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The titter-tape charade

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Reprinted from Mondowweiss

From flickr.com/photos/14372925@N02/15104274469/: Neera Tanden
Neera Tanden
(Image by Karen Smith Murphy)
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The Center for American Progress is obviously reeling from the disgraceful performance on its main stage yesterday, in which its president Neera Tanden kissed up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a series of softball questions in an effort to assure the Israel lobby that the Democratic Party is still on its side.

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The Center is now trying to cover its behind with a post on its news site, ThinkProgress, factchecking the Prime Minister's claims: "10 Falsehoods That Netanyahu Told During His Appearance At CAP." There are five names in the byline, and it's a very strong post, showing that Netanyahu was lying about settlement growth on his watch, about the Palestinian willingness to negotiate, about his own alleged support for a two-state solution, about Palestinian violence, about Israeli punishment of settler violence.

Remember that Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib got censored for writing this kind of stuff four years ago. Clearly the progressive base has shifted since then, as James North and I pointed out earlier today; many Center for American Progress employees are obviously disturbed by Tanden's performance.

And now there's a remix tape of Tanden's "conversation" from an anonymous site: "Netanyahu Faces Tough 'Progressive' Interviewer." This is delicious, 70 seconds of Neera Tanden tittering as the Prime Minister holds forth.

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Rania Khalek tweeted:

"An angel made a remix of @neeratanden's giggling deference to baby killer Netanyahu yesterday"

Again, remember that even liberal Zionists have called Netanyahu's government "fascistic." That's who Neera Tanden was laughing up.

She exhibited the opposite of gravitas. Another critic observes that Tanden was giggly and jumpy and squirming around in her seat in the presence of an alpha male, behavior that might be excused if it were a cub reporter interviewing a foreign leader; but Tanden is leading one of America's most important progressive think tanks, with a $38-million dollar budget. She has an important position in an organization that has real impact on the policies of the world's military super-power. And progressives need stronger figures to represent us.

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Philip Weiss is a longtime writer and journalist in New York. He co-edits a website on Israel/Palestine, Mondoweiss.net, which he founded in order to foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy. He is currently working on a novel about the US in Australia during WW2.

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