Dershowitz: Media Matters, Center for American Progress the ‘David Duke of the extreme left’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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In 2008, Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz came out in favor of then-Sen. Barack Obama in his presidential election contest with Arizona Sen. John McCain. He said Obama and McCain had similar positions on Israel, but gave the nod to Obama because of his liberal stance on things “unrelated to Israel.”

That could change in the 2012 presidential contest between and the yet-to-be-determined Republican candidate. In an appearance on Jay Severin’s Boston Talk 1200 radio show, Dershowitz spoke out against two organizations that have close ties to the Obama White House: Media Matters and the Center for American Progress.

“Media Matters and Center for American Progress are two extremely left-bigoted groups that are so virulently anti-Israel and anti-supporters of Israel that they’ve gone over the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism,” Dershowitz said. “They now use the term ‘Israel firsters,’ the way anti-Catholic bigots used to use the term ‘Vatican firsters’ or ‘Irish firsters,’ as if to suggest Americans who support Israel have dual loyalty. This false charge goes back to the Bible — goes back to the Book of Esther, goes back thousands of years. It was one of Hitler’s justifications for killing the Jews: ‘Dual loyalty, they’re not good Germans, they’re not good Americans,’ whatever it is.”

Dershowitz has been vocal against Media Matters in recent days, making that charge of anti-Semitism. However, his classification of the Center for American Progress as borderline “anti-Semitic” is noteworthy because both Media Matters and the Center for Progress have received money directly from billionaire left-wing financier George Soros, who has faced similar charges in the past.

“These two organizations have been found to be anti-Semitic by many of the objective monitoring groups,” he said. “And now they are closely associated with the Democratic Party and I have said very clearly there is no room in this tent for me on the one hand, and for Media Matters and for this other group on the other hand. We can’t be in the same tent. I will not be in a tent with fascists, with supporters of Ahmadinejad, with supporters of Hamas, with supporters of Hezbollah, with anti-Semitic bigots, whether they’re Jewish or not. Some of them are Jewish. Some of them are not.”

In December, the two organizations were highlighted by Ben Smith, then with Politico, as having caused a rift within Democratic ranks over Israel. Smith named M.J. Rosenberg, labeled as the Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network, as someone who “regularly heaps vitriol on those who disagree as ‘Iraq war neocon liar.’”

Dershowitz likened both organizations to David Duke, and said he would urge people not to vote Democratic if the party didn’t purge itself of those from Media Matters and the Center for American Progress.

“They have to be basically tossed out of the Democratic Party just the way David Duke had to be tossed out of the Republican Party,” he said. “And they are the equivalent of David Duke on the extreme left. And the Democratic Party can have no brook with them.”

“I cannot vote for a candidate with anything to do with Media Matters or the Center for American Progress. And I will urge everybody not to vote for a party that has anything to do with them as I would have urged them not to have anything to do with a candidate who didn’t renounce the Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright, or didn’t renounce others who are bigots, and that’s just the way it has to be.”

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