House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has hired the leader of a controversial liberal blog accused of promoting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel positions, the Free Beacon reports. Faiz Shakir will move from editor in chief of the Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress" blog to a senior adviser for Pelosi and her director of new media.
Jewish organizations alleged that ThinkProgress writers had used both the blog and their personal Twitter accounts to promote radically anti-Israel ideas and even anti-Semitism. They claim that ThinkProgress writers have stated that Jews and Jewish organizations are leading the campaign for war with Iran, and that Jewish Americans suffer from dual loyalties to America and Israel.
Following an investigation, ThinkProgress apologized for "inappropriate" language writer Ziad Jilani used on his Twitter account, including accusing "Israel-Firster" Jews of being more loyal to Israel than America. Jilani left the staff after the incident, but ThinkProgress maintains that its blog has not been used to attack Jews or Israel.
Those conclusions ignore abundant evidence that ThinkProgress has hosted anti-Semitism and one-sided anti-Israel attacks. In a post last November, writer Ali Gharib cited anti-Semitic and virulently anti-Israel blog SM Palestine in a post criticizing America for following existing laws, which ended aid for UNESCO after it recognized Palestine as an independent state.
In another post last September, Gharib quoted anti-Israel journalist Max Blumenthal, who described Israel's values as "hatred of the other, a reliance on violence to seize land, and a legacy of ethnic cleansing." He also highlighted Blumenthal's comments that "what Israel did to the Palestinians in 1947 and '48 – and continues to do – is analogous to the Texans' treatment of the Comanches and Mexicans during the 19th century [Emphasis by Gharib]."
In a July interview conducted by Gharib and Jilani, ThinkProgress played host to former Jewish American leader Henry Siegman, who said that "the U.S. is captive to Israel's Plans." During the interview, ThinkProgress writers suggested that Palestine be allowed to join the International Criminal Court and take Israelis to trial for war crimes. Siegman agreed and also argued that peace would only come when Israel is forced to "pay a price" for its policies, and when that "cost gets serious enough" to force the Israelis into an agreement.