Has the Israel Lobby Gone Too Far?

Will a recent attack on progressive journalists help spark a sea-change in the debate over Middle East policy?

December 16, 2011

When Josh Block, a former communications director for the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), sent an “oppo dump” about a group of progressive journalists and bloggers at the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Media Matters to a list-serv of conservative journalists and asked them to push the narrative that the writers were echoing “the words of anti-Semites,” he probably didn't think much of it.

After all, this is how self-identified “pro-Israel” activists have long policed the discourse surrounding the Middle East conflict and the “special relationship” that exists between the United States and Israel.

In 2009, an influential Israeli think-tank carefully cherry-picked posts from the Huffington Post, Daily Kos and Salon, quoted them out of context and concluded that “progressive blogs and news sites in the United States are a new field where Jew-hatred, in both its classic and anti-Israeli forms, manifests itself.” Avocates of maintaining the destructive status quo in the Middle East have long attempted to define a “new anti-Semitism” to include criticism of the Israeli government that goes beyond the pale, as they define it. (So-called pro-Israel groups have managed to get the EU to adopt a "working definition" of anti-Semitism that includes harsh criticism of the Israeli government -- a definition Block sent to journalists to ostensibly prove his case.)

Continue to read: