Greenwald to the defense
In December 2011, Glenn Greenwald's Salon colleague Justin Elliott revealed that AIPAC’s former spokesman, Josh Block, had been encouraging neoconservative journalists and pundits on a private email list to attack as “anti-Semites” various Middle East commentators employed by two of the most influential Democratic-Party-aligned organizations: the Center for American Progress and Media Matters.
Block distributed a dossier containing posts by these CAP and MM writers about Israel and Iran that he claimed evince anti-Semitism, and then issued these marching orders (emphasis in original): “YOU SHOULD AMPLIFY this. And use the below [research] to attack the bad guys.” According to Glenn Greenwald, The predictable roster of neoconservative, hatemongering extremists on that email list – led by The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin, who recruited the Simon Wiesenthal Center to the cause — dutifully spewed out articles echoing Block’s attacks against these mostly young, liberal writers: Matt Duss, Ali Gharib, Eli Clifton and Zaid Jilani at CAP’s ThinkProgress blog and Media Matters’ MJ Rosenberg (a former AIPAC employee).
Block’s once-secret email campaign followed a Politico article by Ben Smith which accused these CAP and MM writers with deviations from “the bipartisan consensus on Israel” and voicing “a heretical and often critical stance on Israel heretofore confined to the political margins”; moreover, Smith wrote, “warm words for Israel can be hard to find on [CAP's] blogs.” Block was quoted in that article accusing the two progressive groups of publishing “anti-Israel” and “borderline anti-Semitic stuff”; Smith subsequently acknowledged that it was Block who had fed him files containing the supposedly anti-Semitic posts in order to enable the article to be written.
- [http://www.salon.com/2012/01/19/the_smear_campaign_against_cap_and_media_matters_rolls_on/, SALON, Glenn Greenwald, Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 10:59 PM NZDT The “anti-Semitism” smear campaign against CAP and Media Matters rolls on, A campaign to disparage progressive writers makes a shameful comeback ]