Anti-Israel Bloggers Blast CAP After Netanyahu Speech


Left-wing bloggers slammed the Center for American Progress on Tuesday for hosting a speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, calling the think tank "disgusting" and "embarrassing."

CAP’s decision to invite the Israeli prime minister drew criticism from anti-Israel activists as soon as it was announced earlier this month, but his actual speech on Tuesday prompted a fresh round of condemnation.

Left-wing critics of the event took to Twitter to blast CAP, the group’s president Neera Tanden, the "Israel lobby," and Hillary Clinton.

"Netanyahu just had an open dialogue with a Clinton administration aspirant and three Israel lobbyists. The Democratic Party in a nutshell," complained Max Blumenthal, the blogger whose father, Sidney, is a long-time Clinton confidante.

The younger Blumenthal also suggested that Clinton had a role in the invitation.

"CAP is essentially an arm of her campaign," wrote Blumenthal.

Atlantic Council fellow Barbara Slavin also drew a connection to Clinton and panned the event’s moderator, Tanden, a former aide to the presidential candidate.

"[Tanden] was really pitiful. did #Hillary write the questions?" wrote Slavin.

Zaid Jilani, a former writer for CAP’s Think Progress blog who left the organization in 2011 amid controversy over his use of the term "Israel firster," called Tanden’s moderation of Netanyahu’s question-and-answer session "sad."

"[Tanden’s] Indian ancestors and mine bravely resisted colonialism so she could do a sales job for one of worlds last colonizers," wrote Jilani.

Eli Clifton, another former CAP writer who left during the same controversy, claimed Tanden "has now given more face time to Netanyahu than she did to her own staffers when they were smeared by AIPAC & allies."

The anti-Israel blogger Ali Abunimah argued that CAP should change its name after the speech.

"Center for American Progress? More like Center for Anti-Palestinian Propaganda," he wrote.

Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hassan also criticized the speech, and claimed he was denied entrance to the event by CAP.