This makes my week.

It turns out that some key right-wing bloggers (including Seth Mandel of Commentary) have been on the payroll of the anti-Semitic, gay-baiting and repressive government of Malaysia.

Josh Trevino, who founded Red State, a far right blog and who prides himself as being a big Netanyahu supporter, was paid $389,724.70 to promote the Malaysian government’s cause. He then spread the dough around by subcontracting with other conservative bloggers including the “pro-Israel” Commentary editor Mandel. Also, cashing in were conservative writer Ben Domenech, who made $36,000 and Rachel Ehrenfeld, the director of the American Center for Democracy, who made $30,000.

I don’t care much about Trevino. Trevino is a rightist who strikes me as a racist, one who tends to invoke Israel to convince people that he is not anti-Semitic. There is no reason to think he would have scruples about being paid by an anti-Semitic regime, one that continues to persecute the leader of the democratic opposition as both an Israel lover and gay, two of the worst things one can be in Malaysia. (Trevino is best known for saying it was fine with him if Israel killed Americans participating in the Gaza relief flotilla).

But Mandel is obsessed with loving Israel and demonizing anyone who doesn’t. And he takes money from the Malayasian government! Here is his defense.

I was blogging about issues relating to Israel and anti-Semitism in 2010, and Josh approached me about a Malaysian opposition figure who had made anti-Semitic comments and was affiliated with anti-Israel organizations. I had full editorial freedom – Josh never saw anything I wrote until after it was published – and I had no relationship with the Malaysian government. I was paid by Josh for what was probably a handful of blog posts in the fall of 2010, I believe, while working as a freelancer in Washington.

What a liar. No one has ever accused the Malyasian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, of being anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. No one.

In fact, just this week Hamas denounced Ibrahim as a tool of Israel. Surely Mandel saw the Jerusalem Post piece about how Ibrahim’s support for the two-state solution is being exploited by the Malyasian government (yeah, the one that paid Trevino and Mandel) which has labelled him a Jew-lover.

I guess Mandel was mixed up. Ibrahim is demonized as a Jew-lover and he thought that meant Jew-hater.

And so it goes with the right. Yes, some are in the right for the hate. But a lot of them are in it for the money. Trevino is good on both counts. But Mandel? What a shonda? Selling out the Jews for $5500. Come on! You can do better than that.



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