressions of anti-Semitism. He has stated, “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” He also said, “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew.” A few days before the Lebanese elections in 2009, Weiss said, “I hope Hezbollah wins….Nobody else seems to care for the poor people in Southern Lebanon.

Mondoweiss also hosts the musings of Max Blumenthal, author of the ‘Israel haters guide to the universe’ praised by such notable ‘activists’ as Gilad Atzmon and David Duke.

The politics of Michael Cohen have been revealed in previous ‘CiF’ essays – where he once suggested that terrorist attacks on Israelis may actually ‘help’ the peace process – but his legitimization of Mondoweiss suggests an especially troubling dynamic whereby antisemitic commentary typically associated with the extreme right garners increasing respectability by those who consider themselves ‘progressive’ voices on the Middle East.

Guardian partner blog, The Arabist, claims Israel lobby is forming ties with “proto-fascists”

When Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ editor, Natalie Hanman, announced, in June, their new partnership with blogs and sites around the web which they will highlight and cross-post, she noted that their decision was motivated by the desire to:

“break down barriers between us and them, between the Guardian’s journalism and the ever-growing wealth of other sources for interesting and informative views on the world….We hope to act as curators for the best of this content…”

The list of left-wing partner sites includes a blog called “The Arabist” – a site run by Issandr El Amrani,  former North Africa analyst at the International Crisis Group.

I’ve published a couple posts on some of their offensive commentary, one which highlighted the blog’s clear suggestion that American Jewish supporters of Israel are more loyal to Israel than their own country – a narrative sadly, becoming increasingly fashionable within certain left-wing circles.

However, a recent post by El Amrani took an attack on the “Israel lobby” a step further.  In a post titled, “Israel and the American Right“, El Amrani, commenting on this Politico story by Ben Smith “about the launch of the Center for American Freedom (CAF), a right-wing answer to the pro-Obama Center for American Progress”, wrote:

 There’s a passage revealing of the ties between the Israel lobby and the increasingly extreme (one might say proto-fascistic — note its militarism and eagerness for war with Iran) aspects of the contemporary American right:

Ties between the Israel lobby and proto-fascists?  His example is this passage from the Politico essay.

A test run for CAF, Goldfarb said, was the Emergency Committee for Israel, which he also advised, and which waged a relentless guerrilla media campaign against the efforts of J Street – a national membership organization with a sizable Washington staff – to create a liberal counterweight in American Middle East policy.”

Its unclear which group El Amrani is tarring with the label of proto-fascist: Emergency Committee for Israel, CAF, or both, but suggestions that there’s something sinister, extreme, or in any way consistent with fascist values (i.e., totalitarian aspirations), about Jews (and non-Jews) lobbying the U.S. to confront the Iranian nuclear threat is comically absurd.

Interestingly, El Amrani penned a post before the Iowa Caucuses in favor of the candidate who’s decidedly right-wing on economic and social issues, racist towards African-Americans, and homophobic: Ron Paul.

El Amrani – in a post which quoted Philip Weiss’s blog, Mondoweiss, a Jewish site which advances antisemitic tropes with abandon (demonstrating that the term “Self-Hating Jew” isn’t always a misnomer) – writes the following:

As an independent who leans progressive (but has a secret Tory heart) and is repulsed at the Democratic party’s support for Israel and the warmongering of the last decade, Paul just makes sense

For El Amrani, any enemy of Israel is, by definition, his friend – demonstrating, again, that anti-Zionism truly does make for strange and morally perverse bedfellows. 

Daniel Levy’s CiF essay on Jewish voters’ concerns with US Israel policy cites influence of Jews’ media megaphone

No, liberals in good standing today simply can not come out and warn explicitly of Jewish control of the media.

But, many of them no longer feel constrained by the moral impulse to avoid such calumnies, and often fashion rhetoric which implicitly warns of Jews’ undue influence on the public debate about Israel.

And, sadly, even many Jews contribute to the chorus of antisemitic narratives concerning Jewish power.

One of the most extreme examples of leftist Jews who advance classic antisemitic tropes is Philip Weiss – creator of Mondoweiss - who literally argued for a limit to the number of Jews in the media allowed to comment on Israeli-related issues, to prevent their corrosive effect on the Israeli-Palestinian debate.

The Guardian’s Jonathan Steele was a bit more subtle, by merely blaming, as the cause of Obama’s failure to stand up to Israel (in a 2010 essay) “the pressure that pro-Israel campaigners put on the mainstream US media.”

Daniel Levy doesn’t go as far as Weiss, but recently went further than Steele in his expression of concern about the effect of Jews on the I-P debate in the U.S.

Levy is the co-founder of left-wing Israel lobbying group, J Street.

Evidence of Levy’s hard left politics can be found in his comments mocking those who “believe” that Hamas is a terrorist group, his characterization of Israel’s creation as a “mistake”, and his view that maybe Israel’s continued existence within any borders may not be desirable.

Specifically, regarding the latter, Levy said:

“Maybe, if this collective Jewish presence [in the Middle East] can only survive by the sword, then Israel really ain’t a good idea.”

Yesterday, Sept. 20, Levy published a piece at CiF, Obama and Israel: Why leading from behind won’t work“, on the degree to which reports about President Obama’s erosion of Jewish support is accurate.

In explaining why reports of American Jews’ defection from Obama (who received 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008), due to his policies towards Israel, are exaggerated, Levy positively cites a recent essay by John Heilemann (which he describes as “excellent”) –  particularly his agreement with Heilemann’s complaint of:

“the outsize attention [Jews] command and the ear-splitting volume of the collective megaphone they (Jews) wield.”

So, Levy and Heilemann evidently believe that the only reason, it seems, that a good percentage of American Jews are concerned about U.S. policy on the I-P Conflict is due to Jews’ disproportionate influence on the media. (See a good take down of Heilemann’s logic, at Pajamas Media)

Can someone please explain to me how such words don’t conjure the political narrative about the “injurious” influence of Jews historically found on the far right?

Is this what the Jewish hard left in the U.S. has resorted to?

It’s as if, in the mind of people such as Levy and Heilemann, merely wearing the liberal uniform should axiomatically render charges of antisemitism against them as absurd.

Sorry, but nothing could be further from the truth. Their political orientation does not grant them such moral impunity.

In fact, while antisemitism of course exists on the right (particularly in some far-right parties in Europe), the central address of antisemitism, and their enablers, in the “respectable” Anglo, Western world – as this blog continually demonstrates – is the media institution which happens to fancy itself the “world’s leading liberal voice.”  

The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland reconciles with the anti-Zionist left

The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland has evidently fully recovered from his jarring experience with vicious anti-Zionists at a debate on BDS in London with participants (including Omar Barghouti) who seek the end of the Jewish state.

According to The JC’s report on the debate, Freedland’s attempts to refute accusations that Israel is an “apartheid” state and that, therefore, BDS was a moral imperative were both repeatedly shouted down by pro-Palestinian activists, which led an evidently shaken Freedland to tell the audience:

“Tonight has been hugely revealing. I thought my disagreement with the boycott movement was because I want to see the end of occupation and you want to see the end of occupation and it was an argument about tactics.

“What has come through loud and clear is your motivation is not actually just the end of occupation but it’s with Israel itself – you have a fundamental problem with it.”

Just how revealing was Freedland’s jarring experience with rabid anti-Zionists? Well, not so jarring that he’s in any more predisposed to take on anti-Zionist such as Joseph Dana.

Joseph Dana, an American-Israeli, is a vocal BDS activist and proponent of the one-state solution, that is, the end of the Jewish state – a position which has endeared him to such vicious anti-Zionists as Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss. (In fact, Dana is a judge at something at Mondoweiss called the Mondo Awards – no doubt an award in great anti-Zionist achievements – a panel which includes Omar Barghouti)

Dana once wrote, “Why anyone, Jew or Arab, would want to see this [Israeli] state continue in its present form is really beyond comprehension.” 

And, he has even echoed the vile logic of CiF’s Slavoj Zizek that modern Zionists have come to resemble old style fascists, in an essay published at the viciously anti-Israel site, DesertPeace.

Recently, Jonathan Freedland Tweeted the following to his friend Joseph Dana (who Tweets under “ibnezra”)

The article Freedland links to, in Ha’aretz, reports on a group of settlers who vandalized an Israeli Army base as part of a “price tag” for the IDF’s recent demolishing of an outpost in Migron.  While the destructive actions of the settlers are of course indefensible, the shallow implication of Freedland’s Tweet encouraged me to respond in kind.

My reply

Beyond the Tweet itself (which was, interestingly, re-Tweeted by Seumas Milne), it’s dispiriting to say the least that Freedland has apparently learned nothing from his encounter with the anti-Zionist crowd in London.

In an essay about his experiences at the debate, published at the Zionist Left site, Engage, Freedland wrote the following:

“What [the debate] confirmed out loud was that the hard core of boycott campaigners do not merely object to the post-1967 occupation- even if that dominates their public rhetoric – but to Israel as Israel.”

Speakers from the floor repeatedly returned to the alleged ills of pre-1967 Israel and of Zionism itself. Indeed, Naomi Foyle, the activist who had acted as a “volunteer consultant” to the South Bank in organising the debate, later blogged a concise response to my claim that the boycott campaign was anti-Israel rather than anti-occupation: “Damn right.”

By finding common cause with one-state solution proponents who vilify Israel and her supporters at every opportunity, such as Joseph Dana, it’s clear Freedland – like many who maintain soft support for Zionism yet don’t want to get their hands dirty in the fight – is not willing to sacrifice alienating those in his progressive political circles for the sake of Israel’s survival.

While I’m a big believer in the idea of “Big Tent Zionism”, the key word in that phrase is, of course, “Zionism”.

Which anti-Israel blogs do Guardian editors read?

Which anti-Israel blogs do the Guardian’s editors read? Whilst the comprehensive answer to that question remains a mystery, we may have been privy to a little insight on that subject this weekend.

On April 24th an article was published on CiF by one Mohammed Talat. All well and good, except that the very same article appeared four days previously on the virulently anti-Israel blog ‘Mondoweiss’. Different title, a few minor editorial changes, but essentially this is exactly the same piece.

Who is Mohammed Talat? According to his CiF bio, he is “an assistant professor of civil engineering at Cairo University and a UC Berkeley alumnus”.  If he is the same Mohammed Talat as this one, (as appears to be the case) then he is also a member of the benign-sounding ‘March 9th Movement for Egyptian University Independence’.  Hamdy Qandil, founder of the March 9th movement, is a supporter of Hamas and Hizbollah and an opponent of normalisation with Israel. Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Ghar, its leader, is also an official of the National Association of Change which advises Mohamed ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood.

For the fortunate few who have yet to become acquainted with the ‘Mondoweiss’ blog, it describes itself thus:

Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective.

It has four principal aims:

  1. To publish important developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy in a timely fashion.
  2. To publish a diversity of voices to promote dialogue on these important issues.
  3. To foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy.
  4. To offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity.

Biography

This blog is maintained by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz. Weiss is 55 and lives in New York state. Horowitz is 37 and lives in New York City.

We maintain this blog because of 9/11, Iraq, Gaza, the Nakba, the struggling people of Israel and Palestine, and our Jewish background.

So ‘progressive’ is the anti-Zionist fringe blog ‘Mondoweiss’ that it promotes BDS and its high priest Omar Barghouti, is a major advocate of the Goldstone Report and has defended Max Blumenthal, who recently threw in his lot with the Iranian government’s ‘Press TV’, and routinely advances anti-Semitic tropes about the injurious effects of Jewish power on American foreign policy.

In fact, it is precisely the sort of far Left anti-Zionist port of call that is a gift that keeps on giving to those who aspire to undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel, particularly if some self-flagellating faux-kosher back-up is required.

 So it would probably have been more surprising to discover that Guardian staff were not reading this blog, but the question that remains is why CiF gave no credit to ‘Mondoweiss’ for this article by Talat. Surely they can’t be worried that their reading habits would make them a laughing-stock among their own audience?   

Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi HEARTS Israel Shamir

H/T Harry’s Place

Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi, frequent and vociferous critic of the Jewish state (See CW posts here, here and here) also just happens to be Facebook friends with notorious anti-Semite, Israel Shamir. (Shamir, its worth noting, is also FB friends with Norman Finkelstein, Lauren Booth, Philip Weiss, and Ken O’Keefe.)

Just to be clear about what a prolific anti-Semite Shamir is, here are a few highlights.

  • He’s said: “It’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.”
  • He’s described Jews as “virus in human form.”
  • He’s endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • He’s Stated: Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews; The world is. Palestine is just the place for the world state headquarters.”

It kind of puts everything she’s written about Israel in perspective doesn’t it?

CiF, and “Jewish” Hollywood

CiF Culture published an article by Paul Harris on November 14th on the subject of the controversy surrounding the award of an honorary Oscar to Jean Luc Godard due to what some perceive as the ageing director’s anti-Semitic opinions.

Is Godard an anti-Semite or just something in the style of that embarrassing, cantankerous old relative whose views on the world were formed in an era very different to the present and whom we all occasionally encounter at family get-togethers? I don’t know, and to be honest I’m not sure that it is important, although Godard’s own reaction to the recent accusations of anti-Semitism do suggest a rather fossilised mindset perhaps not entirely unexpected from someone who spent most of their long life committed to the totalitarian religions of Maoism and Marxism.

“That’s nonsense! What does ‘anti-Semite’ mean? All peoples of the Mediterranean were Semites. So anti-Semite means anti-Mediterranean. The expression was only applied to Jews after the Holocaust and WWII. It is inexact and means nothing.”

In addition, Monsieur Godard may also care to ponder the fact that if one finds oneself being defended by Philip Weiss, that may well be an indication that a review of one’s position is clearly necessary.

Even so, the Academy’s decision to honour Godard’s work is based on professional criteria and whilst the ‘Nouvelle Vague’ did little to impress me personally, such is the case with the majority of other Oscar recipients too. Does it in fact matter? When all’s said and done, the Oscars are of no consequence in the general scheme of things, being little more than an introspective exercise in extravagant mutual self-congratulation within the privileged confines of a closed club. And the fact is that even racists can produce good art, literature or music and boycotting someone’s achievements or creations because of unconnected opinions or beliefs, whilst eminently fashionable in the politically correct world in which we live, is undoubtedly a double-edged sword, as many a Zionist in the European academia, arts and media world is well aware.

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On Mondoweiss, “progressive” Jewish enemies of Israel, and use of the Israel-Nazi analogy

This is a revised version of an essay which I had published by Elder of Ziyon.  The post was specifically about the anti-Zionist Jewish blog, Mondoweiss – and anti-Semitic tropes the site often engages in, such as the Israel = Nazi Germany narrative.  But as such accusations are leveled by Jewish writers and bloggers other than Phillip Weiss’s site, I wanted to expand on my original discourse.  I’m speaking of CiF contributors Tony Greenstein and Slavoj Zizek, as well as Richard Silverstein (of the Orwellian named blog, Tikkun Olam), Norman Finkelstein, UK Jewish MK Gerald Kaufman, and others.  It is worth noting that such grotesque analogies – between the Jewish state (the only free and democratic state in the Middle East), and the fascist Nazi regime which murdered one out of every three Jews in the Holocaust – are leveled by non-Jewish writers at the Guardian, and expressed in CiF’s reader comment section.

Nazi anti-Semitic caricatures during and preceding the Holocaust often portrayed Jews as an octopus-like creature, or some other beast – a category of anti-Semitism known as Zoomorphism. Such depictions would appear in official Nazi publications such as Der Sturmer. These cartoons would sometimes include images of a Jewish beast wrapping its tentacles around the world, representing the malicious control they were purported to exert on international affairs – consistent with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories codified in, among other sources, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Here is one such Nazi cartoon, circa 1938–An octopus with a Star of David over its head has its tentacles encompass the world.

Nazi, Soviet, and, more recently, Arab anti-Semitic caricatures often portray Jews as spiders, cockroaches, and Octopuses – dehumanizing Jews by turning them into animals that are destructive, inhuman and evil. The cartoon below, by the notorious anti-Zionist cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, was posted on the “progressive” Jewish anti-Zionist blog, Mondoweiss recently – by a frequent Mondoweiss blogger named Seham – in reference to the Gaza flotilla incident. (Here’s the link. Scroll to bottom to see cartoon link)

This ugly caricature of the Jewish state manages to both employ Nazi-like anti-Semitic imagery of a beastly and monstrous Jewish collective while simultaneously asserting that the Jewish state has become the new Nazi Germany. (Note the Jewish Magen David on the Israeli flag is morphed into a swastika) Such insidious depictions of Israel and Israelis are mostly seen on extremist websites, and is a phenomenon known as Holocaust inversion, or Abuse of Holocaust Memory.

Philip Weiss Feels Rick Sanchez’s Pain (The “Jews control the media” saga continues)

This is cross posted at the blog, Judeosphere


It is a truth universally acknowledged that Rick Sanchez was the dumbest newscaster on American television.

But, after Rick was fired from CNN after making remarks that the Jews control the media, he received sympathetic coverage from Iran’s Press TV and its U.S. counterpart, Philip Weiss.

At his blog, Mondoweiss, Philip explains that Rick’s “first mistake” was being one of the only “network anchors to give any attention to the Palestinian side of the story.” Philip then adds:

“As for his recent comments about Jews not being an oppressed minority and Jews owning the television networks– it seems to me that these are legitimate subjects for discussion. Maybe his tone was inappropriate, maybe he should have gotten out the kid gloves. But they are legitimate subjects; and the manner of Sanchez’s dispatching is only likely to feed uninformed debate about the nature of the American establishment. Let’s talk about it.”

Ok, let’s talk about it:  Fuck you, Philip.

(For more info on Mondoweiss, see here.)

Playing With Fire

This is a cross-post by Lee Smith at Tablet Magazine

When the comments on the blogs of Stephen Walt, Andrew Sullivan, Philip Weiss, and Glenn Greenwald turn ugly, who should be held accountable? Plus: A Jew-baiter’s lexicon.

Last week this column [1] argued that major media organizations were mainstreaming the opinions of anti-Semitic commenters in the hopes of boosting traffic on their websites. Some of my critics mistakenly believed that I was accusing specific journalists and academics—Stephen Walt, Andrew Sullivan, Philip Weiss, and Glenn Greenwald—of being anti-Semites. Some also charged that I had smeared these writers by incorrectly holding them accountable for the hate that appears in the comments section of their blogs.

These detractors missed the point of my article, which had nothing to do with the indiscernible beliefs of individuals; rather, I was instead illustrating that these pundits, their audiences, and the major media companies hosting their blogs, are complicit in the common work of mainstreaming the kind of anti-Semitic language, ideas, and discourse that were once confined to extremist hate sites on the far right.

Let’s start with a very recent example: After I contacted Foreign Policy’s Editor-in-Chief Susan Glasser for comment before publication of last week’s column, FP.com quickly excised dozens of the most egregiously anti-Semitic comments that stuck to Walt’s posts. Perhaps they should have also vetted some of the links that Walt himself embeds for the edification of his readers. Consider this recent post [2] where Walt has inserted a link under the name Ariel Sharon, which leads to a 2002 article [3] on the Media Monitors Network website:

The name Safire, as in William Safire of the New York Times, is a name they recognize well at the State Department. He is one of the high priests of Sulzberger’s New York Times empire which has a franchise to dictate terms to the State Department. Of course, it is Safire himself who appears to be taking in dictation work these days from his old pal, Ariel Sharon. Before you read on, note that the Boston Globe is also a publication owned by Sulzberger. Is there a civil war breaking out among the Yiddish Supremacists? Or is Sulzberger trying to deflect some of the damage that is bound to come his way as a result of transforming his media empire into just another corner of the Israeli Lobby? Who cares? Let Sulzberger explain his shadow government’s antics.

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