‘NYT’ lecture to Palestinians on democracy was written by former ‘Hasbara Fellow’

Israel/Palestine
on 24 Comments

Last week David Keyes, who works for a human rights organization called Advancing Human Rights, penned an op-ed for the New York Times, saying Palestinians were not ready for democracy.  On our site David Samel said that Keyes is an Israel lobbyist masquerading as a human rights advocate.

Well, now the rightwing Zionist organization Aish HaTorah states that Keyes was a “Hasbara fellow.” Aish describes its Hasbara fellowships in this way:

Hasbara Fellowships, a program spearheaded by Aish International since 2001, brings hundreds of students to Israel every summer and winter, giving them the information and tools to return to their campuses as educators about Israel. So far, Hasbara Fellowships has educated over 2,000 students on over 250 campuses.

Should the New York Times be serving this agenda? Or more to the point, shouldn’t it tell its readers when it’s running the work of a hasbara fellow?

24 Responses

  1. urihoresh
    February 19, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Also, what does it mean that Palestinians (or any other group for that matter) “are not ready for democracy?” Who is ready for democracy? What does it take to be ready for democracy? Various “Arab affairs experts” on Israeli TV have been lamenting the Arab Spring ever since its commencement with similar remarks, basically telling the Israeli public that “the Arabs aren’t ready for democracy.” This, coupled with the myth of Israel being “The Only Democracy In The Middle East,” makes for a delicious paradox, if you just think about it for more than three seconds.

    • Nevada Ned
      February 19, 2013, 11:55 pm

      During the colonial period, the colonizers often said, “the natives are just not ready for democracy”, a phrase that prettified a very ugly reality.

      • James Canning
        February 20, 2013, 2:01 pm

        Nevada Ned – – You surely are not arguing that many of the British, French, Belgian or Portuguese colonies in Africa, were ready for “democracy”, are you? Independence needed to be granted despite that fact.

    • Shingo
      February 20, 2013, 12:49 am

      Also, what does it mean that Palestinians (or any other group for that matter) “are not ready for democracy?” Who is ready for democracy? What does it take to be ready for democracy?

      Yeah, you have to love the hypocrisy . This propagandist was probably one if the cheerleaders for the Iraq invasion, which was going to force democracy down the throats of Iraqis and the rest if the Arab world.

      It’s amazing how unglued these shills are. They keep harping on about Itseael being the only democracy, and how Israel is soecial for being a democracy, but argue that the Egyptians can’t have it because it might be bad for Israel.

  2. Bill in Maryland
    February 19, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Great catch Phil: “shouldn’t [the NYT] tell its readers when it’s running the work of a hasbara fellow?” Damn straight it should!

  3. James Canning
    February 19, 2013, 2:16 pm

    Question: did David Keyes approve of the Israeli conspiracy with Elliott Abrams to overthrow the elected government of Palestine, in the Gaza Strip?

  4. seafoid
    February 19, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Bots lecturing Palestinians on democracy. Like Jews lecturing Kenyans on elite athletics.

  5. Les
    February 19, 2013, 2:41 pm

    What David Keyes did not say is that a majority of Israelis vote against democracy.

    • doug
      February 19, 2013, 4:26 pm

      Because democracy scares the crap out of Israelis which is why “The Only Democracy in the Middle East” has evolved into, ahem, “Jewish Democracy.” Democracy elsewhere scares them even more. It’s very sad and discordant to large numbers of American Jews.

      • seafoid
        February 20, 2013, 5:44 am

        “It’s very sad and discordant to large numbers of American Jews.”

        But US Jews have invested so much of their personal and moral capital in Israel. It will end up as even more poisonous than Bernie Madoff !

  6. ymedad
    February 19, 2013, 2:42 pm

    Well,

    a) why not deal with the content rather than the writer’s education?

    b) it’s not worse that when in June 2007, Hamas spokesman Ahmed Youssef was awarded op-ed column space.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 19, 2013, 3:03 pm

      a) why not deal with the content rather than the writer’s education?

      we have dealt with the content. already addressed in the previous links both available in the first paragraph . did you open them?

      Should the New York Times be serving this agenda? Or more to the point, shouldn’t it tell its readers when it’s running the work of a hasbara fellow?

      it’s a fair question. why not deal with it rather than diverting?

      • seafoid
        February 19, 2013, 4:27 pm

        Good old Medad. The Revenant. He’ll be revenanting back to NYC when it all goes tits up.

      • Hostage
        February 19, 2013, 4:41 pm

        Should the New York Times be serving this agenda? Or more to the point, shouldn’t it tell its readers when it’s running the work of a hasbara fellow?

        The answer is obvious. What concerns me more are the so-called “Israel Fellows” that the Jewish Agency for Israel (a chartered public parastatal institution) sends to work as campus staffers for Hillel. Shouldn’t Hillel reveal that it routinely acts as (an unregistered) propaganda agent for a foreign principal?
        See for example, Jewish Agency for Israel Expands Presence on College Campuses:

        In the past year, Israel Fellows have empowered students to organize against calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS); they have mobilized student-led responses to campus visits by hostile speakers; and they have successfully advocated for the reinstatement of Israeli universities on rosters of approved study abroad options.

        link to walb.com

    • bilal a
      February 19, 2013, 6:43 pm

      A foreign nation provides a fellowship travel grant to an individual with the purpose of said individual returning to his home country in order to influence policy toward the hosting foreign nation.

      Is that legal ?

      • sardelapasti
        February 20, 2013, 1:29 am

        bilal – “Is that legal ?”
        Welcxome to the U.S. of A., friend.
        Anything is legal if you pay enough or you work for the right gangster.

      • Hostage
        February 20, 2013, 5:32 am

        Is that legal ?

        Sure it is if you register with the Justice Department. Newspapers are exempt from the requirements of 22 USC Chapter 11, Subchapter II – REGISTRATION OF FOREIGN PROPAGANDISTS. But the Hasbara Fellows are not.

        FYI, it doesn’t have to be a foreign nation. Any foreign person, partnership, association, corporation, organization, or other combination of persons organized under the laws of or having its principal place of business in a foreign country is considered a “foreign principal” and these people are acting as “publicity agents”. link to law.cornell.edu

        Aish HaTorah is a Jewish outreach organization started in Jerusalem by Rabbi Noah Weinberg z”l in 1974. It’s headquarters are located across from the Western Wall.
        link to aish.com

    • sardelapasti
      February 20, 2013, 1:42 am

      whymendad – ” why not deal with the content rather than the writer’s education?”

      Because that writer is officially an unspeakable dirty propaganda agent by the very fact of what you, also a propaganda agent (volunteer? amateur?) of the same ilk, call “education”. He has been schooled especially by the new Schleichers and can be believed to be a professional on how to incite a mob of boobies with falsehoods and emotional appeal. His content will by definition targeted for just that kind of mischief. He can do whatever he likes but the NYT’s totally unethical behavior is in discussion here.

      The representative of a regularly elected democratic body, like Mr Youssef, especially if living under the arguably most brutal military occupation regime since the end of Nazism, should certainly have column space and more.

  7. piotr
    February 20, 2013, 8:40 am

    Rather than continuing to give Mr. Abbas a free pass, the West should roundly criticize crackdowns on dissidents and stand firmly with Palestinian democrats. A positive first step would be linking Western economic aid to the Palestinian Authority’s respect for free speech. Human rights, too often seen as a diversion from the peace process, are in fact the secret to it.

    Fufufu. link to urbandictionary.com

    The editorial is a “eensy teensy” incomplete without observing that the “Western economic aid” is conditioned on PA maintaining repressions in the name of “security cooperation”, that the goons who do it are trained by Americans and that Israel uses similarly “antiquated laws” to conduct such repressions.

    In particular, in spite of “reconciliation” PA keeps detaining political supporters and activists of Hamas and other “rejectionist” movements, while Hamas did release Fatah supporters but later, in the face of arrests in West Bank, started to repress opposition in Gaza again. And occupation forces made it clear that if PA would relent with the policy of detentions they would step up their detentions, entering Area A if needed, something that they do regularly anyway. A quisling regime under the occupation cannot be more democratic then allowed.

    • tear-stained uzi
      February 20, 2013, 3:38 pm

      Rather than continuing to give Mr. Abbas a free pass, the West should roundly criticize crackdowns on dissidents and stand firmly with Palestinian democrats.

      Wait, is Hasbara Fella advocating that we help (the democratically elected in Gaza) Hamas overthrow Fatah??

      I know this would make total sense to me if I were still snorting Ziocaine like I did, back during Disco…

  8. dhk
    February 20, 2013, 9:14 pm

    These are all good arguments about the “democracy” of Israel but do they change the fact that Abbas is not being much of a democrat himself. Or are we supposed to hold off from criticizing the PA because it is the PA?

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