How It Works:“Obama-linked group accused of anti-Semitism”
January 19, 2012, 10:47 PM
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From the Washington Post:
Obama-linked group accused of anti-Semitism 
The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank closely aligned with the White House, is embroiled in a dispute with several major Jewish organizations over statements on Israel and charges that some center staffers have used anti-Semitic language to attack pro-Israel Americans.
The controversy reflects growing divisions among important allies of President Obama over Middle East policy that could complicate the president’s reelection outreach to some Jewish voters, just as he is seeking to assure them of his commitment to Israel’s security amid fears of an Iran nuclear threat.

Among the points of contention are several Twitter posts by one CAP writer on his personal account referring to “Israel-firsters.” Some experts say the phrase has its roots in the anti-Semitic charge that American Jews are more loyal to a foreign country. In another case, a second staffer described a U.S. senator as showing more fealty to the prime U.S. pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, than to his own constituents, replacing a standard identifier of party affiliation and state with “R-AIPAC” on his personal Twitter account. The first writer has since left the staff.

Critics are also pointing to writings on the CAP Web site, where staffers have suggested the pro-Israel lobby is pushing the U.S. toward war with Iran and likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza to the policies of the segregated American South.

Those statements, among others, have gained notice largely because of CAP’s influential role in Obama’s Washington. Founded and chaired by John Podesta, a onetime chief of staff in the Clinton White House, the center is an idea generator for the administration and a source for many of its top officials.

So, CAP is a totally mainstream group run by veteran Democratic insiders. Here's Glenn Greenwald of Salon on how the tarring and feathering is organized. 
Being Democratic Establishment Central, CAP will survive, no doubt, but the "chilling effect" will remain. If you are a Democratic underling, don't even think amusing thoughts about Republican senators who have sold out to AIPAC. In a moment of weakness, you might put them on Twitter. You can't be too careful. 
Years ago, I proposed that the Israel Lobby should be treated like the anti-Castro Lobby: as a big, powerful interest group that normally gets its way on foreign policy questions it's interested in precisely because it's a big, powerful lobby. That's politics and both the anti-Castro Lobby and the Israel Lobby play politics well. 
The difference between them is that the Cuba Libre Lobby is happy when you mention out loud how powerful they are, because that makes them seem even more powerful. 
In contrast, the Israel Lobby, although it boasts itself about its own power, tries to destroy people who mention its power, or who might even someday get around to mentioning it, as long as the Israel Lobby isn't comfortable with them. "Pay no attention to that lobby behind the curtain!" The latter has a severely chilling effect on thought in the more careerist parts of America.