Media Matters at J Street

MMFA official distances himself from anti-Semitic trope at conference


A senior Media Matters for America official announced that he would not use the term “Israel Firster” as the controversial phrase with roots in the white supremacist movement is “a distraction.”

Ari Rabin Havt, Media Matters’ executive vice president, distanced himself from the term, which, until recently, was regularly employed by MMFA senior staffer M.J. Rosenberg. This was his first public comment on the controversy.

“Do I support the use of the term Israel firser? I think that it is a distraction,” Rabin-Havt said in response to a Free Beacon reporter during a panel discussion at J Street’s 2012 conference.

“Would I personally use the term? No. I don’t use that term personally,” said Rabin-Havt, who went to great lengths last month to evade a Free Beacon reporter’s questions about the matter.

Rabin-Havt also slammed the Free Beacon for asking him about the controversy.

“People like Adam want to create a distraction,” Rabin-Havt said. “He’s not here because he wants to legitimately debate.”

Adam Kredo   Email Adam | Full Bio | RSS
Adam Kredo is senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Formerly an award-winning political reporter for the Washington Jewish Week, where he frequently broke national news, Kredo’s work has been featured in outlets such as the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Politico, among others. He lives in Maryland with his comic books. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is