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Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 01/11/2011

TIME magazine savages Israel -- again

By Jennifer Rubin

It's not clear why Time magazine has championed anti-Israel zealotry, but it has now established quite a reputation for biased and inflammatory coverage of the Jewish state.

In a September 2010 article, "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace," Time reporter Karl Vick repeated the anti-Semitic trope that Jews only care about money. The article set off a firestorm of criticism and reportedly prompted some Time advertisers to express concern about the magazine's tilt.

In this week's issue, another article by Vick, "Israel's Rightward Lurch Scares Some Conservatives," heaps condemnation on the Jewish state for legislation that would require NGOs to reveal foreign funding (a similar requirement for foreign lobbyists in the U.S.) and employs noxious rhetoric.

This draws a rare rebuke from the Israeli government. An official authorized to speak only without attribution told me in measured tones that he was "surprised that Time would publish such a narrow and superficial piece on an important topic -- one that overlooked the full range and complexity of Israel's democracy. We would have expected Time to hold itself to a higher standard."

Andrea Levin, the head of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), e-mailed me this morning: "Apparently, Time Magazine has decided the way to save a waning magazine is to bash the Jewish state full tilt." She accused Vick of a "jaundiced and factually-challenged view of Israel."

Levin put the discussion of NGO funding in context:

Israel's Knesset voted to establish a parliamentary committee to examine international sources of funding for Israeli organizations that "aid the de-legitimization of Israel through harming IDF soldiers."

As Ronen Shoval, head of the Im Tirtzu organization that has exposed linkages between extremist NGO's and the notorious Goldstone Report, writes in Ha'aretz: "During the past year, the vast majority of the public became convinced that the organizations that call themselves human rights groups actually belong to the extreme left and seek to force their radical values on others through foreign funding." Much of the far left, which supports the extreme NGO's, has risen in fury at the prospect of parliamentary inquiries into funding. Karl Vick's story parrots the indignation of those who have previously dispensed biased, false attacks against Israel with impunity.

A Democratic pro-Israel activist, who is similarly beside himself, e-mails me:

Is Israel less entitled than the US or anyone else to know WHAT FOREIGN FUNDING is flowing into lobbying organizations in Israel? The people screaming are those on the fringes of Israeli society who pretend, but don't really, have the support inside Israel to fund their extremist anti-establishment, anti-Israel propaganda. So where do they get their money? Often from foreign governments. In the U.S., when foreign governments spend money to influence our political system, they and those working for them are required to make that public. Who is afraid of transparency?

The Time piece also takes issue with Israel's Shin Bet security agency. Daniel Gordis, a senior vice president at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem counters: "Time calls the Shin Bet a 'shadowy' organization, as if the work of the CIA or NSA is carried out in broad daylight. Why on earth would a security organization not be shadowy, and why is that a crime? It's a source of suspicion, for Time, only if the country in question is Israel."

The single worst passage of the article may be this:

Ron Pundak, a historian who runs the Peres Center for Peace, sees the current atmosphere of Israeli politics as the ugliest in the nation's history. "It's totally abnormal," he says. "From my point of view, this is reminiscent of the dark ages of different places in the world in the 1930s. Maybe not Germany, but Italy, maybe Argentina later. I fear we are reaching a slippery slope, if we are not already there."

Levin said she is outraged by the fascism accusation: "His nasty rhetoric aside, Mr. Pundak is evidently aghast that many others think it's a move toward getting off the 'slippery slope' and onto solid ground to take a close look at the substance, sources and impact of certain NGO's."

But it is the entire premise of the article -- that the region's only democracy has become a sinister, authoritarian state -- that is the most disturbing. Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security advisor to George W. Bush and now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign relations, tells me:

Time's accounts of Israel resemble, but are now more extreme, than those in Saudi or Iranian publications. In a week when the police attack demonstrators in Egypt protesting the stolen November election there, and there are anti-government riots in Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria, what does Time do? It attacks Israel, the only democracy in the region, because provisions Time does not like are being debated in Israel's parliament. No doubt Time is scared about what it sees as 'rightward lurches' in lots of places, beginning in the United States in last November's election, but the repeated assaults on Israel have long since crossed into biased and venomous reporting.

It is the lack of balance and perspective that Gordis finds objectionable. He observes, "The article is egregiously unbalanced, as we have sadly come to expect from Time. Examples abound. Israel is accused of lurching to the right for considering stripping citizens of citizenship for espionage, when the U.S. has executed people (Julius and Ethel Rosenberg) for that crime. By that standard, stripping a citizen who betrays his or her own country in the most horrific manner of their citizenship seems mild, not extreme." He adds, "One need not be a supporter of Israel to be disgusted with Time magazine. One need only remember the days when Time's journalism was a serious craft."

Just last month, Israel's ambassador, Michael Oren, told me he was deeply troubled "the insinuation into journalistic discourse of themes that would have been deemed unacceptable or racist only a few years ago." He has reason to be concerned, just as readers of Time have reason to be alarmed by a once respectable journal that has now championed the cause of Israel's most aggressive bashers.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 12:16 PM ET
Categories:  Israel  
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Comments

Time is no worse than the rest of our left wing media. They are carrying water for the PA that seeks to de-legitimize Israel and to make it a pariah. Israel in their eyes has no moral right to exist, thus no right to punish espionage or treason or to protect its national security. The left is the mortal enemy of Israel and the ally of those who dream of its destruction. They're all Helen Thomas now.

Posted by: eoniii | January 11, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The Jewish People, but especially the Jews of the State of Israel, are always a convenient address for abuse, hatred, baseless accusations and calls for genocide. There are of course genocidal forms of anti Semitism in the Arab and Islamic countries, and even Japan, where there are practically no Jews at all.
Time Magazine is apparently infected with the same virus. It is no longer a serious source of information for anyone and has become a wavering shadow of a once proud institution.
Perhaps American Jews should vote with pocketbooks on Time Magazine and simply stop reading it altogether. Most other Americans already have.

Posted by: kenhe | January 11, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

eonii, methinks you're reading a bit too much into this.

Can you prove that 'left wing media' are 'carrying water' for the PA? I'd be quite interested in citations, peer-reviewed research, etc., that ties multiple media outlets of a certain ideological stripe into this pattern of behavior.

As for Time, they want to make money. Articles like this one sell copies and create buzz in other media outlets (like here), all of which helps the magazine's bottom line.

I'm sure Time is grateful to Ms. Rubin for her help in this. It means the mag is likely to write another similar article in the near future.

And the cycle will repeat.

If Ms. Rubin really wanted to play a role in silencing articles like this, she'd ignore it. But that could put her own blogging career at risk, so she fans the flames to further her career.

Capisci?

Posted by: MsJS | January 11, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Time magazine is right. Period. Why would you approve of the Israeli's keeping the Palistinians in ghettos? Why would you approve of Israel controlling jobs, water, food, day-to-day supplies, and education. Why would you approve of Israel destroying homes so new Israeli settlements to be built? Why would you approve of Israel denying the Palistinians what the world gave Israel: a homeland? Conservatives support Israel from the religious view that your magical thinking tells you they will convert when judgement day comes. It's simple, shallow and silly. We support Israel and get nothing in return. Not even respect. They thumb their nose at us with one hand, then take our billions with the other. Not agreeing with the government of Israel has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with misguided policy. As one Israeli ambassador told an American Jewish group in Queens: Don't worry, we won't give up one inch of Long Island.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 11, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, Jennifer !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: inspectorbucket | January 11, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Israel DOESN'T care about peace though.

If Israel wanted peace, they would unilaterally declare a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and be done with it. If the newly formed Palestinian state them attacked them, they would go to war with the new Palestinian state.

Israel cares about water resources and additional land. That's all they've ever cared about since 1948.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 11, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

is this blog about US or Israel? Israel apologists like Rubin should have no place on this site.

Posted by: wpost16 | January 11, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the Times run by Jews?

I thought Ms. Rubin was going to write about the conservative perspective in regards to the USA?

Posted by: cleancut77 | January 11, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

What fuzzy said.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | January 11, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Time (and Newsweek) have died.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | January 11, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Whew...for a second I thought that headline was TIME magazine salvages Israel again --now THAT would be news.

Posted by: aardunza | January 11, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Israel DOESN'T care about peace though.

If Israel wanted peace, they would unilaterally declare a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and be done with it. If the newly formed Palestinian state them attacked them, they would go to war with the new Palestinian state.

Israel cares about water resources and additional land. That's all they've ever cared about since 1948.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe
------------------
Israel has tried the approach you recommend in both south Lebanon, controlled by Hezbollah, and in Gaza, controlled now by Hamas. In both locales, Israeli withdrawal led quickly to war. The same would unquestionably happen in the West Bank. Hamas would seize power and then attack. When you have enemies whose sole purpose is to exterminate you, appeasement is never a viable option.

Posted by: eoniii | January 11, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Contrary to Ms Rubin's assertion, the article does not take issue with Shin Bet, but is quite flattering towards it. Quoting from Time:

"There was, however, expert advice from Israel's internal security service. Shin Bet, the shadowy domestic intelligence body charged with keeping the public safe from terrorism, delicately informed the lawmakers that it had no use for their sledgehammer. "Too broad and lacking in balancing mechanisms," the agency said of the bill."

Posted by: PaulJay | January 11, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree with what you are saying, but what is the circulation of Time these days? Aren't they on a going out of business curve?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | January 11, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

eoniii:

You had me up to

"Hamas would seize power."

Hamas was elected.

I am not saying this wouldn't happen without conflict, but certainly taking over more land, expanding JEWISH ONLY settlements is not a solution and nobody with any brain at all thinks that can be an overture for peace.

Just last week, a Palestinian man who wasn't doing anything at all other than sleeping in his bed was shot to death by the IDF - wrong apartment, IDF thought he was some Hamas operative. I.E. it was going to be an extra-judicial killing, they weren't even planning on arresting him or bringing him to trial.

Israel really ISN'T interested in peace. They never were. For all the crap you hear about rockets from Hamas which are 99.999% useless except as a pathetic show of resistance, what do you hear about apartment buildings being leveled?

Remember Rachael Corrie? Remember the home she was trying to prevent being demolished - well that was SUPPOSEDLY being demolished because it was connected to a tunnel - do you ever, and I mean EVER, see any evidence these tunnels exist?

Israel comes up with some excuse or something, beats the hell out of their opposition, then screams bloody murder when a Palestinian kid throws a rock back to show resistance. That's been the pattern for SIXTY TWO YEARS, and EVERYBODY is sick to death of it.

You want Israel to find peace? Fine, cut off their 3 billion dollars of US military aid, they'll find peace in a hurry. Who isn't tired of this stupid conflict of a group of insane Jewish lunatics trying to build a colony in the middle of a piece of the Ottoman Empire where EIGHTY GENERATIONS ago maybe SOME of their ANCIENT ancestors might have lived there before an EXTINCT empire with a DEAD language kicked them out of it?

This entire thing is stupid.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 11, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I'll stipulate that Time is not the finest exemplar of objective journalism.

A lack of balance? Certainly a point of view. However, do you notice how Rubin selects right-wingers to tell us that Time is unbalanced? I don't recall Time running any positive reporting on the state of government in Egypt or Syria, etc., lately - is Rubin's critique a little unbalanced itself?

What is the final conclusion? Is Rubin telling us that Israeli politics are not moving to the right? Has she looked at the parties in the Cabinet?

Posted by: j3hess | January 11, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, Israel can't make the headlines in any positive way other than to complain that they are being shown in a poor light because they will not discuss peace in any meaningful manner.
I didn't realize Israel actually called itself a Democracy! How funny.Of course citizenship is severly limited.
I'm always frightened by the vitrolic responses of Israeli supporters. Makes me wonder how detrimental to our country our unconditional support of such a stubbornly unpeaceful nation is.

Posted by: hebe1 | January 11, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Time...The Daily Beast...HuffPost...the "I hate Israel" meme is like the Stuxnet worm, spreading, and Israel hasn't yet discovered the anti-viral software to stop its progression.

~ Halli Casser-Jayne

Posted by: PolitiHAL | January 11, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rubin,

While you criticizes Time for its coverage of Israel and its attempt to investigate the NGOs's
that receive foreign funding that oppose the government, you failed to mention that the organizations that support the government are exempt from these investigations.
You also failed to mention that in Israel this bias also received considerable criticism. A review of the Haaretz newspaper will bear me out.

Posted by: hairman | January 11, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't like seeing Israel criticized either and the Time piece is tough but you have totally and recklessly distorted/misrepresented the piece. Among many fallacies, you indicate that only extremist left-wing fringe groups have criticized the government's proposals -- you fail to report (as the Time piece does) that many on the right, including members of Likud from Nentanyahu's own party and members in the coalition government, are concerned about the laws being advanced by the government (from requiring loyalty oaths from Arabs but not Israelis, to rescinding citizenship for disloyalty, to setting up investigations to determine the funding of leftwing NGO's but not rightwing NGO's, to advancing policies that restrict housing for Arabs), and many are concerned about the outsized influence of Lieberman's party which resembles Putin's style of governance. Israel's own attorney general, who is a member of Likud, has been critical of many of these bills. They are not good for Israel and take them in a direction that their forebears would not recognize. You have an opinion and a strong emotional connection to the issue and that's fine -- but you should be more careful in your reporting. It's hard to believe that the Washington Post continues to carry this blog.

Posted by: wswest | January 11, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

... You want Israel to find peace? Fine, cut off their 3 billion dollars of US military aid, they'll find peace in a hurry. Who isn't tired of this stupid conflict of a group of insane Jewish lunatics trying to build a colony in the middle of a piece of the Ottoman Empire where EIGHTY GENERATIONS ago maybe SOME of their ANCIENT ancestors might have lived there before an EXTINCT empire with a DEAD language kicked them out of it?

This entire thing is stupid.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe
-------
You are repeating the lie that the Jews have no legitimate ties to the land, only an ancient Biblical claim. Despite the Diaspora, Jews have lived in the land of ancient Israel for centuries, including during the Ottoman Empire and continuing throughout the British Mandate after WWI.

The Zionist movement began in the 19th century. Their vision was always to live in peace with the Arabs of the area. Many people don't realize that the rapid economic development brought about by Jewish settlers attracted many Arabs to previously sparsely populated areas. The desert bloomed.

Palestine was just a region until recently, not a nationality. The Mufti of Jerusalem, whose "landmark" house is now being destroyed to make room for Jewish housing, was an ally of Hitler and planned with Hitler to eradicate the Jews of the Middle East after Germany won the war.

The goals of Palestinian leaders have not changed since his day, but so far, they have all failed. Israel is not likely to relax it's guard against those whose only goal is its elimination. There can be no peace without a Palestinian peace partner who accepts Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. Once the Palestinians give up their revanchist fantasies, there can finally be peace.

When will that be? The Palestinians must look at Western elite opinion and conclude they're winning.

Posted by: eoniii | January 11, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"You are repeating the lie that the Jews have no legitimate ties to the land"

I'm stating the native inhabitants that are descendants of the Arab population from the 1922 and 1931 British census counts have a legitimate claim to the land.

Because they do.

It's that simple.

And a lie that the VAST majority of Jewish people in Israel are recent immigrants to the area? That's no lie. It's an inconvenient fact that you try to bury by calling it "a lie". If anybody reading this cares to, I encourage them to look up where all the Prime Ministers of Israel were born.

"The Zionist movement began in the 19th century. Their vision was always to live in peace with the Arabs of the area"

If this were true, why did the Zionists demand partition, which is nothing more than a fancy word for segregation, when they were a minority of the population? The purpose of Zionism was to create a Jewish state, understandably, the non Jews of that land objected because they feared they would lose their land and control of their self determination - which they did.

That native Arabs didn't get to participate in the vote for partition. It was a violation of the UN's own charter - to allow self determination of people. It was the Zionists that wanted to divide the land, not the Arabs, and as SOON as the land was divided up - the conflict began in earnest. To be sure there was conflict before then on both sides, but after the division of land by a bunch of Europeans that dominated the UN: *boom*.

When the UN realized what a stupid error they just made, they sent Count Bernadotte as a UN mediator to try to negotiate some sort of peace. Zionists murdered him. Yitzhak Shamir, the 7th prime minister, took part in arranging his murder. Bernadotte made a name for himself by negotiating the release of about 31,000 prisoners from German concentration camps.

By the way, Shamir was born in Ruzhany, Russia.

"Palestine was just a region until recently, not a nationality."

How is this even relevant?

Do you mean to say that because the native Arabs didn't have an internationally recognized sovereign nation that they don't have a right to live on the land that their mothers, fathers, grandparents, great grandparents, etc lived on?

Because they weren't a "nationality"? Because they weren't recognized as one?

This has to be the stupidest talking point I have to invariably respond to.

"The Mufti of Jerusalem, whose "landmark" house is now being destroyed to make room for Jewish housing, was an ally of Hitler"

In the same year the the Grand Mufti met with Hitler, Lehi offered to enter the war on the side of Hitler provided that Nazi Germany would support the creation of Israel.

That was the "Ankara document".

Was Lehi a splinter group of nuts? No, it later became the Irgun, which Menachem Begin helped run, when he blew up the King David Hotel in 1946, killing 91 people.

He was the 6th prime minister of Israel, born in Brest Russia.

And Irgun was absorbed into Likud.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 11, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

You're piece smacks of desperation Jennifer. In spite of all the sources you cited, all that Abrams, Levin(CAMERA), the “Democratic pro-Israel activist”, Daniel Gordis were able to argue was the Time piece was UNBALANCED, which we know is simply how Israeli propagandists respond to reports they are unable to refute.

It explains why you felt the need to padd your fact challenged piece with hyperbolic terms like "extremist left-wing fringe groups".

Oren's complaint is nothing more than sour grapes over the fact that criticism of Israel, once a taboo, had become acceptable and propagandists like he are unable to cope with the new playing field.

I must say, I couldn't help but laugh when you cited a convicted felon as one of your sources.It's obvious that the Hasbara camp is being forced to choose from slim picking these days.

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | January 11, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | January 11, 2011 3:31 PM
“Israel has tried the approach you recommend in both south Lebanon, controlled by Hezbollah, and in Gaza, controlled now by Hamas. In both locales, Israeli withdrawal led quickly to war.”

That's because Israel's idea of a withdrawal is placing one foot outside the borders, and keeping he other on the neck of those they were occupying. Of course, Israel had no business invading and occupying either territory in the first place.

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | January 11, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: j3hess | January 11, 2011 4:18 PM
“A lack of balance? Certainly a point of view. However, do you notice how Rubin selects right-wingers to tell us that Time is unbalanced? I don't recall Time running any positive reporting on the state of government in Egypt or Syria, etc., lately - is Rubin's critique a little unbalanced itself?”

What it tells us is that Israeli politics has become so extreme that the only way to dress it up is to compare it to the most oppressive regimes and argue that it's not as bad as it could be.

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | January 11, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wswest | January 11, 2011 6:20 PM
“Among many fallacies, you indicate that only extremist left-wing fringe groups have criticized the government's proposals -- you fail to report (as the Time piece does) that many on the right, including members of Likud from Nentanyahu's own party and members in the coalition government, are concerned about the laws being advanced by the government..”

Yes, that's quite a remarkable piece of cherry picking my Jennifer, seeing as the title of the Time peace reads “Israel's Rightward Lurch Scares Some Conservatives”.

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | January 11, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: eoniii | January 11, 2011 6:29 PM

“You are repeating the lie that the Jews have no legitimate ties to the land, only an ancient Biblical claim. Despite the Diaspora, Jews have lived in the land of ancient Israel for centuries, including during the Ottoman Empire and continuing throughout the British Mandate after WWI.”

The only legitimate ties to the land are those based on the 1948 declaration of independence, which explicitly stipulate that the borders were to be those as laid out by the partition.
Beyond those borders, there are no legitimate claims.

BTW. Palestinians have also lived in the land of Palestine for centuries.

“The Zionist movement began in the 19th century. Their vision was always to live in peace with the Arabs of the area.”

False. The goal was NOT to live with the Arabs in the area, but to remove them in order to achieve a Jewish state.

“Many people don't realize that the rapid economic development brought about by Jewish settlers attracted many Arabs to previously sparsely populated areas. The desert bloomed.”
False. The Arabs were always a majority and the desert was already blooming.

“Palestine was just a region until recently, not a nationality.”

False. Ben Gurion acknowledged that Palestinian nationality was real. Palestinians were even promised independence in 1915,. though the British failed to deliver on that promise.
“The Mufti of Jerusalem, whose "landmark" house is now being destroyed to make room for Jewish housing, was an ally of Hitler and planned with Hitler to eradicate the Jews of the Middle East after Germany won the war. “

The Mufti was one man who was appointed by the British, and was exiled from 1939.

“There can be no peace without a Palestinian peace partner who accepts Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. Once the Palestinians give up their revanchist fantasies, there can finally be peace.”

No country in the word recognises Israel as a Jewish state, and no country is required to by law. Peace required Israel retuning land it took illegally, and Netenyahu has stated he is not prepared to do that.

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | January 11, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

fuzzywzhe, apparently you skipped the History Revisionism class discussed in George Orwell's 1984. Repeat after me:

War is peace. (If Arabs are defending themselves from the latest Israeli invasion.)

Freedom is slavery. (If you are a lucky Arab that Israel failed to ethnically cleanse.)

Ignorance is strength. (I give you Israel's accurate opinion of Americans.)

Posted by: Lazarus40 | January 11, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

What in the world is wrong with a law that strips citizenship from traitors, requires some affirmation of loyalty to the country, and investigates the funding sources of Israeli groups that seek to demonize Israel globally. Over at contentions, the Commentary blog, they objected to this last part by saying all NGOs should have their funding sources revealed. Fine. Otherwise, what's the problem here?

Posted by: adam62 | January 11, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Although I didn't read the full article, I'm sure that the author is trying to link disagreement to Israel government policies to antisemitism, which anyone can dismiss as a weak argument. We all disagree with our own government stand based on our own believes and values, but that doesn't make us unpatriotic.
Furthermore, I didn't read the time article at all, I honestly thought those magazines were extinct... and I don't plan on reading it either!

Posted by: sam_ad | January 11, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: adam62 | January 11, 2011 9:20 PM

"What in the world is wrong with a law that strips citizenship from traitors, requires some affirmation of loyalty to the country, and investigates the funding sources of Israeli groups that seek to demonize Israel globally."

Nothing if you want a fascist state. If on the other hand, you want a democracy that protects freedom of speech and expression, then you improve your behavior and give these "traitors" fewer and fewer reasons to criticize your bad behavior.

"Over at contentions, the Commentary blog, they objected to this last part by saying all NGOs should have their funding sources revealed. Fine. Otherwise, what's the problem here?"

What about lobbies like AIPAC and action groups like Emergency Committee for Israel? They refuse to reveal their funding sources.

Should they be forced to do so?

Over at contentions, the Commentary blog, they objected to this last part by saying all NGOs should have their funding sources revealed. Fine. Otherwise, what's the problem here?

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | January 11, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing fascist about punishing traitors--amazingly, an Arab member of the Knesset gave military information to Hezbollah during the 2006 war. He should be in jail, or expelled (in tougher, more self-confident times he would be hanged). In truth, the Israelis could probably find better ways of dealing with the increasing lawlessness and hostility to the state in the Arab communities--I suspect just enforcing the laws already on the books might go a long way. I used to hope that a specific form of Arab Israeli patriotism would emerge, but there are too many incentives for Israeli Arabs to move in the rejectionist direction. Ultimately, only the utter defeat of foes like Hamas and Hizbollah, and perhaps ultimately much of Fatah as well will make it possible to turn to this problem in a fresh way, towards an emphasis on economics.

The idea that it is Israel's bad behavior that sets a significant portion of its Arab population, not to mention most of the Muslim world, in genocidal opposition to Israel, is the main source of the dispute here. I'm surprised that you, AndredeAngelis, don't see that the opposition of Israel's enemies is fundamental, and will settle for nothing less than Israel's destruction, since you clearly see it that way yourself. You're entitled to your opinion, but you can hardly be surprised that most Israelis don't offer themselves up for slaughter. Or that they want to find ways to minimize the damage done by the few who seem anxious to do just that.

As for American lobbies revealing their funding sources, I'm against it--we can afford a much wider scope to freedom of speech and association than the Israelis. Anyway, the current law isn't aimed at shutting down these hostile NGOs, just exposing their funding. The point is, I think, to show that the funding is from outside of the country, from very unfriendly figures--that should drastically impair their ability to influence Israeli public opinion and, even more importantly, to present themselves abroad as "another voice of Israel." I don't know who you think is funding pro-Israel American groups, but I'd bet it's mostly pro-Israel American Jews and Christians. (Who else? The Commies?) I doubt there'd be any scandal there.

Posted by: adam62 | January 11, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

jckdoors asks
..."Why would you approve of the Israeli's keeping the Palistinians (sic) in ghettos? Why would you approve of Israel controlling jobs, water, food, day-to-day supplies, and education."

How about this answer - BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN MAKING WAR & KILLING WOMEN, CHILDREN, DOCTORS, and anyone else they can easily get their hands on. THEY started the wars. They continue the wars. It is only rational that they should continue to suffer what are in fact very mild consequences of their on-going virulence.

"Why would you approve of Israel destroying homes so new Israeli settlements to be built?"

They don't, as a matter of fact, do what you accuse them of. Just as many Arabs are building new settlements on open ground in the West Bank, so too have Israelis. If this bothers them, then they should make peace instead of continuing to attack Israel.

"Why would you approve of Israel denying the Palistinians what the world gave Israel: a homeland?"

The ARABS destroyed the nascent country of Palestine when they over-ran it in 1948. Israel has not ever denied Palestine its existence. It is the ARABS and PERSIANS who have done so and continue to do so.

"...We support Israel and get nothing in return..."

Nothing? You don't know very much, do you?
We have received enormous amounts of intel during the cold war. We still receive extreme amounts of intel assistance about the region. And Bush 1 would have had to hesitate long and hard had he been forced to face a nuclear armed Iraq. But Israel had destroyed their reactor and weapons capacity, so we could defend Kuwait without fear.

You need to learn some facts to offset your ignorant preconceptions.

Posted by: 9876543210 | January 13, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"fuzzywzhe, apparently you skipped the History Revisionism class discussed in George Orwell's 1984"

No of course I haven't. I've ready 1984, and more importantly, I read Brave New World. You are practicing Orwellianism and DoubleSpeak at this moment. How Ironic.

I should point out that using an ad hominem attack doesn't invalidate my statements either. See? I read about logic too.

I know the history well, my post demonstrates I do. People who support Israel invariably assume that people who don't are ignorant louts who know nothing of this history. When confronted with somebody that does know the history, like I do, they resort to common logical fallacies since they are not in the moral right. You can't and won't address my points, because they are all facts. You don't care about facts. I did, that's how I went from an ignorant supporter of Israel to somebody that doesn't support a country that has had 2 murderers as their prime ministers.

You can now follow the script and now declare I'm anti-Semitic and I worship Hitler as a great leader and a genius, that's generally what people like you do once defeated.

Posted by: fuzzywzhe | January 17, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

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