Guardian partner blog, The Arabist, claims Israel lobby is forming ties with “proto-fascists”

When Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ editor, Natalie Hanman, announced, in June, their new partnership with blogs and sites around the web which they will highlight and cross-post, she noted that their decision was motivated by the desire to:

“break down barriers between us and them, between the Guardian’s journalism and the ever-growing wealth of other sources for interesting and informative views on the world….We hope to act as curators for the best of this content…”

The list of left-wing partner sites includes a blog called “The Arabist” – a site run by Issandr El Amrani,  former North Africa analyst at the International Crisis Group.

I’ve published a couple posts on some of their offensive commentary, one which highlighted the blog’s clear suggestion that American Jewish supporters of Israel are more loyal to Israel than their own country – a narrative sadly, becoming increasingly fashionable within certain left-wing circles.

However, a recent post by El Amrani took an attack on the “Israel lobby” a step further.  In a post titled, “Israel and the American Right“, El Amrani, commenting on this Politico story by Ben Smith “about the launch of the Center for American Freedom (CAF), a right-wing answer to the pro-Obama Center for American Progress”, wrote:

 There’s a passage revealing of the ties between the Israel lobby and the increasingly extreme (one might say proto-fascistic — note its militarism and eagerness for war with Iran) aspects of the contemporary American right:

Ties between the Israel lobby and proto-fascists?  His example is this passage from the Politico essay.

A test run for CAF, Goldfarb said, was the Emergency Committee for Israel, which he also advised, and which waged a relentless guerrilla media campaign against the efforts of J Street – a national membership organization with a sizable Washington staff – to create a liberal counterweight in American Middle East policy.”

Its unclear which group El Amrani is tarring with the label of proto-fascist: Emergency Committee for Israel, CAF, or both, but suggestions that there’s something sinister, extreme, or in any way consistent with fascist values (i.e., totalitarian aspirations), about Jews (and non-Jews) lobbying the U.S. to confront the Iranian nuclear threat is comically absurd.

Interestingly, El Amrani penned a post before the Iowa Caucuses in favor of the candidate who’s decidedly right-wing on economic and social issues, racist towards African-Americans, and homophobic: Ron Paul.

El Amrani – in a post which quoted Philip Weiss’s blog, Mondoweiss, a Jewish site which advances antisemitic tropes with abandon (demonstrating that the term “Self-Hating Jew” isn’t always a misnomer) – writes the following:

As an independent who leans progressive (but has a secret Tory heart) and is repulsed at the Democratic party’s support for Israel and the warmongering of the last decade, Paul just makes sense

For El Amrani, any enemy of Israel is, by definition, his friend – demonstrating, again, that anti-Zionism truly does make for strange and morally perverse bedfellows. 

7 replies »

  1. I think it was German novelist Günter Grass who once huffed and puffed about the “dark night of fascism … falling on America,” – but an American novelist responded “Why is it that ‘the dark night of fascism’ is always falling on America — and always landing on Europe?” Still true, see what’s going on e.g. in Hungary, or in aspiring EU member state Turkey…

  2. Adam, do you have a link to the post where El Amrani supports Ron Paul? I realize that you may not want to link to Mondoweiss but even a fractured URL (which inserted spaces, for example) would be helpful in seeing just how bad the post is.

  3. There is no Israel Lobby. That is a smear campaign against every single pro-Israel thinker in America. It is a smear developed by two American professors (John Mearshimer and Stephen Walt) who have sold millions of books based on their anti-Semitic rants. Anyone who uses the concept of Israel Lobby to trivialize all politicians and their constituents who support Israel are the real ignorant racists in this discusstion.

    It will be wonder if the pro-Palestinian contingent in society will ever address the real issues rather than lambast the boogeyman. That is the real test, which, conveniently, happens to be that side’s major stumbling block.

  4. At first glance this will seem off-topic but to me it is background to a whole lot of evil that is enacted against Israel. I hope that people will take time to read it.

    The Balkans was a huge tragic mess that is hard to understand. But what was easy to focus were claims that NATO attacked on the wrong side and that Muslims and the fascist leaders used a PR firm, Ruder Finn, to establish their control.

    This is the third part of an account of how the West got it wrong.

    You can see the start of Pallywood – and worse – right there.