CAP writer backtracks on anti-Israel tweet

In his tweet, Duss praised an article slamming Netanyahu for "religious incitement" because he gave Obama a copy of the Book of Esther.

March 9, 2012 13:29
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Obama in Washington

Netanyahu and Obama in Washington . (photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)


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A Center for American Progress Mideast writer Matt Duss  generated criticism on Wednesday for a tweet  that praised an article slamming Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu for "religious incitement"  because he gave President Obama the Book on Esther for the Purim Holiday.

Duss later clarified his tweet by issuing a statement saying, "The Iranian regime
regularly states as a goal the destruction of the state of Israel, and therefore,  Israel clearly has legitimate concerns about Iran and its nuclear ambitions. My tweet only meant to say that biblical analogies may be unhelpful to the current moment if they do not distinguish the Iranian regime from all Iranians. Of course, I did not mean to suggest criticism of the story of Esther."

Rabbi Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wiesenthal Center,  who had a conference call with CAP officials on Thursday, told The Jerusalem Post that the tweet was discussed. "I explained during the call that what spurred my comment was the fact that last Purim there were demonstrations in front of Esther and Morechai's Mausoleum in Shushan who depicted the book of Esther as the story of a Jewish genocide against Persians. This was followed by online discussions in Farsi pushing this perversion of history."

"The Bottom line is that the young generation of bloggers and tweeters, must be
accountable for their words...and in this case the parroting of someone else's words depicting the gift of Megillat Esther as 'religious incitement' is a slur  against a religion and the leader of Israel. I am happy to hear that this was not Mr. Duss's intention but it was also clear that in referencing Robert Wright's disgusting article, he knew virtually nothing about Purim."

It was agreed during the conference call that Cooper will be meeting with CAP officials in the near future to discuss the comments from their writers toward Israel and Jews which have been construed as being anti-Semitic or anti-Israel.

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