Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz declared victory today over the Democratic group Media Matters in his campaign against the group’s leftward-leaning Israel policy.
Media Matters’ central cause is criticism of the conservative media in general and Fox News in particular, but the group had found itself this winter battling critics over the confrontational writings of one Media Matters blogger, M.J. Rosenberg, a former AIPAC staffer turned sharp critic of Israel. Rosenberg resigned earlier this month because “it disturbed me greatly to see an organization to which I am devoted facing possible harm because of my critical writings about Israel,” and Dershowitz — who had turned criticism of him into an election-year cause — expressed satisfaction with the move in a radio interview today.
“I have won this issue. Rosenberg has been fired. He’s no longer with Media Matters. As far as I am concerned the campaign has succeeded,” Dershowitz said on Aaron Klein’s WABC Radio show Sunday, saying he would move on to other causes.
“Media Matters has taken an important first step to disassociate themselves from this bigot. Now they have to take a second step and disassociate themselves from his ideas, he said.
The battle represented one front in a Democratic Party civil war over Israel, which has often been exempted from the traditional left-right split inside the party. Many liberal Democrats have hawkish views on Israel, but leading Washington institutions — Media Matters and the Center for American Progress — have drawn fire from inside their party for invective directed at Israel’s American allies — whom Rosenberg labeled “Israel Firsters” — as well as for their policy differences with Israel’s Democratic allies on Capitol Hill.