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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Turning the Tide on the “Pro-Israel” Debate

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The tide may have finally begun to turn in a drawn out battle over what entails legitimate criticism of Israel in U.S. politics, particularly within the Democratic Party. During the past several months, writers at the ThinkProgress blog hosted by the Democratic-allied Center for American Progress (CAP) have been diligently deconstructing the core talking points of “pro-Israel” hardliners in the United States in an effort to broaden discourse about U.S. Middle East policy and help prevent another misguided war (i.e. in Iran).

 

They have had some notable successes, such as the media splash surrounding CAP’s August 2011 report on leading anti-Islamic figures and their funders, “Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.”

 

Nothing, however, has thus far matched the notoriety they and other likeminded writers achieved last week with the publication in Politico of a story by Ben Smith arguing that the increasing willingness of Democratic groups like CAP and Media Matters to criticize unequivocal U.S. support for Israel has “shaken up the Washington foreign policy conversation and broadened the space for discussing a heretical and often critical stance on Israel heretofore confined to the political margins.”

 

This assertion—along with the fallout from it, including an explosive follow up piece by Salon.com’s Justin Elliott—reveals the success of ThinkProgress writers (and Right Web contributors) Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, as well as other writers at CAP, Middle East Progress, and Media Matters, to bring criticism of unbridled U.S. support for Israeli actions into the liberal mainstream.

 

This week's Militarist Monitor has been cross-published as a Right Web feature story. Read the rest here.

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Featured Profiles

The Foreign Policy Initiative, founded in 2009 by a host of neoconservative figures, was a leading advocate for a militaristic and Israel-centric U.S. foreign policies.


Billionaire investor Paul Singer is the founder and CEO of the Elliott Management Corporation and an important funder of neoconservative causes.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and a close confidante of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Blackwater Worldwide founder Erik Prince is notorious for his efforts to expand the use of private military contractors in conflict zones.


U.S. Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis is a retired U.S Marine Corps general and combat veteran who served as commander of U.S. Central Command during 2010-2013 before being removed by the Obama administration reportedly because of differences over Iran policy.


Mark Dubowitz, an oft-quoted Iran hawk, is the executive director of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


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