Washington Post defends picture of dead Gaza child after complaints from ‘Jews in large numbers’

Israel/Palestine
on 79 Comments

On Nov. 14, an Israeli warhead struck a house in Gaza City and killed an infant, Omar Masharawi, 11 months old. His father Jiwad Masharawi works for BBC in Gaza. A photo of him grieving his son’s death, taken by the AP (below), was widely circulated and appeared on the front page of the Washington Post on Nov. 15.

Washington Post photo

Today the Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton, whom we have praised before for straightforwardness, defends the publication of the photo, saying there were no photos of Israeli child deaths to “balance” this image. And who was complaining? Pexton refers to complaints by “American Jews in large numbers.”

But many Post readers saw it differently. Jewish groups and American Jews in large numbers wrote to the ombudsman and to Post editors, protesting the photo as biased…

[They] asked why The Post didn’t balance the photo of the grieving father with one of Israelis who had lost a loved one from the Gaza rocket fire. That’s a valid question.

The answer is that The Post cannot publish photographs that don’t exist. No Israeli civilian had been killed by Gaza rocket fire since Oct. 29, 2011, more than a year earlier. The first Israeli civilian deaths from Gaza rocket fire in 2012 did not take place until Nov. 15, when Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, began firing more accurate and deadly missiles in response to the Israeli offensive that had begun the day before. There were no recent photos of Israeli casualties to be had on the night of Nov. 14.”

The front-page photo on Nov. 15 told not the whole story of the Gaza conflict, no, but certainly a telling and important part of the truth.

Let’s leave aside the overwhelming ratio of Palestinian civilian deaths to Israeli civilian deaths in Cast Lead and Pillar of Cloud, the last two Israeli conflicts with Gazan militants, and what that says about this “biased” photo. 

Pexton raises a delicate and important issue. By identifying the religion of complaint-writers (on what basis I can only surmise; hey, I also guess at last names), he is saying that American Jews support Israel overwhelmingly. Well, it is on this basis that some have blamed the American Jewish collective for Israel’s behavior, and said that any American Jewish organization is responsible for the human rights atrocities Israel is committing. I am saying that Pexton’s generalization could foster anti-Semitism, as more and more Americans are disgusted by Israel’s actions and look around for who to blame for Israel’s impunity from accountability.

Which leads to my challenge. Isn’t it time that American media organizations and American Jewish groups began pulling apart the issue of To what extent the American Jewish community is married to Israel? I.e., When did Zionism (Jewish nationalism) ravish the Jewish community, and why? How many American Jews are no longer drinking that potion? I think the answer is, Many object to Israel’s conduct. And it’s time we heard from them. Because their argument is persuasive, and because an open fight among American Jews over Israel’s conduct will help everyone. More later.

(P.S. In fairness, once sharing Pexton’s generalization, I used to do posts saying that there are too many Jews on the Israel beat in our newspapers and too many Jews at the Council on Foreign Relations. I dropped that line because it was imprecise and because I came to believe, based on all the anti-Zionists I was meeting, that there is actual diversity inside the Jewish community. The media ought to foster that diversity by reporting on it.)

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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79 Responses

  1. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    November 25, 2012, 11:24 am

    There’s something quite disturbing about a mentality which objects to the publication of a photo of a grieving father because – let’s be quite frank here – he and his dead baby were of the ‘wrong’ ethnicity. Would any of these ‘readers’ be complaining if the WP published a similar photo of an Israeli Jew and asking for it to be ‘balanced’ by a photo of a Palestinian in a similar situation? Of course they would not.

    It seems that many American Jews cry foul when even a tiny fraction of the suffering the Holy State has inflicted on the Palestinians is revealed. Like I say, it’s rather a sick mentality.

    • justicewillprevail
      November 25, 2012, 2:33 pm

      It would have been the work of one or more of the many pro-Israel organisations, instructing their network of supporters and sycophants to inundate the newspaper with complaints. They do this all the time with the media, as part of their campaign of harassment and ceaseless attempts at intimidation of anyone telling the other side of the officially approved IDF/Israel story. How did the editor know that his complainants were Jewish? Presumably, in a misguided attempt to press their case, and with the standard letter they may well have been encourage to copy or quote, they self-identified as Jewish as if that carries more weight – how revealing and deluded about their own self-importance and their presumption that their ‘suffering’ is always greater/more important, and gives them some kind of moral authority to berate those who do not conform to this myth.
      It also does not represent the American Jewish community, but the self-appointed ‘spokesmen’ for it, most of whom are zealous bigots entirely unrepresentative of who they claim to speak for. They are the mouthpiece of israel, not americans, whose sole interest is to control the narrative. Unfortunately for them Yahoo and Leiberman keep ruining it, as their hostile brutal worldview is broadcast every night, and its effects in such photos as these.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 26, 2012, 9:57 am

        ”It also does not represent the American Jewish community, but the self-appointed ‘spokesmen’ for it, most of whom are zealous bigots entirely unrepresentative of who they claim to speak for.”

        If that’s the case, why do so few American Jews object to being ‘represented’ in this manner?

    • MLE
      November 25, 2012, 2:50 pm

      It’s the “Me too me too I’m suffering too!” Syndrome. They don’t like looking at these images unless they have some sort of way to compare it to Israeli suffering, or else they just try to claim the whole photo is doctored.

      I also know a lot of Zionist Jews who’s thought pattern is this: “I’m a good person, so I must be supporting good causes because a good person wouldn’t support a bad cause.” When they see images like the one posted by the Washington post, their eyeballs start twitching because it hurts that thought pattern they’ve created for themselves. They have to justify it with, well if that’s what Gaza looks like, then it must be even worse in Israel, because its the “good side”

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 25, 2012, 4:11 pm

        Yes I agree – this is a classic case of emotional dissonance. It’s a symptom of the emotional autism that is so characteristic of Zionism. Suffering in others cannot be acknowledged, particularly when it is the direct result of Zionism. It’s all part of the solipsistic ‘Jews are always, everywhere and only the victims’ which is so very very dangerous. Another example of this line of thinking is Rudoren who, surrounded by the most awful suffering in Gaza, openly admits that the first (only?) time she felt moved to tears was on hearing of the death/injury of a child in Israel.

      • Eva Smagacz
        November 27, 2012, 5:56 pm

        Rudogen’s did not cry when reading about death or injury of a child. She cried because she read a dispatch written by Dahlia Litwick: link to slate.com

  2. Kathleen
    November 25, 2012, 11:30 am

    The picture worth a thousand words. Phil Up with Chris Hayes went even further this morning on this issue than ever before. Abbas “got rolled” Illegal settler numbers in the West Bank, undermining of Abbas, Palestinians choice to “rot slowly” or go down in a “blaze of glory”.

    • Krauss
      November 26, 2012, 1:44 am

      There will be pressure from advertisers, communal honchos(‘machers’) on Chris, if it isn’t already. At one point, he will get the CAP-treatment. Then we’ll see what happens.

      As for Phil’s post: there is diversity, sure, but let’s not kid ourselves. The establishment has all but drunk the Zionist kool-aid.

      Complaining about ‘too many Jews’ is rather creepy, but it is absolutely legitimate to criticize the cultural/sociological concensus within the Jewish establishment. When Abe Foxman refuses to renounce the Levy report – and the AJC and others with him – and when these same leaders rush to call Lieberman a ‘moderate’ then I’m sorry, this is a huge problem. Because I can’t hear anyone standing up.

      Or witness the total onslaught on Peter Beinart when his book came out.

      I know the new guidelines of this site, but I still think it’s a mistake not to talk about what led to what you call ‘the ravishing of Zionism’ in the first place and the mechanisms that keep it alive. Otherwise, you’re stuck with Chomsky-lite explanations of ‘a capitalist alliance’.

      But I disgress.

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2012, 12:01 pm

        “I know the new guidelines of this site, but I still think it’s a mistake not to talk about what led to what you call ‘the ravishing of Zionism’ in the first place and the mechanisms that keep it alive.”

        Well, if that don’t beat all! Why that’s the fenciest way to say ‘There is some essential, intrinsic fault in Judaism and/or Jewish people which makes Zionism possible, or what it is, or something’.
        Man, must be one hell of a situation for Krauss! Imagine being A.J.+1q5IQ and having a case of self-hatred on top of it! Krauss, you have my heartfelt sympathy. You’re in a hell of a fix.

      • seanmcbride
        November 26, 2012, 1:18 pm

        Mooser,

        Well, if that don’t beat all! Why that’s the fenciest way to say ‘There is some essential, intrinsic fault in Judaism and/or Jewish people which makes Zionism possible, or what it is, or something’.

        I find it strange that you are so defensive about looking into the ideological and cultural roots of Zionism and the organizational infrastructure which currently sustains it.

        All of the leading founders of Zionism discussed these ideological and cultural factors prominently and at length — as do all leading contemporary Zionist thinkers. They place Zionism squarely within the Jewish tradition, and especially within the conceptual framework of Judaism.

        Do you think this should be a taboo subject in a forum that is dedicated to critiquing and deconstructing Zionism?

        If you are unfamiliar with the classical Zionist texts, I will be happy to provide a bibliography — they make for fascinating reading.

        Among the current worldwide Jewish religious establishment, Neturei Karta is the only group I know of which has taken an anti-Zionist stance — and they are on the far fringe of Jewish life.

        Please note the critical distinction in this discussion between Jewish individuals (whose views are all over the map) and the Jewish establishment.

      • Citizen
        November 26, 2012, 2:24 pm

        @ Mooser
        Is there anything tribal about the principles of Christianity or Islam? If so, what is it? How about their respective implementation?

        Same question re Judaism.

        Do all three reveal de facto and de jure a universal standard of conduct for their respective adherents on this earth?

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 12:46 pm

        Sean and Citizen: You seem to be misunderstanding my point completely. I assure you, I am not in favor of restricting people’s religious choices.
        If either one of you, or both of you, find Judaism oppressive, or feel it is influencing you (whether it be religiously, socially, culturally, sexually, whatever) negatively, you are free to leave the religion. No one will come after you, really, if you want to encourage others to leave Judaism behind, that is your right, too.
        And if you wish to change Judaism in a more positive direction, you have my hole-hearted, I mean, whole-heated, oh never mind, you go ahead. encouragement.

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 1:33 pm

        “Is there anything tribal about the principles of Christianity or Islam? If so, what is it? How about their respective implementation?”

        Them? No way, all those religions care about is having sects.

    • Theo
      November 26, 2012, 8:44 am

      La Passionata, a lady who fought against Franco during the spanish civil war in 1937, said the following:
      “It is better to die on your feet than knee in the dust all your life”.
      Up to now the palestinians chose the second option, cowaring in the dust, their leaders selling the interests of the nation.
      They needed Hamas and the Hisbollah to show them, that the oppressors are also just humans, they can bleed and even die. Once that coma is broken they will not obey anymore, so Israel get ready for some more of the same. The next missiles will hit Tel Aviv regularly, Iron Dome or not.

      • Citizen
        November 26, 2012, 2:33 pm

        @ Theo

        The Zionist Jews decided they no longer wanted Jews to “knee in the dust all their life.” They would create a new mighty Jewish man, so to speak. And so they did (with tons of help from the Gentile West, most from England and USA).

        And what did they create?

        Their equivalent in the emerging Hamas Palestinian.
        Give the latter the same Western help, and what will you see?
        If Dick and Jane ever see this, it’s over for Zionist Jews and Christians.

      • Theo
        November 27, 2012, 10:59 am

        citizen

        I think you misunderstood what I tried to say, most people who take up arms and fight for their freedom do not become bloody oppressors and dictators, like the zionists are.
        How about Washington and the american revolution? The swiss revolt against the Habsburgs, etc.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 27, 2012, 11:53 am

        “most people who take up arms and fight for their freedom do not become bloody oppressors and dictators,…”
        “How about Washington and the american revolution?”

        Bad example. Washington and his cohorts were bloody oppressors and dictators, to their slaves and to the Native Americans whose land were coveted.

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 12:48 pm

        “How about Washington and the american revolution?”

        When Washington led the American Revolution against England, who might have upheld the land rights of Indians?

      • doug
        November 27, 2012, 1:47 pm

        The British Empire abolished slavery long before the Civil War. Had the States remained colonialized slavery in the States would have ended much earlier.

        Further, Native Americans did not gain the right to vote until the 1900s, roughly when women also got the franchise.

      • Theo
        November 28, 2012, 12:42 pm

        Woody

        I agree, not a smart example to toute on today´s standards, nevertheless at that time it was something unheard of, kicking an occupying colonist superpower out and declaring equal rights for some, if not all.
        The idea and name of democracy comes from the greeks and they did not have a pure one either, as only people with property had full rights and they also had slaves.
        By splitting hair we shall find that there is no, and never was, such thing as democracy on this globe!

      • gamal
        November 26, 2012, 6:14 pm

        oh please “Up to now the palestinians chose the second option” Palestinians have resisted from day one, check out Rosemary Sayighs’ “From Peasants to Revolutionaries”

      • piotr
        November 26, 2012, 11:56 pm

        Isidora Dolores Ibárruri Gómez (9 December 1895 – 12 November 1989), known more famously as “La Pasionaria”, was a Spanish Republican leader of the Spanish Civil War and communist politician of Basque origin. She is perhaps best known for her defense of the Second Spanish Republic and the famous slogan ¡No Pasarán! (“They Shall Not Pass”) during the Battle of Madrid.

        [correcting the spelling with a Wiki quote]

      • Theo
        November 27, 2012, 10:53 am

        piotr

        Thanks for correcting the spelling, I usually work with my memory, not a search engine. She was a great lady, regadless her political views.

  3. David Samel
    November 25, 2012, 12:42 pm

    In addition, Pexton explicitly gives an important fact from the timeline of events:
    The first Israeli civilian deaths from Gaza rocket fire in 2012 did not take place until Nov. 15, when Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, began firing more accurate and deadly missiles in response to the Israeli offensive that had begun the day before.

    No doubt he will be hearing further from “Jewish groups and American Jews in large numbers” about this egregious episode of truth-telling.

    Pexton also could have reviewed the Post’s files for photos of suicide bombings in Israel, and noted that those photos were not accompanied by recent photos of Israeli shelling in the OPT that did exist. This demand for “even-handedness” by supporters of Israel is ludicrous given the history of MSM coverage of the conflict. It is akin to the demand for “equality” on behalf of a country that treats its citizens and non-citizen subjects so unequally.

  4. American
    November 25, 2012, 12:56 pm

    “By identifying the religion of complaint-writers (on what basis I can only surmise; hey, I also guess at last names), he is saying that American Jews support Israel overwhelmingly. Well, it is on this basis that some have blamed the American Jewish collective for Israel’s behavior, and said that any American Jewish organization is responsible for the human rights atrocities Israel is committing. I am saying that Pexton’s generalization could foster anti-Semitism, as more and more Americans are disgusted by Israel’s actions and look around for who to blame for Israel’s impunity from accountability. “…Phil

    Have to relate something from the Up with Chris show this am on MSNBC.
    The program was about Gaza, Pal, Isr ,USA…..two guest were Rep Steve Cohen and Katrina from the Nation. Rep Cohen made the remark that Jews in his district really, really, cared about Israel, it was an issue with them, but that non Jews in the new district ( redrawn district which is less Jewish) were more sympathic with the Palestines. I was startled that he said this on national TV but he did. I don’t know why he said it except that perhaps he had honestly (had some kind of awakening) not been aware that non Jewish sentiments about Israel were different from the Jewish sentiments until he was exposed to opinions in a district that was not predominately Jewish.
    There was talk of AIPAC also as the seat of much of the I-First and Israeli right wing influence.
    There will probably be a video or transcript of the show available and it’s worth seeing.

    As for Pexton’s public statements on Jewish objections to showing Israel’s actions and Cohens public remarks about Israel and US support for it being in fact important to the majority of Jews in his district and these revelations arousing anti semitism—-I don’t know what you can do about that when it is said by people like Pexton and Cohen. The only way I see would be to expose a real, real fight ‘between Jews’ in the MSM.
    In the meanwhile it doesn’t do a whole of good to say most Jews don’t support what is going on with Israel whether it’s true or not cause the public isn’t getting that message. Although that may be the limit of what you can do right now and I don’t know what else you can do, you need a better tactic. Maybe less directed at the non Jewish public developing anti semitism and more publically directed at the Jewish community in the form of …”Houston We Have A problem”.

    • Philip Weiss
      November 25, 2012, 2:17 pm

      thanks for that report, i will follow it when it comes up in xscript

    • Donald
      November 25, 2012, 4:18 pm

      ” Rep Cohen made the remark that Jews in his district really, really, cared about Israel, it was an issue with them, but that non Jews in the new district ( redrawn district which is less Jewish) were more sympathic with the Palestines”

      He’s the representative from Memphis and has many blacks in his district. He explicitly said that their views were mixed, but many sided with Palestinians as the underdog and saw it as a civil rights struggle. Which is about right.

    • American
      November 25, 2012, 4:53 pm

      BTW….the program was re-broadcast a short while ago and I listened again. It really is better and more honest about the whole situation than anything we’ve seen so far in the MSM. What Cohen mentioned specifically that I caught this time around was his African American constituency and how they viewed the Palestines as fighting for their rights and freedom like US blacks had to. However, and I hesitate to even mention this, considering how I hate the ‘code word”claims thrown around……but I think I heard some “code wording”.
      In discussing the reasons for the failure of the US in I/P…….’”domestic political considerations”…was sort of ‘mumbled’ several times. Maybe only those of us who have combed the Presidential Libraries for papers relating to Israel would recognize that phrasing or know what it was alluding to but it was snuck into the remarks.

      • Citizen
        November 25, 2012, 6:41 pm

        @ American
        Yes, “domestic political considerations” was mentioned. Nobody picked that up. What would have to happen to discuss the pink elephant in the room? Seems neither Iran nor Gaza will do it. Taboos: Israel Lobby, settlements expanding, Israel’s nukes.

      • American
        November 25, 2012, 7:44 pm

        @ Citizen

        Twice by my count…and I was so taken aback by it I wasn’t sure I was hearing it. I believe Chris said it first and sort of threw it out there in the midst of others talking. It is a familiar phrase to those of us who have researched the US-Isr entanglement but I don’t know who it was aimed at…the general public probably wouldn’t pick up on it. Maybe I am reading too much into it….. or maybe it was a sort of “message” to the FP circle in DC…. they would pick up on it….or maybe it was just put out to see if the guest group would take it up.

  5. radii
    November 25, 2012, 1:11 pm

    zionists always trying to control the narrative … I wrote to the guy who put up the maps of Palestine shrinking on those posters in New York and urged him to just put up the iconic pictures next time (worth a 1000 words, right?) – the father trying to protect his son (later killed and area bulldozed to hide the evidence); Rachel Corrie’s murder by tank; the young female artist shot in the head with a tear-gas cannister who lost an eye; the American citizen Turkish kid murdered on the Mavi Marmara flotilla boat … and 100 others

    • Citizen
      November 25, 2012, 5:33 pm

      @ radii

      Thanks for your extra effort. We all need to do more with whatever we have.

  6. Betsy
    November 25, 2012, 1:51 pm

    @Phil — re/ the danger of increasing anti-Semitism, the other possibility is that mainstream or progressive Americans of Christian / Muslim / Hindu etc persuasions — might be more likely to say something like “welcome to the club (of people dismayed by & struggling against, their ‘fundamentalist’ Right wing)”. It’s almost as if Israel has become a kind of “red state” (Romney supporting bellicose, etc.) of a “blue state” diaspora. An astonishing political outcome — a Jewish “Texas” (in the sense of “What’s wrong with…”) Well, I know many progressive & mainstream Americans who feel that way already — can’t connect the Jewish Americans they know, with the Israeli ideologies…and are left puzzled. but we mainstream Christians, for instance, have had so many decades of explaining to people that the public face of the Christian Right is not us — that we can totally relate…to having crazies on the Right claiming to speak for us. Until someone can show me real data — it’s hard for me to see any likely paths to resurgence of significant anti-Semitism.

    But, other points = excellent & important.

    • Citizen
      November 25, 2012, 5:45 pm

      @ Betsy
      Yours is a good analogy. Maybe this blog owners will do more with it. I’m surprised no alternative media pundits have not brought it up before, at least to my knowledge. OTOH, the mainstream TV news hosts and pundits have a seamless view that partners Zionists of both Jewish and Christian variety with neocon or PEP stripes. Most of the Christian (and non-Jewish secularists) talking heads we see every day on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox likely don’t even know what Zionism is, nor have they likely traced PNAC flowering, which continues.

  7. lyn117
    November 25, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Also, if we apply the rules the IDF applied in its justification for killing journalists in Gaza, surely large numbers of the the American Jewish community, namely, those who wrote the letters to try to get the WP to publish a (non-existent) picture of a grieving Israeli, are legitimate targets in the “war”.

    I think Pexton was perfectly fair to identify the religion of the letter-writers and organizations. It isn’t a generalization, if the vast majority were Jewish. Stating facts doesn’t promote anti-semitism. Those (in the Jewish community, and others) who think it was an appropriate picture don’t write to ombudsmen to complain of bias, so this isn’t a case where they’ll be heard from. It’s great to hear from them in the editorial pages, letters and opinion pieces, of course. There’s still a great deal of work in getting rid of bias in the actual news reporting, regardless of who does it.

    • iamuglow
      November 25, 2012, 6:05 pm

      I agree with you, if its true, its fair to say. And I dont think he would have had to assume anything from last names. Its likely the letter writers would have identified themselves.

      There are very few conversations I’ve had about Israel/Palestine where if the person I was talking to was Jewish didnt mention it…its usual part of the introduction when talking about I/P. If they are saying something critical of Israel they will mention it to head off charges of AntiSemitism. Or if it is in defense of Israel often it will be mentioned as a way to introduce the Holocaust, historical antisemitism and imply AntiSemitism on the part of the other party…

    • Ellen
      November 26, 2012, 9:52 am

      Stating facts doesn’t promote anti-semitism. Indeed, not! Repressing the truth and facts is what supports and promotes Judeophobia. Sometimes, I think that is the intent.

      PS: I cannot use the term “anti-semitism”when referring to Jews because that word was first coined and used in the bigoted Judeophobic literature of the mid 19th century.

      I do not understand why Zionism adopted language of bigots and ignorance to describe those of the Jewish faith.

  8. Sumud
    November 25, 2012, 4:47 pm

    Why is Israel bombing the home of a BBC journalist?

    Any zionist apologist care to explain?

    • Inanna
      November 25, 2012, 6:21 pm

      According to Mark Regev, he’s not a ‘foreign journalist’.

      • Sumud
        November 26, 2012, 6:59 am

        I’m not surprised he would say something like that Inanna.

        Fascinating that the Post’s complainants were more offended by a photo of a dead baby than the fact their precious IDF deliberately kills journalists and their families.

  9. jl1
    November 25, 2012, 6:11 pm

    Phil,

    I disagree with your assessment that identifying the racial/religious makeup of those objecting to the WP front page is potentially anti-Semitic. First, it’s important in a democracy to identify the constituents of any special interest group lest it hold sway over important decisions not by measure of popular support, but due more to possessing an unusually healthy set of lungs. In best practices a democracy measures the well being of a citizenry against the stated desires of the same. If a small but vociferously biased segment of the population (in this case a meager sampling amongst the American Jews 2%) are allowed a platform to imply that Americans in general are objecting, the mentioned test for a just democracy are violated.

    Would you have the same objection had the WP upon printing pictures of the four murdered girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama responded to criticism in the same fashion by identifying a majority of those critical as Klan members demanding an equal platform to discuss the ‘raping of white women’, etc.?

    It is a harsh parallel and one most likely to have me identified as an anti-Semite, but the comparison is valid. Not every Klan member was a murderer; nor is every Jewish American supporter of Zionism. And though it can’t be argued that the more passive middle comprising the majority of both movements is accurately described as harmless, it is their strident vocal support afforded to the aims of the murderers that in part acts to foment the actual atrocity.

    And finally, a word of caution. The term anti-Semite has imploded, crushed by the burden of excusing, not Zionism, but an entitled minorities habitual practice of political and racially motivated indiscretions. Use it sparingly, lest you wring from it every drop of effectiveness.

    • Mooser
      November 27, 2012, 12:53 pm

      “The term anti-Semite has imploded, crushed by the burden of excusing, not Zionism, but an entitled minorities habitual practice of political and racially motivated indiscretions.”

      I will mail $50 to anybody who can tell me what this means. No, make it $10. I don’t understand it, although it seems quite insinuating, but I really doubt it’s worth half a C-note.

  10. dbroncos
    November 25, 2012, 7:24 pm

    “Which leads to my challenge. Isn’t it time that American media organizations and American Jewish groups began pulling apart the issue of To what extent the American Jewish community is married to Israel?”

    I agree. MSM outlets such as WaPo need to provide a bigger platform to Jews as Jews who object to Israel’s policies and racist raison detre. Such critics would provide cover for MSM outlets in that the person providing the Palestinian perspective would confuse the issue of enemy/other in the I/P debate and instead focus much needed attention on the ideological justifications for the Jewish State.

    Jewish critics of Israel demonstrate that Jewish support for Israel is NOT universal. As such their criticism can be more powerful than that of gentile critics who are pilloried as “anti-semites”. Even when gentile critics are not explicitly attacked, audiences are prone to question their motives. Not so with Jewish critics. a sad but true situation.

    • RoHa
      November 26, 2012, 1:10 am

      “Jewish critics of Israel demonstrate that Jewish support for Israel is NOT universal.”

      And yet I rarely hear any Jewish critics of Israel outside MW. Where are they all?

      • seanmcbride
        November 26, 2012, 9:42 am

        RoHa,

        And yet I rarely hear any Jewish critics of Israel outside MW. Where are they all?

        Here is a simple exercise: compare the number of pro-Israel op-ed articles by Jews in the Washington Post from 2000 to the present to the number of Israel-critical op-ed articles by Jews in the same publication for the same period.

        Best guess: the ratio of pro-Israel to Israel-critical articles by Jews in the Washington Post for that period (and for the entire life of the Washington Post) will be 100 to 1 — at a minimum.

        The American mainstream media — and Jewish journalists and pundits within the mainstream media — have relentlessly promoted the public belief and image that Jewishness and Judaism = Zionism and that Jews = Zionists. They own that meme lock, stock and barrel.

      • piotr
        November 26, 2012, 11:32 am

        Richard Silverstein is perhaps most active.

        link to richardsilverstein.com

        There are others too that post less frequently. In all fairness, there are very few “full time websites”, with daily posts, but a number of people was nevertheless “heard” if you pay attention.

      • RoHa
        November 26, 2012, 6:17 pm

        ” a number of people was nevertheless “heard” if you pay attention.”

        And Antony Loewenstein was on the ABC a few days ago. But such voices are seldom heard in the media.

    • AhVee
      November 26, 2012, 3:51 am

      “Even when gentile critics are not explicitly attacked, audiences are prone to question their motives. Not so with Jewish critics. a sad but true situation.”

      Oh definitely, on the other hand at least what concerns I / P, the right-wing have been considering this for ages. The louder you scream, the louder they scream “self-hater! betrayer of your own peoples!” right back at you. It’s been going on forever, both from Jewish and gentiles alike. For many of them, Zionism quite literally *is* Judaism, and there’s little room to maneuver outside of it without being pushed off the edge of the boat altogether. Not only does that put immense personal pressure on those willing to publicly speak out, but they also risk their initial rhetorical advantage being shot down and nullified in an instant by the hyper-efficient zio sentry guards which are no more forgiving towards a wayward Jew than they are towards a non-Zio gentile.
      In order to get a majority of Jewish Israel critics to speak out, one would probably need to dismantle the repercussions for doing so in the first place, starting with wide-spread dialogue on Zionism and Judaism as separate, or at least separable entities, and even that is a flaming-hot taboo as of yet. We’re up against the history re-written by a billion-dollar industry, and the task seems daunting.
      I’d go so far as to say we rely on gentiles to make this happen for us, force us into a dialogue on Judaism and Zionism, make it acceptable for us to consider the possibility of the two being separable out-loud, so we have an excuse to open our mouths on the subject without risking being alienated or all but banished from our own communities. Sounds ridiculous, but it really isn’t, at least not in my community, where the pecking order most definitely is hyper-zio (gets to talk all the time and reap in the rep) > zio (gets to agree and throw in his or her own points every now and again) > zio but critical (gets to talk sometimes) > non-zio (gets to roll their eyes at you to signify intent, mouth always zipped, and where talk does take place, the punishment for the dissent is something like eternal virginity). I’m beginning to see us as victims of our own construct, if we dwell beneath its mighty weight in silence, we get to live on, if we move, it crushes us immediately. Maybe we need others to free ourselves from our own entrapment, clear the heavy stuff out the way so we can work out the nitty-gritty while being able to breathe.
      On the other hand, lying beneath that construct does have its enlightening sides, you learn a thing or two about the much touted ‘Jewish solidarity’. (Huge reward issued to whomever finds it and retrieves it!)

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 1:30 pm

        “you learn a thing or two about the much touted ‘Jewish solidarity’.(Huge reward issued to whomever finds it and retrieves it!)”

        I don’t care how much “Ah Vee” is offering, I’ll double it, if the aforementioned ” ‘Jewish solidarity’ ” (three quote marks?) is brought to me, and dismembered, burned, and the pieces scattered in front of my eyes.

  11. Sherri Munnerlyn
    November 25, 2012, 8:13 pm

    The Baby’s Journalist Father Was The Target Of The Airstrike That Killed Baby Omar

    The story behind the photo: Journalist?s 11-month-old son killed in Gaza strikes | CRIME |Axisoflogic.com

    The article above and statements of BBC journalists who worked with the baby’s father suggest that Israel was targeting the baby’s father, because he was a Palestinian journalist. They say there was no fighting going on in that neighborhood.

    My God, they were targeting the father of that baby! I have literally been discussing this baby and his dying and other children’s deaths in Gaza on a discussion board for a week now, and I just found this article that gives us the motive for this strike, the target was the baby’s journalist father.

    This attack occurred within days of other attacks on journalists in Gaza, that killed I think 3 journalists, and caused one journalist to lose his legs.

    The target was not the baby, but targeting a civilian journalist’s home, you have to expect they may have a family inside that home, which in this case was the case. This was not a valid targeting, journalists are not military targets, this was a deliberate attack on a civilian target, a war crime, and very deliberate killing, an unlawful killing, which is murder!

    “Editor’s Comment: Paul Danahar’s question is a valid one: ”Questioned asked here is: if Israel can kill a man riding on a moving motorbike (as they did last month) how did Jihad’s son get killed.” The Israelis bragged about their “precision missile strikes” and “surgical operation” in this cowardly attack on the people of Gaza. It’s difficult for many to believe that the Israelis could intentionally attack the house of a BBC journalist. But their history and motives are clear when one considers the journalists they have intentionally killed in the past and their known racism toward Palestinians like Jihad Misharawi. Israel’s message with these 2 murders is clear – journalists keep out and mind your own business and news agencies who employ Palestinians can expect them to be eliminated. But exposing the Israelis does not bother them. They become caught in their own web of lies and even then look with pride on their ability to kill and lie with impunity.”

    Photos of the house of Omar Mishwari

    Sherri

    • Bumblebye
      November 26, 2012, 10:11 am

      The first piece on this “From Our Own Correspondent” is Jon Donnison on his colleague Jihad Misharawi:
      link to bbc.co.uk
      From 1.58 to 7.20
      It’s a moving and informative piece. Jon also tells about the last child casualty of the war – who’s own doctor father received him/

  12. NickJOCW
    November 25, 2012, 8:29 pm

    The father’s colleague gives the story a further poignant dimension here. link to bbc.co.uk.

    As for Jews generally being associated with Israeli actions, if Israel is supposed to be a ‘Jewish state’ and a ‘home for the Jewish people’, how can Jews not expect to be associated with its policies and actions when such sound bites are calculated to achieve exactly that association? It is not a question of Truth, truth is either immediate experience or history, it is appearances that linger in the mind and evoke responses.

    • Mooser
      November 27, 2012, 1:04 pm

      “how can Jews not expect to be associated with its policies and actions when such sound bites are calculated to achieve exactly that association?”

      Because we are too weak to reject it. We are too weak, as a religion, to even hold it to a standard which won’t embarass us, (to not even mention legality). Where have you been? Judaism survives only because of Zionism, and is beholden to it.

  13. The Hasbara Buster
    November 26, 2012, 1:11 am

    In fairness, once sharing Pexton’s generalization, I used to do posts saying that there are too many Jews on the Israel beat in our newspapers and too many Jews at the Council on Foreign Relations. I dropped that line because it was imprecise and because I came to believe, based on all the anti-Zionists I was meeting, that there is actual diversity inside the Jewish community.

    Actually, it is regrettable that you dropped that line. I once asked the question “Can one say ‘the Jews’?”. I concluded that one can. The Jews, as a collective, can be held accountable for what their elected leaders overwhelmingly do, notably supporting Israel. Also, when journalists like Charles Krauthammer disseminate pro-Israel crap from their privileged tribunes, that has everything to do with their Jewishness, which is where their Zionism stems from in the first place. As the world currently stands, the default for a Jew is being a Zionist, at least until the marginally few ones who defy that norm become a sizable minority, which is a long way down the road.

    • Mooser
      November 27, 2012, 1:14 pm

      You must tell me Hasbara Buster. Who are the “elected leaders” of the Jews?

      “that has everything to do with their Jewishness, which is where their Zionism stems from in the first place.”

      Okay, I was born a Jew, can’t help that, Hasbara Buster, and I hope you can forgive me for it (oh, who the hell am I kidding? I’ve forgiven myself for it, and the hell with him, but I like to be polite) but what is this “Jewishness which is where their Zionism stems from in the first place”? How can I guard against it, or is it too late? Was I lost at the bris or was it my first lisping S’hma learned at my Mother’s knee? (When I grew a little older and stopped lisping, I could say it right: “Shit, Ma….”)
      So any time you are ready to tell me what this inevitable inheritance of “Jewishness” is, I’m all ears. And if the three “R’s” (razor, rope, or revolver)
      are my only choice, well, you might as well be frank about it.

      Please bear in mind that I was born of Jewish family (our family knows its genaology all the way back through one generation, although it’s always possible some dirty work was pulled when I was too young to notice. Both my parents regularly said, “He’s not my son”) got a Jewish education, and was Bar Mitzvah, no, I didn’t aquit myself very well at the Haftorah but I got through it. So if you can inherit or catch Jewishness, I got it, and people have told me “You’re a typical Jew” all my life.

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 3:42 pm

        My experience tell me that if you go looking for the Church of Judaism, it’s actually very hard to find, and much much smaller than you ever imagined, and elusive. Now, if you are talking about the myriad of private organisations clustered around and parasitising Judaism, for Zonism and what ever else, that’s a different story.

  14. American
    November 26, 2012, 1:33 am

    A lot of people will seeing that picture in the WP…and then they will see rallies like this…on top of all the politicians they have heard during election season pledging allegiance to Israel. It’s all too much…too much Israel, too much of the Jews, too much dominating of US attention and business. The Jews Phil talks about aren’t represented in Washington….all the public sees is the Wasserman’s and Jews for Israel.

    Wasserman Schultz, Rubio To Attend Pro-Israel Rally
    November 25, 2012 2:18 PM

    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Hamas, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Israel, Marco Rubio, Michael And Ann Russell Jewish Community Center, North Miami Beach, Pro-Israel Rally
    NORTH MIAMI BEACH

    Putting aside politics for the moment, Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman Schultz will attend a rally in North Miami Beach in support of Israel.

    Hundreds are expected at the 6:30 p.m. Sunday rally at the Michael and Ann Russell Jewish Community Center.

    Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire last week after eight days of conflict.

    Four Israeli civilians and two soldiers were killed and dozens others wounded by rockets fired from Gaza into residential neighborhoods during the fighting that ended in cease-fire Wednesday night.

    Palestinians say 161 people, including dozens of civilians, were killed.

    Rubio is being touted as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016. Wasserman Schultz is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

    (TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc.

    • seanmcbride
      November 26, 2012, 9:33 am

      American,

      One understands now why the political career of Republican Marco Rubio has been promoted so energetically by the mainstream media — he’s a pro-Israel militant — more Zionist than the Israeli prime minister (more Catholic than the pope, as the saying goes).

      And we’ve got another pro-Israel militant, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is head of Democratic National Committee.

      And they are both members of a narrow but exceedingly wealthy and powerful ethno-religious nationalist lobby that is much more concerned with the interests of Israelis than with the interests of their fellow Americans.

      This is a huge historical scandal waiting to blow up.

  15. kamanja
    November 26, 2012, 4:08 am

    In all reports I’ve seen, cameraman Khader Zahar lost one leg, not two.

    The BBC reported their Arab Affairs correspondent Jihad Masharawi’s baby Omar’s death, also the injuring of his other son aged 4 and the death of his sister-in-law in the same incident. Astonishingly, from where I’m googling I only get BBC-Watch’s accusations when I try to recover Jon Donnison’s written report on that, that I read only yesterday. At least part of it was also broadcast on the BBC World Service’s radio program From Our Own Correspondent – I think on 24 November. BBC-Watch claims there’s proof (source IDF) that it happened because of shrapnel from a Hamas rocket launched from nearby. It would be nice to suppose that there’ll be an independent investigation, but the fact that a report I heard a couple of days back and read yesterday on the BBC’s website seems to have been whipped away already, augurs ill.

    • kamanja
      November 26, 2012, 4:38 am

      Found it on Donnison’s Twitter feed – no thanks to Google. link to bbc.co.uk
      He’s also just reported that Jihad’s brother has died of his injuries.

  16. Obsidian
    November 26, 2012, 4:51 am

    The photographic evidence of the bombed apartment provided by the Washington Post, raises questions about what type of ordnance was used and how that ordnance caused the damage and the death of the infant.

    What Israeli ordnance could char the interior of an apartment but not cause concussive damage? Note how the steel set of trays in the photo is still standing along with it’s contents.
    Did the BBC or Washington Post even consider whether the apartment was damaged by an errant Hamas rocket or mortar?

    link to washingtonpost.com

    • Bumblebye
      November 26, 2012, 10:19 am

      link to bbc.co.uk
      Jon Donnison min 1.58 to min 7.20 covers that issue, explaining that the team visited several houses the idf bombed – and acknowledged that they had – with very similar damage. I’m sure they have pictures that would confirm the similarities, but they’re not visible on radio.

      • Obsidian
        November 26, 2012, 12:42 pm

        This is the same Jon Donnison who posted photos of dead Syrian kids and blamed Israel?

        link to dailymail.co.uk

        Well. I can’t find his radio interview on the link you posted.

      • Bumblebye
        November 27, 2012, 7:57 am

        The link worked when I posted it, and it still works now. Donnison is min 1.58 to min 7.20.

      • Obsidian
        November 27, 2012, 12:15 pm

        I read the transcript which bolsters the claim that an Israeli strike killed the BBC reporter’s child.
        Now just tell me what kind of Israeli ordnance did this damage and I promise to sit down and shut up.

      • Bumblebye
        November 27, 2012, 12:43 pm

        @ Obdurate
        You’re trolling.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 27, 2012, 1:19 pm

        You still pushing this blood libel?

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 1:22 pm

        “Now just tell me what kind of Israeli ordnance did this damage and I promise to sit down and shut up.”

        Yes, Obtusian, the Palestinians did the whole thing themselves, it’s all a clever bit of stagecraft.

      • marc b.
        November 27, 2012, 1:56 pm

        “Now just tell me what kind of Israeli ordnance did this damage and I promise to sit down and shut up.”

        israel is always experimenting with new technologies.

        link to lrb.co.uk

        But Israel is no longer content merely asserting that its aerial bombardments are justified under international law. It has begun to experiment with new kinds of bombing. After the 2008-9 attack, human rights advocates undertook an investigation using techniques associated with the new field of ‘forensic architecture’. In so doing they discovered the traces of a new Israeli strategy: small-scale craters caused by impacts on what had been the roofs of destroyed buildings. The Israeli military let it be known that it was using this tactic – known as ‘knock on the roof’ – again during Operation Pillar of Defence. It involves firing low-explosive ‘teaser’ bombs or missiles onto houses designated for destruction, with the intention of making an impact serious enough to scare the inhabitants into fleeing their homes before they are destroyed completely.

        and you contradict yourself when describing the damage done (not cause concussive damage) and your explanations (errant hamas rocket or mortar). mortars do cause concussive damage.

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 3:37 pm

        Wow, talk about a triumph of hope over experience, why do Zionists always think if they can find one inconsistency, one mistake, it invalidates everything else, the great preponderance of the evidence against them? It’s akin to the other one we get: “I’m not like that…” Or “not all Israelis are like that…” so therefore none of it happened?

  17. Basilio
    November 26, 2012, 5:02 am

    Let us face it, you have various Jewish mailing lists and they have various issues they deal with and have to have something to attack. The fact of the matter is only around 3 Israeli Jews were killed versus 100 times that and by the time that father was pictured it was less than that. You always hear that mantra from pro-Israeli Likudniks that every time someone shows the Palestinians suffering you have to show how Israelis feel. Do Israelis demand that of Jews who are pro-Israeli? Hell no! And then they slander Jews who criticize Israel and try to call them self-hating Jews. It’s getting old. How about instead of using all that energy to get all upset about the letter get all upset about the occupation!

  18. Citizen
    November 26, 2012, 11:26 am

    American Jews demand that for every image of a Palestine child or baby or mother being killed, wounded, or humiliated, that America shows an image of a Jewish Israeli suffering the same. The problem for the Jews is that the killing and maiming is so asymmetrical. It’s a basic in US criminal law that even if you are the victim of an assault, you have to be sure not to turn said assault into a murder by the original victim. Florida is having trouble with this issue right now. It’s amazing to me that the US Congress Black Caucus does not pursue this . They make it look like “We don’t care about the Palestinians so long as we get Obama favors from US taxpayers.”

  19. yourstruly
    November 26, 2012, 10:26 pm

    more & more young jewish-americans are challenging so-called jewish unity in support of the zionist entity israel; for example, the presence of young, jewish & proud and jewish voices for peace on many university campuses. these are new & important developments; given, the geriatric age of so many of israel’s jewish advocates here in america, with the presence of said organizations partly explaining why some commenters on palestine/israel see jewish-americans and jewish-israelis going their separate ways in the not so distant future. as far as i’m concerned, couldn’t happen soon enough. what of israel’s jewish supporters here in america? a few, perhaps, will emigrate to israel, the rest will spend their time trying to figure out how it was that young jewish-american activists* (seemingly from out of the blue) were able to win the public over to the cause of justice for palestine, shattering, thereby, the dream of a jewish state.

    *along with like-minded non-jews

    • NickJOCW
      November 27, 2012, 6:44 am

      …to figure out how it was that young jewish-american activists* (seemingly from out of the blue) were able to win the public over to the cause of justice for palestine, shattering, thereby, the dream of a jewish state.
      *along with like-minded non-jews

      Thank you for the generous afterthought. I hesitate to disillusion you but the process has relatively little to do with ‘young Jewish American activists’. Israel is a global problem attracting growing global concern and impatience; the predicament of the Palestinians is incidental since Israelis behave just as badly to Bedouins, Africans, indeed almost everyone. Israeli comeuppance is no longer beyond the horizon but to claim some superior role in bringing that comeuppance about is to stand on the shore beckoning an incoming tide. Young, and not so young, Jewish American activists would be more usefully engaged demonstrating vociferously against AIPAC and its associated activities instead of simply cataloguing them, since such demonstartions would presumably be shielded from egregious accusations of anti-Semitism.

      • Citizen
        November 27, 2012, 9:25 am

        @ NickJOCW,
        Exactly, I agree, with all direct words and all implications.

      • yourstruly
        November 27, 2012, 11:40 am

        exactly! and who was it that protested vociferously outside the recent aipac gathering in washington d.c.? not a “superior role in bringing about comeuppance”, but a useful (albeit, sometimes personalized) role nevertheless. if this were not true, why was it 30 years ago, upon returning from west beirut (’82 lebanon war), that palestinian activists sought me out to speak at their public events? well, from what they told me, (take it or leave it, like it or not) seems they felt that my being jewish was valuable to their cause. same way today that a nyc bankster who publicly exposes wall street’s crimes is welcomed into the ranks of the economic justice movement. not sure where you get your information that jews who demonstrate against aipac are shielded from egregious accusations of anti-semitism? aren’t you aware that zionists hurl the pejorative self-hating jew at those of us who dare to criticize israel’s occupation of palestine? perhaps there’s some confusion here, but speaking for myself, it’s not a matter of hogging the limelight, it’s about making an effort to do the right thing for one & all.

      • yourstruly
        November 27, 2012, 12:04 pm

        and while we’re on the subject -

        from a personal perspective

        beginning 40 years ago with an anti-zionist piece published in a major national newspaper (met only by a dirty look & snear from a fellow worker,

        continuing 10 years later as a witness to the siege of west beirut (“rewarded” this time with a death threat & fellow workers refusing to make eye contact with me)

        up to & including current activities anonymously commenting (mostly via mw) on events as they unfold during the various u.s.-backed israel wars against its neighbors (with the zionist foes besides themselves with anger, but unable to stem the tide),

        remember ghandi’s “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, next they fight you, then you win”?

        re: the struggle for justice in palestine*

        where is it now?

        *as well as everywhere else

      • NickJOCW
        November 27, 2012, 7:39 pm

        The IP issue is being taken up much more widely than many in America may imagine.

        The French Foreign Minister has announced today that France will support the Palestinian UN status bid.

        link to france24.com

        This was more or less leaked to Der Spiegal a couple of weeks back.

        link to spiegel.de

        The opening of Arafat’s tomb has been/is being covered pretty well everywhere, I just watched it on Chinese TV with background details and interviews in Ramallah. None of this is sympathetic to the Israeli position.

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