Two of the Democratic Party's core institutions are challenging a bipartisan consensus on Israel and Palestine that has dominated American foreign policy for more than a decade.
The Center for American Progress, the party's key hub of ideas and strategy, and Media Matters, a central messaging organization, have emerged as vocal critics of their party's staunchly pro-Israel congressional leadership and have been at odds, at times, with Barack Obama's White House, which has acted as a reluctant ally to Benjamin Netanyahu's Israeli government.
The differences are ones of tone - but also of bright lines of principle - and while they have haven't yet made any visible impact on Democratic policy, they've shaken up the Washington foreign policy conversation and broadened the space for discussing a heretical and often critical stance on Israel heretofore confined to the political margins.
The daily battle is waged in Media Matters' emails, on CAP's blogs, Middle East Progress and ThinkProgress and most of all on Twitter, where a Media Mattters official, MJ Rosenberg, regularly heaps vitriol on those who disagree as "Iraq war neocon liar" (the Atlantic
's Jeffrey Goldberg) or having "dual loyalties" to the U.S. and Israel (the Washington Post
's Jennifer Rubin). And while the Center for American Progress tends to walk a more careful line, warm words for Israel can be hard to find on its blogs.