AKUS ‘dares’ to criticize Glenn Greenwald

A guest post by AKUS

Glenn Greenwald

Google “Glenn Greenwald” and “Israel” and you will come up with the most unhinged comments about Israel, Israelis and American Zionists. 

He is virtually unable to write a column without accusing Israel of something, and referring to Israelis in the most derogatory terms.

He is particularly active in warning of the influence of “Jewish money” and he may have coined the phrase “Israel Firster” (or, at least, popularized it) in an attempt to suggest that Americans (specially American Jews) who supports Israel are disloyal to America.

He was one of the most vociferous critics of Israel over the Mavi Marmara incidentevincing no compassion for the Israeli soldiers brutally attacked, only the terrorists killed, and in the same column, barely mentioned the thousands of rocket attacks on Israel which prompted Operation Cast Lead – which he referred to as a “barbaric attack on Gaza”.

Greenwald is also no slouch when it comes to slinging dirt at others. Here is what he had to say about Tom Friedman of the NYT, who, not coincidentally, is Jewish and, although somewhat critical, is largely a supporter of Israel:

Although Friedman’s expertise is often called into question, it is hard to deny that he is an expert in hate speech, given that he produced the last decade’s most obscene episode of hate speech when justifying the attack on Iraq on the Charlie Rose Show in 2003 (warning: this should not be viewed during or shortly after a large meal)

The passage was followed by a video clip of Friedman from 2003.

I am far from alone in my opinion of this as-a-Jew:

I don’t know anything about Greenwald’s Jewishness. He could be a Marrano Chabadnik for all I know, though, based on the way he writes about Israel and American Jewish organizations, I often suspect that some really bad shit happened to him in Hebrew school. (I mean, worse than the usual soul-sucking anomie). But about what he writes: I do know that he evinces toward Israel a disdain that is quite breathtaking. He holds Israel to a standard he doesn’t hold any other country, except the U.S. Now, of course, if you read certain things I write (like this, for instance) you could say that I’m also hostile to Israel, though I also exhibit affection for Israel, both the reality of  Israel (or at least many of its facets) and the idea that motivated the reality into existence.

Greenwald has consistently  used the term “Israel Firster” referring to supporters of Israel in Congress:

“Meanwhile, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Congress — Rep. Anthony Weiner, last seen lambasting President Obama for daring to publicly mention a difference between the U.S. and Israel — today not only defended Israel’s attack (obviously) but also, revealingly, “Even if we are the only country on earth that sees the facts here, the United States should stand up for Israel.” In other words: who cares how isolated it makes us or what harm we suffer? What matters is not American interests, but Israel.”

Greenwald also has applied the concept of Israel-Firster, if not the term itself, to Eric Cantor (R-VA), who he accused of pledging allegiance to Israel.  When Glenn Reynolds and I called him out on it, Greenwald responded by claiming we were slurring him with an accusation of anti-Semitism.

Getting back to Greenwald’s column, Greenwald again defends the use of the term Israel-Firster and laments that a Think Progress blogger who tweeted the term deleted the tweets:

“One CAP blogger, Zaid Jilani, has now apologized for and deleted tweets where he used the term “Israel-firster” even though (a) everyone knows there are American political activists — both evangelical Christians and Jewish — whose political worldview is dominated by allegiance to Israel and (b) even long-time stalwart Israel supporters like Tom Friedman now describe how U.S. officials are “hostage” to the “powerful pro-Israel lobby” that can force them to place Israel’s interests over their own country’s.”

Most recently  he had to retract his hasty – may I suggest “gleeful? –  accusation that the creator of the “Innocence of Mohammed” film clip was an Israeli living in America , backed by 100 Jewish donors (there we have Greenwald’s  Jewish money theme again) so that the text now reads:

The anti-Islam film was originally reported by the Associated Press news agency to have been written, directed and produced by an Israeli real estate developer living in California, Sam Bacile. Later the news agency issued a fresh story having investigated further and traces the genesis of the film to a Coptic Christian, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, living in California. [see footnote]

But, as the Guardian shamefacedly retracted, and very unusually amended the actual text of a column that appeared on its website, the original wording was very different, and typified Greenwald’s eagerness to blame Israel and Israelis for all that is wrong with the world:

Greenwald was everything I suggested and more – an even more egregious example of the anti-Israeli “as-a-Jew” than Seth Freedman.

Friedman gets a point up on him for actually having lived in Israel at one time.

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