‘Huffpo’ reflects staggering shift in liberal American discourse

Israel/Palestine
on 34 Comments

Take a look at the Huffington Post headlines right now. One activist was American, shot four times in the head… Blockade has failed… Obama administration believes blockade is "untenable," per NYT.

I believe (yes, I want to believe; but that never stops me) the special relationship is over.The Israelis will put in a new government to try and stop the damage to its principal source of support, the lobby. But the Democratic Party base is now lost.

34 Responses

  1. Mooser
    June 3, 2010, 9:51 am

    Don’t worry, Israel love is a natural for the Repubs, with their Revalationist Christian Zionist base. That’s why I always get a kick out of those who try and make anti-Zionism into a right-wing or conservative stance.

    • azythos
      June 4, 2010, 2:07 am

      Let’s not be childish, please. The “Repubs” only? Do you really believe that the so-called “Democrats” are any different? Well, perhaps you do. In which case I have a fantastic piece of real estate for you to buy, connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn.

  2. Shmuel
    June 3, 2010, 9:57 am

    And here I was thinking that Abunimah got a little carried away with his “Gaza moved the people, the flotilla is moving the governments”.

  3. potsherd
    June 3, 2010, 9:57 am

    The Democratic politicians will oppose this shift with all their power. They are so addicted to AIPAC money that they can’t see beyond it.

    Yet I can’t quite see them defecting to the GOP over this issue. Most of them, not.

    • Dan Kelly
      June 3, 2010, 4:53 pm

      They are so addicted to AIPAC money that they can’t see beyond it.

      And they will continue to be so long as campaign finance rules remain the same as they are now. Also, AIPAC and other such organizations much be forced to register as agents of a foreign country. Unless and until these things happen, it’s hard to imagine any serious change in the U.S.-Israel relationship coming from congress or the executive. Change will come from the grassroots and from within the military ranks, areas that aren’t bought. The politicians, save for a handful, are all lackeys.

    • DICKERSON3870
      June 3, 2010, 5:12 pm

      RE: ” The Democratic politicians will oppose this shift with all their power. They are so addicted to AIPAC money that they can’t see beyond it.” – potsherd

      MY CONTRIBUTION:
      Money makes the world go around
      The world go around
      The world go around
      Money makes the world go around
      It makes the world go ’round.

      A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
      A buck or a pound
      A buck or a pound
      Is all that makes the world go around,
      That clinking clanking sound
      Can make the world go ’round…
      “Money” ~ Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey (02:56) – link to youtube.com

  4. lysias
    June 3, 2010, 10:02 am

    I think for someone to be shot four times in the head and once in the chest, per the Hürriyet report, Eight Turks, one US citizen shot dead in Israeli attack to aid ship, report says, the firing must have been at close range at an immobile target. One wonders why the big tough commandos thought a 19-year-old was such a threat to them.

  5. Colin Murray
    June 3, 2010, 10:02 am

    The Obama administration needs to demand the immediate release of all the remains of the slain still in Israeli custody, AND the Mari Marmura for forsensic analysis, AND all the photos and video taken by both activists and IDF. I have a hunch a recreation of time evolution and details of the highjacking will shut the mouths of much of the Israel Lobby.

  6. Jethro
    June 3, 2010, 10:03 am

    I’m sorry to say I think you’re getting too excited.

    • potsherd
      June 3, 2010, 10:06 am

      Phil is an incurable optimist.

      I don’t deny the shift that is taking place, but I don’t underestimate the power of the lobby to shift it back.

  7. Kathleen
    June 3, 2010, 10:18 am

    Huge and welcome shift at Huffington Post. Whether they are doing it because they realize the public’s has become better informed about this critical issue and are doing it to collect those participants or the real conscience light has finally gone on. Better late than never.

    Crooks and Liars still one of the most blocked up blogs on this critical issue. Firedoglake has opened up a bit more. One of the heavy hitters over there (Marcy Wheeler addressing this issue far more, there have been lower level bloggers over there who have touched it over the last few years)

    the wall is coming down at MSNBC. While many of us who tried were unsuccessful at getting MSNBC, NPR and other MSM outlets to cover the flotilla before the violence. This past Tuesday Spitzer (in for Dylan Ratigan) had Glenn on (Glenn wiped the deck with Spitzer), Ed was relatively balanced about the raid, Chris Matthews was clearly lop-sided (he showed the same f—king Israeli released clip of the Israeli soldiers hitting the deck and being hit with the metal rods 9 times in 7 minutes…9 times). That evening Rachel Maddow (who has never dipped her toes even close to these waters) actually covered this raid in a relatively for the MSM balanced way. She had clips from the Israeli government and another clip (not sure if it was the Al Jazeera clip or some other source) that showed a bit of the raid before the soldiers were on the ship. On Tuesday RAchel mentioned that there were other ships still headed for the Gaza. She said that she would keep the public updated on their movements. Did not cover the MV Rachel Corrie last night. Hope she keeps her word

    Keith Olbermann did not touch the issue on Tuesday night

    But last night he had former Ambassador Peck on. The MSM wall is coming down. Better late than never

    “ugly politics”
    link to msnbc.msn.com

    Need to mention not one of these folks ever whispered about the Goldstone Report. Complete Silence.

    NPR’s Talk of the Nation Neil Conan has not touched the issue yet.
    NPR’s Fresh Air Host Terri Gross has not touched the issue yet.

    BIG QUESTION WHO IN THE MSM WILL TRY TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE MV RACHEL CORRIE BEFORE THERE IS MORE VIOLENCE. GET THOSE SPOTLIGHTS ON THAT SHIP/BOAT…NOW

    • lysias
      June 3, 2010, 10:22 am

      The coverage on RT television has been great. “Crosstalk” had a debate on Gaza featuring the great Norm Finkelstein. Gaza was the lead story on the Alyona Show, and the show was still covering Gaza when I left the gym 25 minutes into the show.

    • lysias
      June 3, 2010, 10:23 am

      And of course Finkelstein talked over and over again about the Goldstone Report.

      • Kathleen
        June 3, 2010, 10:47 am

        As well he should. The MSM completely ignored the Goldstone Report. Israel and the I lobby have been successful at shutting this critical report down. Read the report.

        This latest unnecessary disproportionate and lethal response by Israel is just one more example of what took place in the Gaza.

        Thank goodness for Finkelstein , Former President Jimmy Carter, Edward Said and many others who have tried to keep this serious situation in the public’s face even though the U.S. MSM media have ignored this situation for decades.

        hell many of the so called progressive blogs have been shut down to really touching this critical issue. Crooks and Liars being one of the most shut down

    • Danaa
      June 3, 2010, 1:26 pm

      Kathleen, you should take heart from what’ been happening on DailyKos. For 3 days running, 2-4 recommended diaries each day – a couple with 1000’s of comments and apparently many hundreds of recommendations. One was by Assaf, who you are no doubt familiar with. From what I can tell, the usual posse of israel apologists were strangely absent (not that were no hasbara commentators – those are always at hand), but what caused some of the others to become silent as lambs?

      What these many 100’s of recommendations tell you is that there has always been a fairly silent majority among DK readers. just waiting for “permission to engage”. I know there have been some counter-diaries, but that’s to be expected. I’d worry had I not seen those (like what’s the world coming to? no accusations of anti-semitism?)

      But the really encouraging sign to me is that OpenLeft, for the first time that I can see, had 4 front pagers addressing the issue of I?P and the flottila, including my personal favorite Paul Rosenberg. I was quite heartened to see Chris Bower’s take too – right along with all the commentators. Don’t think I ever saw Chris voice an opinion on the matter (he may have, I just didn’t see). From the way they deal with other issues dear to the heart of progressives, I always had a hunch as to what their stand is, and understood why – as a uphill struggling community with political action aspirations – they’d have to walk gingerly on that territory. Just like FDL. Maybe it’s a similar situation for HuffPo.

      There’s hope on the left – just keep monitoring …..

    • kapok
      June 3, 2010, 5:48 pm

      CBC, which vaunts it’s multicultural cred ad nauseam, had the Purdy TV Lady badgering poor Peck(“doesn’t Israel have the right etc”) on a split screen on the left side of the tube with an endless loop of the WaffenSS boarding party getting pumelled on the right.

  8. Kathleen
    June 3, 2010, 10:49 am

    Phillip where is the MV RAchel Corrie. One report on line says it is still on the way to the Gaza. Another says that a deal has been struck with the Israeli government (don’t believe this one)

    The international cameras need to be on this ship before there is another violent incident. Remember the USS Liberty

  9. Colin Murray
    June 3, 2010, 10:49 am

    Phil, this is just the first step. The Israel Lobby will retain its influence on the formulation of US foreign policy without liberal Zionist popular support, and even without the united support of many of its weaker organizations, e.g. most of AIPAC’s constituent members could resign and it would keep going.

    Loss of moral support is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the end of the special relationship. The central issue is campaign finance contributions, both regular small donations directly to candidates and massive donations to opponents of officials who do not sufficiently toe the AIPAC line. The fear of being politically destroyed for insufficient support for Israeli ethnic cleansing and colonization must be removed from our political process.

    Until Israeli Lobby money is considered politically toxic, akin to what happened to tobacco lobby money, the battle will not be won, and Israel will continue to slide down the path towards apartheid fascism and eventual self-destruction.

    • chet
      June 3, 2010, 7:03 pm

      As a huge proportion of Democratic campaign money (I believe I read 40%) comes from Jewish sources, I would find it hard to believe that the party would turn its back on these funds.

      That being the case, expect no better from Obama or from members of Congress in the future.

  10. hophmi
    June 3, 2010, 10:55 am

    “But the Democratic Party base is now lost.” Wishful thinking. The Huffington Post often has articles critical of Israel. The “base” of the Democratic Party is still more pro-Israel than they are pro-Palestinian.

  11. sensa
    June 3, 2010, 11:25 am

    I may be slightly off topic here but I’ve always wondered, as an AY-RAB American (Lebanese) why the Ay-RABS who have $$ up to their f….a….h’s don’t counter AIPAC by flooding Congress with their petro-dollars. Anyone has a clue?

    • Walid
      June 3, 2010, 11:41 am

      Sensa, you just described it yourself why not.

      How many bullets to the head to stop a guy? This sounds like an assassination to me. I’m anxiously waiting for Israel to announce that all have been released to see how many are still missing. Talk of bodies being thrown overboard is not that absurd when it comes to the valiant IDF.

      • Lysander
        June 3, 2010, 12:10 pm

        Well, whom would we give it to? Most races are AIPAC sock puppet #1 vs AIPAC sock puppet #2.

        There was Ron Paul and I did give the 2300$ max to his campaign (over the course of 8 months, not all at once)

        Otherwise, there is Marcy Winograd, but I haven’t given her any money yet. John Dennis, a Ron Paul republican running against Nancy Pelosi, maybe BJ Lawsonn another Ron Paul republican running in North Carolina. Maybe there are a couple of others.

        There is Rand Paul, I suppose, but he seems different from his dad, whom I love. I wish him well, but I’m not confident enough in him to send him money.

        I have thought about doing an Arab-American “money bomb” ala Ron Paul in ’07 and ’08. Though being Arabs we may have to call it something else :-) The problem, though is that money from Arabs could be toxic to some politicians.

        Anyhoo, the idea is worth kicking around.

      • sensa
        June 3, 2010, 1:17 pm

        Yeah, problem is libertarians don’t appeal to me except for their anti-war stance. And you’re right, Arab money is toxic but there are ways to hide it.

  12. Les
    June 3, 2010, 12:00 pm

    I have yet to read about official condemnation from the white Protestant establishment. Hilary Clinton’s long time support for ethnic cleansing and occupation as a Methodist, reminds us how much of the white Protestant establishment is run by and for white trash.

  13. Amar
    June 3, 2010, 1:30 pm

    A shift in the blogosphere even if as prominent as that in HuffPo I dont think will get too far. Whats needed is a shift in televised or mainstream media.

    I’d like to see the day when Israeli spokespersons get raked over the coals like British ITN’s Jon Snow doing to Mark Regev:

    link to antonyloewenstein.com

    • Frances
      June 3, 2010, 1:52 pm

      Have you seen Jon Snow interview Mark Regev before? I think it was during the Gaza war. Regev squirms like a fish on a hook. Perhaps they should only trot him out for American interviews.

  14. ahmed
    June 3, 2010, 2:53 pm

    I’ve noticed NYT’s news blogger Robert Mackey has been linking to stuff the main reporters ignore. His latest post talks about Furkan Dogan, links to Ambassador Pecks interview and also talks about Emily Henochowicz
    link to thelede.blogs.nytimes.com

  15. Citizen
    June 3, 2010, 4:41 pm

    Beck is on TV now, saying Israel is the only state in the Middle East that does not discriminate or torture. And he says the blockage is legal under
    an international treaty of 1907, reaffirmed in 1994 (or was it 2004?) because
    Israel is fighting a war with Gaza who’s leaders vow to destroy Israel. He points again and again to the (IDF’s) video of Gaza boaters beating on IDF commandoes to show who the aggressor is, simultaneously declaring he’s the only one with the courage to show the video–even though it’s used all over cable TV news for the last couple of days. Beck has concluded those criticizing Israel are either neo-nazis or Socialists. This is the second day Beck has devoted a whole hour to the attack on the Gaza boaters. Today he started talking about Zionists–ridiculing the very idea some Zionists may be manipulating the USA. He keeps bringing up the Holocaust and hatred of the jews and capitalism. Goes into the roots of socialism and Hitler, which are intertwined he says–I can’t take anymore so I’m switching him off–somebody else can tell you what Beck says in his last twenty minutes today.

  16. jdfsau
    June 3, 2010, 4:47 pm

    The only reason that Adrianna Huffington and Huffpo are being somewhat impartial is that she realizes her previous pro Israeli stance has suddenly become totally untenable.

    Ms. Huffington was once described by one of her friends as being “the most ambitious person he had ever met.” She has has been a long acolyte and close friend of the reptilian Henry Kissinger so I believe that she probably contacted Henry beforehand to make sure that her new position wouldn’t ruffle too many feathers. Apparently Henry must have told her that her new position could still be deemed as “kosher.” It would have been absolutely inconceivable for her to have changed her position in such a way without first covering her bases. She is simply not the heroic type.

    Here is Adrianna Huffington is a nutshell. Around 1985 she announced to friends that she needed a husband ASAP. No one apparently knows the reason for this sudden urgency. She then went to her good friend Ann Getty, wife of oil billionaire Gordon Getty, and put in a request for a new hubby. (sorta like ordering a new TV). Ann Getty looked around and found wealthy Bush family crony Michael Huffington who had many things to recommend him ($$$$$) but also had one glaring deficiency: he was gay and potentially damaging whispers were starting to put his political career in jeopardy. Apparently Michael Huffington’s sexual preferences were not a matter of concern in the least for Adrianna. She was not only was able to become a blushing bride, she was also able to talk the Getty’s into paying for her elaborate wedding and reception, apparently by claiming poverty. What a saleswoman!

    After the two got hitched, her new hubby’s career was instantly resuscitated. She remained his devoted but relatively absent wife until he was forced to come out of the closet a decade or so later. She then claimed that his lifestyle was a big surprise to her. (Apparently she wasn’t put off by his ongoing lack of sexual ardor. After all, that was the reason he had made such an ideal husband.)

    Such a cynical move on Ms. Huffington’s part shows that she is the ultimate opportunist. Don’t think for a minute that her views on the Mideast have permanently changed. She is capable of doing a 180 degree about face yet again if such a move is required for self preservation. She is the ultimate survivor.

    • decentjew
      June 3, 2010, 5:21 pm

      I wanted to like her. Maybe it’s the sexy accent.

      Thanks for wrecking my day, jdfsau. (I mean, wrecking it more than it was already.)

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