The new Emergency Committee for Israel brings forth foolish foes

Ed Lasky
A new pro-Israel group has been formed, the Emergency Committee for Israel, that hopes to channel support for that nation that comes from the Republican and from evangelicals in America. Ben Smith of Politico has a report outlining the genesis and goals of the group.  The founders of the group plan a campaign to highlight the problems that Barack Obama's approach towards the Middle east has caused and to focus on Democratic candidates who support the Obama approach (that has caused problems primarily for the Israelis, but also for the Palestinians themselves -- and for the wider Arab word that faces problems from Iran). Needless to say, this has prompted ridiculous and hypocritical overreactions among the "usual suspects" who have never had the security of our ally, Israel , as a concern.

Stephen Walt has enjoyed notoriety from his anti-Israel activism over the last few years. Since he and John Mearsheimer published a working paper  -- and then a book -- on the so-called Israel Lobby, he has made a career out of bashing Israel and all but accusing its supporters here (if they are Jewish) of dual loyalty and of being in the thrall of the Israel Lobby (if they are not Jewish). Despite his work being shown to be filled with errors (as shown by, among others, Alan Dershowitz), Walt has continue his obsessive campaign against supporters of Israel in America.

Here is his reaction to the founding of the Emergency Committee: he views it as "promoting a hard-right Likudnik agenda in the Middle East" (the Likud party is one of several political parties in Israel; in America , anti-Israel activists use it as a slur , though it was under Likud that Israel left the Sinai and Gaza). He again raises the charge of dual loyalty when he charges that the group is planning to "go after" anyone who is willing to think of U.S. interests. Then he makes a ridiculous claim that the people behind the group are "some of the same geniuses who dreamed up and sold the Iraq war." This is again a slur -- and one not based on facts. Among its founders are NOT George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld. There is a young and quite bright Yale graduate student, Noah Pollak, who is its Executive Director. He was nowhere near the Bush administration -- ever. Oh.., there is Bill Kristol, who was running the Weekly Standard during the era of George W. Bush, not planning the Iraq War. Walt does not deal with facts; he traffics in unsupportable accusations.

Then we have Matt Duss of the Center for American Progress, who sarcastically greeted the founding of the new group with this tweet "Because the world really needs another astroturf Israel propaganda outfit". This is about as galling and hypocritical as one can be. The Center for American Progress (CAP) is all but paid for lock, stock, and barrel by George Soros and his political allies, Herbert and Marion Sandler (Savings and Loan billionaires who flooded the market with bad mortgages that blew up after they sold their empire).

The Emergency Committee is very up-front regarding its goals and agenda. But how about Duss's Center for American Progress? Does the Center ever disclose how closely its agenda follows the interests of its chief patron, George Soros? Does it post on its website this article from Bloomberg News "Soros-Funded Democratic Idea factory Becomes Obama Policy Front"? The Center is far more than just a think-tank. Even its founder and leader, John Podesta (Obama's transition chief before he became President), proudly calls it an "action tank." The Center helps to ensure its "‘recommendations" become official US policy. This is facilitated by the fact that George Soros was an early and ardent supporter of Barack Obama's and employed his empire of 527 groups (such as MoveOn.Org) to help ensure his election. Since then, Obama has populated his administration with Center for American Progress alums (Van Jones is just one example;  Denis McDonough, Obama's Chief of Staff at his National Security Council is another).

The irony is that Soros (Duss's sugar daddy) is the number one funder of 527 groups in America -- and many of them actually are "astroturf" groups. Soros's funding also enriches anti-Israel "astroturf" groups such as Human Rights Watch. Soros was also involved in the founding of the anti-Israel group J Street  (and has people closely associated with him on its board). I guess that sort of "astroturfing" -- as long as its goal is to promote anti-Israel advocacy -- and policy does not merit derision by Duss.

One more note regarding the Center for American Progress. The "action tank" seems primed to try to influence foreign policy in the Middle East. The Center has a division that focuses on the Middle East and has recently absorbed the appeasement oriented "Israel Policy Forum."  Duss is merely another hypocrite when he derides the founding of the Emergency Committee.

Lastly, we have a fringe figure who wants to make a name for himself among the anti-Israel crowd: Daniel Luban, a graduate student in political science who blogs at something called the "lobelog." He has been an anti-Israel crank for a while. He also wants to join the critics of the Emergency Committee but has so little to work with he has to resort to an absurd and scurrilous attack on Rachel Abrams -- who has her own blog (Bad Rachel) that I recommend and who is one of the founders of the Emergency Committee. Luban goes to ridiculous lengths to allege that Rachel Abrams is a homophobe. There is so little there in this ad hominem attack that I won't deign to waste my time in ripping his reasoning to shreds (one can do so by reading his screed). I suppose when you are a graduate student you have a lot of time on your hands to waste dreaming up this type of tripe.

When one cannot rely on facts, one can just rely on slurs.

Luban seems to want to emulate Stephen Walt-what a role model !

I guess one should not expect much reasoning or rationale from someone who thinks George Soros is just fine and dandy regarding Israel.
A new pro-Israel group has been formed, the Emergency Committee for Israel, that hopes to channel support for that nation that comes from the Republican and from evangelicals in America. Ben Smith of Politico has a report outlining the genesis and goals of the group.  The founders of the group plan a campaign to highlight the problems that Barack Obama's approach towards the Middle east has caused and to focus on Democratic candidates who support the Obama approach (that has caused problems primarily for the Israelis, but also for the Palestinians themselves -- and for the wider Arab word that faces problems from Iran). Needless to say, this has prompted ridiculous and hypocritical overreactions among the "usual suspects" who have never had the security of our ally, Israel , as a concern.

Stephen Walt has enjoyed notoriety from his anti-Israel activism over the last few years. Since he and John Mearsheimer published a working paper  -- and then a book -- on the so-called Israel Lobby, he has made a career out of bashing Israel and all but accusing its supporters here (if they are Jewish) of dual loyalty and of being in the thrall of the Israel Lobby (if they are not Jewish). Despite his work being shown to be filled with errors (as shown by, among others, Alan Dershowitz), Walt has continue his obsessive campaign against supporters of Israel in America.

Here is his reaction to the founding of the Emergency Committee: he views it as "promoting a hard-right Likudnik agenda in the Middle East" (the Likud party is one of several political parties in Israel; in America , anti-Israel activists use it as a slur , though it was under Likud that Israel left the Sinai and Gaza). He again raises the charge of dual loyalty when he charges that the group is planning to "go after" anyone who is willing to think of U.S. interests. Then he makes a ridiculous claim that the people behind the group are "some of the same geniuses who dreamed up and sold the Iraq war." This is again a slur -- and one not based on facts. Among its founders are NOT George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld. There is a young and quite bright Yale graduate student, Noah Pollak, who is its Executive Director. He was nowhere near the Bush administration -- ever. Oh.., there is Bill Kristol, who was running the Weekly Standard during the era of George W. Bush, not planning the Iraq War. Walt does not deal with facts; he traffics in unsupportable accusations.

Then we have Matt Duss of the Center for American Progress, who sarcastically greeted the founding of the new group with this tweet "Because the world really needs another astroturf Israel propaganda outfit". This is about as galling and hypocritical as one can be. The Center for American Progress (CAP) is all but paid for lock, stock, and barrel by George Soros and his political allies, Herbert and Marion Sandler (Savings and Loan billionaires who flooded the market with bad mortgages that blew up after they sold their empire).

The Emergency Committee is very up-front regarding its goals and agenda. But how about Duss's Center for American Progress? Does the Center ever disclose how closely its agenda follows the interests of its chief patron, George Soros? Does it post on its website this article from Bloomberg News "Soros-Funded Democratic Idea factory Becomes Obama Policy Front"? The Center is far more than just a think-tank. Even its founder and leader, John Podesta (Obama's transition chief before he became President), proudly calls it an "action tank." The Center helps to ensure its "‘recommendations" become official US policy. This is facilitated by the fact that George Soros was an early and ardent supporter of Barack Obama's and employed his empire of 527 groups (such as MoveOn.Org) to help ensure his election. Since then, Obama has populated his administration with Center for American Progress alums (Van Jones is just one example;  Denis McDonough, Obama's Chief of Staff at his National Security Council is another).

The irony is that Soros (Duss's sugar daddy) is the number one funder of 527 groups in America -- and many of them actually are "astroturf" groups. Soros's funding also enriches anti-Israel "astroturf" groups such as Human Rights Watch. Soros was also involved in the founding of the anti-Israel group J Street  (and has people closely associated with him on its board). I guess that sort of "astroturfing" -- as long as its goal is to promote anti-Israel advocacy -- and policy does not merit derision by Duss.

One more note regarding the Center for American Progress. The "action tank" seems primed to try to influence foreign policy in the Middle East. The Center has a division that focuses on the Middle East and has recently absorbed the appeasement oriented "Israel Policy Forum."  Duss is merely another hypocrite when he derides the founding of the Emergency Committee.

Lastly, we have a fringe figure who wants to make a name for himself among the anti-Israel crowd: Daniel Luban, a graduate student in political science who blogs at something called the "lobelog." He has been an anti-Israel crank for a while. He also wants to join the critics of the Emergency Committee but has so little to work with he has to resort to an absurd and scurrilous attack on Rachel Abrams -- who has her own blog (Bad Rachel) that I recommend and who is one of the founders of the Emergency Committee. Luban goes to ridiculous lengths to allege that Rachel Abrams is a homophobe. There is so little there in this ad hominem attack that I won't deign to waste my time in ripping his reasoning to shreds (one can do so by reading his screed). I suppose when you are a graduate student you have a lot of time on your hands to waste dreaming up this type of tripe.

When one cannot rely on facts, one can just rely on slurs.

Luban seems to want to emulate Stephen Walt-what a role model !

I guess one should not expect much reasoning or rationale from someone who thinks George Soros is just fine and dandy regarding Israel.