Saturday, January 28, 2012

The predictable aftermath of the anti-CAP smear

In other words, the smear campaign — to intimidate CAP out of allowing their writers to express prohibited thoughts about Israel — worked perfectly. And The Weekly Standard‘s Halper understandably gloats: “So the good news is that there seems to be at least one grown up at the Center for American Progress. Whoever he is, he can control what the bloggers are saying that might be interpreted as being borderline anti-Semitic. He can clean things up for outsiders—and make it look a little more mainstream than perhaps the institution really is.” But he also warns: “The bad news is that the grown-up is not always in the room (even if he corrects things when he returns!) and that the stable of bloggers over there have some biases that must be cleaned up by some unknown shady figure.” He adds: “it is clear the problem still remains: A think tank that is allied with the Democratic party and the president of the United States . . . is pushing troubling rhetoric.” By bowing to the discourse bullies, CAP only validates their accusations and makes them hungrier for scalps.

Meanwhile, those who have defended CAP writers from this smear campaign, including me, are now themselves being smeared — needless to say — as Israel-haters and even anti-Semites. So trite and automatic are these attacks that one almost yawns while reading them. Yesterday, Jeffrey Goldberg, who plants himself in the middle of every one of these orgies of anti-Semitism accusations, trotted out every trite accusatory line from the tired neocon playbook to attack me explicitly as an Israel-hater and, he strongly implied, as an anti-Semite (none of these accusations are accompanied by a single word I’ve said or even a link to anything I’ve written).

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