The Israel Policy Forum is losing its most forceful voice in the public debate over promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace. M.J. Rosenberg, who served as the group’s director of policy analysis, is leaving IPF at the end of the month. Rosenberg will join Media Matters Action Network, a progressive organization focused on countering right-wing attacks in the media. He will be in charge of Middle East policy issues there.
“Up to now there was a separation in the blogosphere between being liberal and talking about Israel,” Rosenberg said, adding that his mission with Media Matters is “to send a message, that if you’re progressive you shouldn’t be supporting the occupation.”
Rosenberg wrote IPF’s weekly opinion column and also published a popular blog on Talking Points Memo’s TPMCafé. In these columns he expressed views to the left of the Jewish mainstream that had at the time angered some of his bosses at IPF. (Rosenberg, for example, was the strongest voice in the Jewish community supporting the controversial attempt to appoint Chas Freeman to a top intelligence post in the Obama administration.)
Before joining IPF Rosenberg worked for AIPAC but in recent years he has become one of the harshest critics of the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse.
In a statement published Thursday, IPF’s executive director Nick Bunzl said that Rosenberg’s weekly columns and blog posts were among the most widely read by those following the Arab–Israeli conflict. “Often controversial, always provocative, MJ developed a signature style that pushed the envelope in a way that drove much needed discussion and debate on the issue,” Bunzl said.