Center For American Progress’ Anti-Semitism Exposed in Mainstream Media

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The mainstream media is beginning to call out the radical left-wing Center for American Progress (CAP) and its blog ThinkProgress for their anti-Semitic rhetoric, particularly in their over-the-top attacks on defenders of Israel and critics of Islamist ideology.

For example, Ben Smith of Politico highlighted the following example of extreme anti-Israel rhetoric from a ThinkProgress posting by Matt Duss, a CAP policy analyst and the director of Middle East Progress. Duss wrote his piece last year, following an Israeli raid on a flotilla challenging the blockade of Gaza which resulted in the deaths of nine militants:

Like segregation in the American South, the siege of Gaza (and the entire Israeli occupation, for that matter) is a moral abomination that should be intolerable to anyone claiming progressive values.

Comparing Israeli efforts to defend its citizens against repeated jihadist terror attacks to “segregation in the American South” or apartheid in South Africa is a favorite line of anti-Semitic attack by Islamists in their campaign to de-legitimize the Jewish state. Duss is serving as the Islamists’ useful idiot in repeating the outlandish charge.

Ben Smith also pointed to a recent article by Eric Alterman, a writer for CAP, accusing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of campaigning for war in Iran. In another example of AIPAC bashing cited by Smith, the ThinkProgress National Security reporter Eli Clifton claimed last August that “It would appear that AIPAC is now using the same escalating measures against Iran that were used before the invasion of Iraq.”

Even some progressives are pushing back against such irresponsible conspiracy theorist rhetoric. “There’s two explanations here – either the inmates are running the asylum or the Center for American Progress has made a decision to be anti-Israel,” said Josh Block, who is a fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. “Either they can allow people to say borderline anti-Semitic stuff and to say things that are antithetical to the fundamental values of the Democratic party, or they can fire them and stop it.”

While CAP’s top officials did not respond directly to Politico regarding these charges, pro-Palestinian activists have approvingly noted CAP’s anti-Israel stand.  “What is actually happening is that the discourse that lot of people in the Palestine solidarity community and activists have been engaging in is starting to break down the walls of the Washington bubble,” said Ali Abunimah, a longtime activist and the co-founder of the site Electronic Intifada.

Josh Block elaborated on his charge of CAP’s “borderline” anti-Semitism in an e-mail quoted in the left-leaning Salon:

This kind of anti-Israel sentiment is so fringe it’s support by CAP is outrageous, but at least it is out in the open now — as is their goal – clearly applauded by revolting allies like the pro-HAMAS and anti-Zionist/One State Solution advocate Ali Abunumiah and those who accuse pro-Israel Americans of having “dual loyalties” or being “Israel-Firsters” – to shape the minds of future generations of Democrats. These are the words of anti-Semites, not Democratic political players.

Block is a progressive himself. However, his staunch defense of Israel, including a prior stint at AIPAC and his willingness to call out the extreme rhetoric against defenders of Israel appearing regularly in ThinkProgress, has earned him the enmity of other anti-Israel progressives. Free speech that departs from progressive-left orthodoxy is not tolerated in such circles, especially when Block decided to share his extensive documentation of  ThinkProgress writers’ extreme anti-Israel bias with the “dark” side – conservative journalists. That’s an act of apostasy worthy of banishment from the progressive echo chamber. As left-of-center commentator Greg Sargent noted in his blog post appearing on the Washington Post website, progressive organizations such as the Progressive Policy Institute, with which Block is now affiliated, are discussing severing all ties with the apostate.

To charge, as Block did, that CAP’s anti-Semitic rhetoric is “borderline” is really too kind to CAP. Its blogging arm ThinkProgress has gone much deeper into anti-Semitic and anti-Christian territory in its unrelenting campaign to paint all critics of Islamic ideology and sharia law as bigoted, hate-mongering “Islamophobes.”

CAP recently issued a report titled “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” which is nothing more than a 132-page diatribe whose stated objective is to “expose—and marginalize—the influence of the individuals and groups” that CAP claims are a part of an “Islamophobia network in America.”

ThinkProgress subsequently ran a series of self-righteous postings defending the Fear, Inc. report against all critics. Typical of the hard left, ThinkProgress‘ bloggers believe that anyone who does not see the world as they do is either stupid or bigoted.

The Fear, Inc. report drew an imaginary portrait of a multi-tentacle far-right “Islamophobic network” conspiracy of funders (some identified in the CAP report as donors to Jewish causes), “misinformation experts,” including the Hasidic Jew David Yerushalmi, and media outlets identified as pro-Israel or associated with Israel including this publication (which, CAP said, “gives an amplified voice to a cadre of fellow anti-Muslim bigots”) and the Middle East Media and Research Institute (whose “selective translations of Arab media,” CAP charged, “fan the flames of Islamophobia.”)

CAP threw into its fabricated conspiracy web “hate radio” shows, Fox News, and the Christian Broadcasting Network as examples of other Islamophobia enabling media outlets.

CAP’s Fear, Inc. report also went after what it called “validators” of Islamophobia such as former Muslim Nonie Darwish, who has dared to discuss openly her personal experience as a woman living under the yoke of misogynist sharia-based laws in Egypt for years before coming to the United States. Likewise, it condemned Zuhdi Jasser, a practicing Muslim and physician, whom the CAP report smeared as a “Muslim validator for Islamophobia propaganda.” The truth is that this courageous Muslim doctor has spoken out about the need for the Muslim community to look inward and reject the loud voices of the Islamist ideologues who would impose their rigid beliefs against freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and human dignity.

The report also castigated a Christian woman and founder of ACT! for America, Brigitte Gabriel. CAP’s hard left bomb-throwers accused Ms. Gabriel of engaging in “crude bigotry” and charged that she “validates the Islamophobia network’s manufactured fears and hate campaign directed against Muslims.”  The only fears and hate campaign being manufactured here are CAP’s own lies intended to vilify anyone who does not accept their dogma. The truth is that Ms. Gabriel experienced firsthand the Muslim persecution of the Christian minority in Lebanon where she grew up. She has called for “enlightened, educated and westernized Muslims in the community to begin a dialogue to discuss the possibility of reform in Islam just as Christianity and Judaism have been reformed.” CAP, on the other hand, denies that there is any such need for reform. It is guided by such Islamist organizations as the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American Islamic Relations, which the CAP report benignly described as a “civil rights group.”

Of course, the authors of CAP’s Fear, Inc. report did not seriously address the substance of the points raised by any of the critics of Islamism and sharia law, because the facts are not on CAP’s side. Instead, its authors packed the report with adjectives like “sinister,” “hateful,” “purposively deceptive,” “bigoted,” and “racist” to dismiss what the critics, relying on substantial research and evidence and, in some cases, their own personal experiences, have actually said in full context about the Islamist ideology and political-legal system.

After the Fear, Inc. report was issued, ThinkProgress‘ blogger pack circled like wolves to fend off legitimate criticisms of the report. They also carried on a vendetta against a broader circle of Jewish groups with which they disagreed, such as the non-partisan Simon Wiesenthal Center whose founder, Simon Wiesenthal, was a survivor of the Nazi death camps.

Jennifer Rubin, a right-of-center commentator who writes regularly for the Washington Post, posted a column December 11th on the Washington Post‘s website entitled “Simon Wiesenthal Center: Time to clean up the discourse.” She discussed CAP’s vicious blog assault on the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which one of its ThinkProgress bloggers, Ben Armbruster, called a “far-right” organization that had “basically called Obama a Nazi.” This was an outright lie, of course, and is emblematic of the ThinkProgress bloggers’ anti-Semitic, pro-Islamist mind-set, which its parent CAP sanctions.

Ironically, just two days before Rubin exposed Armbruster’s rant against the mainstream, non-partisan Simon Wiesenthal Center, an internationally recognized human rights organization devoted to advancing religious tolerance and combating anti-Semitism, Armbruster demanded that the Washington Post  retract an earlier post by Rubin, which Armbruster charged had “smeared CAP and its bloggers as ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘anti-Israel.’” Sorry, but the shoe fits.

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  • Jim

    We must think Lowe's for not subsidizing Islamic propaganda.

    Those who think the targets liberal organizations are aiming at through Islamist organizations is only Jews or Israel need only recall the behavior of Eric Holder when the New Black Panther Party showed up ant the polls to intimidate white voters. He did not think it was important . Ask not against whom the Imam shouts out: it shouts against you too crusader.

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  • JohnWV

    “NEVER AGAIN” is an Israeli mantra of determination to disrupt the Jew's long history of persecution. Yet behavior of the supremacis­t theocracy/ethnocracy the Jewish State has made of itself guarantees repetition unless it can conquer the whole planet. A basic change in character is really all that is needed, but nothing in Jewish history even remotely suggests such a possibility.

    • WildJew

      Where is it written in the Bible that Jews have (Israel has) an obligation to conquer the whole planet? Where is Israel enjoined to be a "supremacist" nation? Indeed you can find such passages in the Qur'an. Qur'an tells Muslims they are the "best" of all peoples (3:110), while non-Muslims are "the worst (or vilest) of creatures." (Qur'an 98:6) Isn't this supremacist language? Where can similar language be found in the Bible? Israel today is largely a secular democratic-leaning nation state. Where is the supremacist theocracy?

    • mrbean

      Sorry John, Muslims have chosen the rules of the game. Jews should let them know in no uncertain terms what "Never Again" means. As for the Palestinian Muslims, it is a matter of record that Palestinians strap munitions on their own women and children and send them out on homicide-suicide missions to murder other innocent Jewish women and children in markets, restuarants, on school buses, and in their homes. The Palestinians in their own words and by their actions are committed to the genocide of the Jewish people therefore, have foreited their rights to even exist at all let alone be goven a UN and US sanctioned terrorist state.

    • ZOA

      "Yet behavior of the supremacis­t theocracy/ethnocracy the Jewish State has made of itself guarantees repetition unless it can conquer the whole planet."

      There are far more Muslims in the Isreali Parliment than there are Jews in the Governments of all Islamic Countries combined. Then again, they would need only 1 to prove that right. You shouldn't use such big words like "Ethnocracy" when you are apparently to stupid to know what that means.

    • KB

      LOL. John says, “… unless [the Jews] can conquer the whole world.” Really? Was it Moses who said, “I was ordered to fight all men until they say there is no god but Yahweh?” Nope. Dumb, pig- fisting moron John can’t get his history straight. Sh!thead.

    • Steve

      Never again refers to never again falling to vicious anti-Semites like you.

  • Nitzachon

    John WV,

    So was it the nazi left or the nazi ummah which conquered your nubbin of a character?

  • WildJew

    Joseph Klein wrote: She (Brigitte Gabriel) has called for “enlightened, educated and westernized Muslims in the community to begin a dialogue to discuss the possibility of reform in Islam just as Christianity and Judaism have been reformed…..”

    Christianity has been reformed. "Reform" Judaism has undergone reform. Reform Judaism / left-leaning Jews are generally on the front lines supporting a Palestinian-Muslim state in Israel. Not so Orthodox Jews by and large, because the Torah says God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people. Has Orthodox Judaism undergone reform? I don't think it has.

  • Nitzachon

    WildJew,

    Isn't the impossibility of islamik reform hard-wired into the letter and spirit of that book of theirs?

    Does Torah Judaism need to be reformed?

    • WildJew

      I believe you are right. It needs no reforming. Jews have always erred on the side of mercy and compassion. Jews rarely if ever (with respect to many of the commandments) punished "sinners" according to the full force or the letter of the law of Moses. Israel is commanded to extend compassion to non-Jewish strangers and sojourners; not to dedicated enemies however. There is a reason for this. It has a lot to do with the nature of the God of the Bible who is merciful, compassionate, long-suffering, gracious, etc. Not so Allah in the Qur'an. Allah is a forbidding, merciless god who extends no kindness or compassion toward non-Muslims even if they are decent and righteous. As I read the Qur'an, this is a very different god than the God of Israel described in our Bible.

      • stern

        Thank you for clarifying. Your earlier question had me quite concerned.

        Indeed, Orthodox Judaism is perhaps the most misunderstood of all religious practices. People think that Orthodox Jews are simply about "dressing funny" or praying three times a day. they completely miss the emphasis on charity, respect for one's fellow and mitvot. I mean, for heaven's sake, somebody who feels obligated to fulfill 613 good deeds must be a credit to humanity!

        • WildJew

          I do not consider myself a religious Jew – I am not nearly observant enough – but I do believe Orthodox Judaism is authoritative Judaism because they keep or try to keep the commandments. If someone told me they wanted to convert, I would direct them to a good Orthodox rabbi. An Orthodox conversion is recognized by Orthodox, Reform and Conservative rabbis. One would think a prospective convert who goes to an Orthodox rabbi is sincere.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Palestinian law prohibits wearing masks unless one is engaged in committing acts of aggression or homicide against the Jews. Israel and Jews in particular have a right to defend themselves. The MSM will take a Jewish act of self defense qnd turn it into a crime.

  • Cynic

    Why don’t you mention who finances CAP etc?

  • Ghostwriter

    Gee,the Center for American Progress are concerned that Americans see Muslims as terrorists? Gee,why do we think that? Could it have been 9/11 and all the terrorist attacks against Americans before 9/11 and after 9/11? Could the vast majority of those attacks have been committed by Muslims? The answer to both questions is yes. So,what ARE we to think about this? I don't know. I don't really have an answer.

  • KKKK

    the "Center for American Progress" is simply a leftist anti-Western agenda with the clear goal of aiding the jihad aganist America by stealth. this recent "report on Islamophobia" is simply an effeort to demonize the heroic persona who are fighting the Jihadists both here and around the globe. LONG LIVE ISRAEL! LONG LIVE RESISTANCE TO JIHAD!

  • Dr. C. De Rosa

    While I believe that most Muslims simply want to live their lives in peace and harmony with the rest of the world, the Koran makes these desires impossible. For a Musim to practice the faith, one must also adhere to those sections that define who are and what should happen to infidels. Until the Koran is revisited and revised, the Islamist world has no choice but to accept the teachings of an archaic religion that continues to view the world as its eneny.

  • 4.0scholar

    Arabic peoples are Semites too!

    • Nakba1948

      Oh, man, you can't say that! That's anti-Semitism (at least according to the fascists here at FPM)!

      • stern

        What an idiot! It is most certainly not anti-Semitism to say that Arabs are Semites too. It's a fact. Where it gets silly is when people say that they can't be anti-Semites because they support the "Palestinians", who are Semites. Everyone knows that the term "anti-Semitism" was specifically created to describe hatred of Jews.

        So if you'd prefer, I will not call you an anti-Semite. However, from your chosen moniker, it is perfectly clear that you ARE a Jew Hater.

  • Papadakis

    I'd love to see someone from the left articulate "progressive values" particularly where social issues are concerned. I'm not including economic narratives in this at all. To date, I've failed to see how what they call "progressive values" are much more that using myopic narratives of victimization and contextually-challenged assertions of oppression to empower non-whites, non-Christians and non-Jews to demonize and seek to devalue these groups in order to advance themselves. It's always struck me as culture of insecurity and hate that's utterly obsessed with advancing narratives that they are the 'oppressed victims of society' despite their assertions to the contrary that there's something more to it. To date, I haven't seen much to suggest that what amounts to "progressive values" is much more than that. Also what doesn't hold up is that these 'victimized groups' already have equal rights under the law so their social narratives don't hold up in light of that and as are heavily reliant on making references to past oppression as if that justifies anything now. They aren't second-class citizens in reality, but they will absolutely become hysterical, ranting lunatics if anyone points out that they already have equal treatment under the law if not something more advantageous.