My new Think Again column is called “Campaign-Finance Reform in an Age of Corporate Influence,” and it’s here.
My new Nation column is called More BS About 'Both Sides' and it’s here.
Below is a copy of a letter I sent to The Forward regarding the newspaper’s coverage of the hiring of Josh Block to run The Israel Project. The sections in bold are the ones they chose not to run. (It was edited without my participation and The Forward does not appear to have updated the “letters” section of its website since December.)
1 April 2013
To the Editor:
I was disappointed to read The Forward’s coverage of The Israel Project’s hiring of ex-AIPAC flack Josh Block to be its new head. According to your coverage, “Block entered a highly publicized quarrel with the Center for American Progress, a progressive Democratic think tank whose views on Israel, according to Block, were biased and at times ’borderline anti-Semitic.’”
Actually, Block did not accuse the entire center with this term. He referred specifically to yours truly. I thought it rather funny at the time, given that I was also a columnist for The Forward, which rarely offers regular columns to anti-Semites, “borderline” or otherwise. Moreover, the quote of mine to which he specifically referred as allegedly anti-Semitic merely called attention to AIPAC’s desire to see the United States attack Iran. This is hardly a controversial view regarding AIPAC’s aims, even among its supporters. As it happens, I felt forced to resign my Forward column over the enforced delay I experienced in responding to Block’s McCarthyite attack on CAP and myself in the Forward’s pages. So that was one victory for Mr. Block. He has won yet another with the Forward’s coverage of his appointment. Here, again, Block’s false charge against the Center for American Progress (where I was, and remain, a senior fellow) was repeated, albeit inaccurately, without any response from the accused, nor any context for readers unfamiliar with Mr. Block’s nefarious tactics. (It was a rather big deal at the time, and was covered in The Forward’s news and editorial pages).
It’s shame that yet another Jewish political institution will now likely adapt such tactics with regard intra-community disagreements, but that is clearly the direction The Israel Project has chosen in picking Mr. Block to represent it. What remains unclear to me, however, is why The Forward, whose reporting on Jewish political organizations is second to none, chooses to sugarcoat these actions, and in doing so, encourage their continued abuse by Mr. Block and his allies in the future.
Former Forward Columnist
Interesting how The Forward kept in the compliment I gave them regarding “second to none” but took out every other reference, including especially, the reason I resigned. Note also that the letter does not now reveal that I was the topic of Block’s attack, which could lead to accusations that I sought to cover this up in my criticism of The Israel Project’s decision to hire him.