by F. Grey Parker
Today in the Weekly Standard, William Kristol seems to be attempting to gin-up support for Israel as a pre-election litmus test.
Citing a variety of numbers from a poll conducted by the "Emergency Committee For Israel," Kristol makes this warning:
"So it’s not only that the American public is pro-Israel by more than two to one. It’s also that being anti-Israel is an actual disqualifier for a majority of American voters.
This is a pro-Israel nation."
Absent from the piece are a number of important facts. The most important of those facts is that Bill Kristol himself is on the board of ECI. He is passing off as journalism an essay endorsing the findings of an organization he helps run.
The Huffington Post has reported some disturbing information on ECI:
"In a nice catch, Eli Clifton reports that the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), the latest neocon astroturf pro-war outfit, is based out of the same office as a previous neocon astroturf pro-war outfit, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq(CLI):"
Earlier this year, ECI was behind a series of highly inflammatory ads opposing Joe Sestak's senate run.
Kristol finishes his piece with a smug argument that American electoral survival requires the abandonment of liberalism:
"American conservatism is now unequivocally pro-Israel. In large part thanks to this fact, the American public as a whole is solidly pro-Israel. It is American liberals who are divided and uncertain. Can they find within liberalism the resources to resist succumbing to the anti-Israel temptation? Or is it time for pro-Israel liberals to rethink their attachment to liberalism? "
To sum up. Kristol's own organization conducted a poll without disclosing it's full methodology. Then, Kristol reported on the poll results as if ECI were not his organization. Lastly, Kristol used the fairly generic findings of the poll to associate "liberalism" with being "anti-Israel" 3 weeks before the election.
We call bullshit.
As a 501(c)4 advocacy organization, ECI isn’t required to reveal the sources of it's funding. Again, it's time to legislatively reverse the damage done by the Citizens United decision.