Journalists should tell their readers if they’re Zionists

Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart

I take Roger Cohen seriously and so I’ve read a lot of his columns over the years, bought his book on the Balkans and read it. I leaped at the chance to debate the peace process with him in Qatar four years ago, and helped arrange his moderation of a debate over Israel with two congressmen in 2011.

But just a few months ago I learned something important about him. He’s a liberal Zionist. “I am one,” he said in confessing his “deep despondency” over Israel’s failure to end the occupation.

Shouldn’t I have known that before? I wondered. I regard Zionism as a core attachment, an intellectual/emotional/spiritual commitment that can be deeply binding. Back when Cohen was advocating the war in Iraq, for instance: Was his concern for Israel’s security part of his thinking?

I had the same feeling about Peter Beinart. He wrote a whole book about the need to liberate Iraq. The Good Fight: Why Liberals –and Only Liberals–Can Win the War On Terror and Make America Great Again. It doesn’t mention Israel once, per the index, and at the start, Beinart says he supported the war because it would

“help open a democratic third way in the Middle East between secular autocrats and their theocratic opponents–a third way that offered the best long-term hope for protecting the United States.”

Was that a sincere statement? We now know that Beinart cares deeply and passionately about Israel. He thinks about Israel almost as much as I do. He runs Open Zion, he has published a book called The Crisis of Zionism, he puts the Israeli flag on his boy’s wall, and he has published important pieces in the New York Review of Books on the failure of Jewish organizations in their support of Israel. So was he concerned about Israel when he was pushing the Iraq war? I think he was; and that he should have told his readers that.

Ian Lustick is someone else who’s declared lately. He wrote that he was once “spectacularly hopeful” about Zionism and it’s with “profound sadness” that he confronts the failure of the two-state solution. Lustick is an honest man and a realist, but I wish I’d known before now that he had such a profound attachment to the Zionist dream when I was reading all his excellent pieces.

Lustick himself pointed  out in Philadelphia the other day that writers and scholars are moved by passions, and have the duty to advance arguments that transcend those passions. Good point.

But I like to know about those passions.

I always felt that Ethan Bronner, the former Jerusalem bureau chief of the Times who had a son in the Israeli army, was a Zionist, but he never said so openly, and this created justifiable outrage in my community. In Philadelphia the other day, Max Blumenthal critiqued the claimed “objectivity” of the New York Times. He said that the present bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, is married to an artist, Gary Rudoren, who’s “deeply immersed in Jewish Israeli society,” and she gets translation services from Myra Noveck, who works in the Times bureau, has two children in the Israeli army and is the wife of liberal Zionist Gershom Gorenberg. Blumenthal said:

“The idea that these people are objective is completely absurd to me but they’re operating under the veneer of objectivity when I’m completely out in the open with [my] quotidian beliefs… in a multicultural society where everyone has a fair shot regardless of ethnicity.”

I wonder about Rudoren. She comes out of the mainstream Jewish community, and I have found her to be culturally-bound, but is she a Zionist? She declined to answer that question a year back and then tweeted, “the only ist I use to describe self is journalist.” But I don’t think she’s being forthcoming. Rudoren also wrote proudly that she and her husband combined their last names because she refused to adopt a principle of the “patriarchy.” Surely that makes her a feminist.

I like to know those things about writers. I think they’re important. It’s something I admire about Eric Alterman and Jeffrey Goldberg, they’ve always been out front about their Zionism. As I’ve been out front about my opposition to Zionism.

Cohen, Lustick, and Beinart’s confessions are good. I want more journalists who write about the Middle East to declare on this question, in an acknowledgment of the public’s right to know. Zionism is a core component of the American Jewish relationship to Israel. It is a nationalist ideology involving religious identity, tribal concerns, and belief in the insecurity of Jews in the west. We all need to debate its premises and principles, Jews and non-Jews alike. It would help if those who subscribe to it told us so.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 104 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    “The Good Fight: Why Liberals –and Only Liberals–Can Win the War On Terror and Make America Great Again. ”

    I must read this book. I just finished “Generation Kill” about the Marine advance on Baghdad and want to follow up with a book about the logic of the war and one on how it went tits up afterwards.

    I suppose cheerleading the war prolly landed him the career he now has.
    Did Beinart ever apologise to all the soldiers?
    Did he ever read “Get your war on “?

    link to mnftiu.cc

    BTW I think America’s greatness has passed. Shock and awe didn’t cut it.

    • Danaa says:

      More than that – US troops casualties aside for a moment -did beinart – or Cohen – ever apologize to the countless thousands families of Iraqi victims of the US’s invasion and destruction of Iraq? did they realize – or have ever acknowledged – that this so-called “war” (really an imperial invasion) – inflicted horrible wounds on Iraqi society, wounds that may never heal, helping usher a “failed state’ that is so much worse than anything Saddam has ever Wrought? are they surprised in the least that most Iraqis believe they only lost from having their country, invaded, bombed, sectarianized, reduced to near-penury and basically destroyed? Will Bynart/Cohen/etc. take responsibility for having pushed for that which to all appearance is a serious war crime? do they realize now the utter horror of what they advocated?

      Or, are we to believe they were “naive”, “misguided liberals” whose zionism played no part in their advocacy? as Phil most ably notes in this post?

      More to the point – had we ever seen an acknowledgment of the suffering of the Iraqi people from either of these two personalities? and though “liberals’ they may profess to be, do not their actions/inactions indicate that zionism ate away their soul to such depth that really, they have little heart left for anyone but jews (their protestations to the contrary)? IOW, has not their membership in the zionist cult gobbled up a huge chunk of what real liberal sentiments they may have ever had? possibly to the point where, really, a dead Arab matter so much less that the spiritual suffering of a “fellow” Jew? yes, I know Beinart calls for listening to palestinian voices. How good of him to note the obvious. Well, I shouldn’t be mean and be glad for small steps, right?

      Beinart speaks well and writes well, so I don’t quibble with his eminent perch on The daily beast (unlike Alterman, who i still have no clue what made him more worthy of note – or publication – than a 1000 other first rate writers from the country of the US of A that is not limited to one side of the Mississippi river). What I do quibble with is his capacity for empathy with humans not of his tribe. he says he’s got it. I just don’t believe him – at least till he admits his complicity in a war crime, and makes an honest go of it.

      IMO, Zionism is the heart-eating daily beast, whether open or closed.

      And I know what M J Rosenberg – another excellent liberal zionist – will call me for saying that. Or not – since my first name is not Ali, so I get to say some things, and they’ll just chuck it up to disgrantled, intra-tribal musings.

    • Krauss says:

      Beinart is one of the few, Jonathan Chait is a noted pathologist who refused, people who made a complete and heartfelt mea culpa.

      I think Beinart by and large has grown to be a much more thoughtful man over this past decade. He realized that words have tremendous power and I think he had to grapple morally with the Iraq disaster, he was an influential voice in that invasion.
      And he did grapple with it.

      Note that on the latest Syria push he was far more skeptical. He’s a former neocon liberal ally who understood that words have consequences and unlike others, the previously mentioned Chait or Goldberg who both have refused to do a full mea culpa and still push for middle eastern wars(where Israel is a concern) – he has changed.

      I just wished there were more people who had the same moral capacity to change like Beinart.

      • Danaa says:

        Krauss, I know beinart did the Mia Culpa. Like several others. But what did he apologize for, basically? for having made a mistaken judgement? for being wrong? even for being blind?

        What I want to see is something beyond apology for poor judgement call. I want a full up acknowledgment that Iraq was a war crime in which upward of 460,ooo Iraqis dies horrible death (by the latest count) , millions were displaced and the country effectively divided and still suffering from daily bombings (In which the US is still culpable, even if it Saudi Arabia that pays the piper). I want an apology directed not at us in the US gallery, saying something like, oopsy, sorry, but something not only more heart felt, but directed at the ultimate victims – the Iraqi people.

        I want accountability from those who cheered for, pushed for, abetted and excused war crimes. I want them to admit that they gave a hand to evil. An evil that went way beyond Bush and Cheney.

        There is blood on Beinart’s hands. And Cohen’s, and Goldberg’s and a whole lot of members of the tribe, right along with their non-Jewish bretherns. This blood can never be washed away until they do more than apologize a little for it. They have to be made to come face to face with the icy cold steel buried in their heart, the daggers zionism buried there. Nothing less than that will be enough, especially for them that cannot feign ignorance or stupidity. They knew what the consequences of destroying Iraq will be, and they wanted it anyways, because Iraqi people didn’t matter. Only israeli ones did.

        I’ll listen to and read Beinart because he is a smart cookie. But I will never agree to ignore his bloodied hands. At least until the right amends are made, to the right people.

        • seafoid says:

          Iraq was way more than a mistake on an Excel spreadsheet that messed up the profit figures for 2003. It was pure evil. And how many Iraqis were addressed with his mea culpa? Did he go to Walter Reed?

  2. seafoid says:

    link to amazon.com

    “Beinart worries that liberals are so fixated on the threats posed by the Bush administration and the Right that they risk being too dismissive of the very real threat of terrorism.”

    He’s probably wrong about the staying power of Israel as well. Sounds like he’s used to telling inept elites what they like to hear.

    • pabelmont says:

      That’s odd, about being “dismissive” of the very real threat of “terrorism”.

      NSA did its damnedest, listening to almost everything except pillow talk, for how many years and at what enormous cost? (and think of the environmental damage from the manufacture of all those computer memories to record every word electronically uttered by everybody * * *).

      And they had about 10 prosecutions for terrorism out of all that? (And how many of those were FBI stings of gullible young Muslim kids?)

      And yet, for all that show of extreme expense and zero-ish results, “terrorism” continues to be described as a “threat” in USA, just as “attack from Palestinians” continues to be taught as a mantra of hasbara (Big Lie) social manipulation in Israel.

      In the USA, sadly, no-one who matters dares to be dismissive of “terrorism”. (Or to disown Zionism.) Social manipulation is alive and well.

  3. just says:

    You’re right of course, Phil.

    It would also be nice if the ‘owners’ of the MSM would let us know the very same……..

  4. i remember when andrew sullivan asked if there were any mainstream journalists who were not zionists. nobody came up with any names. it goes unspoken. in this day and age, it shouldn’t.

    • W.Jones says:

      Annie,

      Wasn’t there some kind of establishment pro-Arab lobby back in the 1950′s that was connected to oil interests? What happened to them?

      • i don’t know w.jones. i know in the state department we had the arabists and they got pushed out. but i don’t know much about the journalists or lobbiests from that era other than knowing a little about the founding of aipac.

  5. seafoid says:

    It should go beyond declaring whether or not they are bots. Who are they working for ? Beinart was very early 30s when he nailed his colours to the Iraq war mast. What did he know about Rumsfeld and the Middle East? And who benefitted from his stance other than Raytheon and Lockheed Martin ?

  6. Citizen says:

    Damn right they should.

  7. David Nelson says:

    Who oh who is buried in Grant’s tomb?

    I always assume a mainstream American journalist is a zionist until there is evidence to the contrary.

    Is America’s Zionist media Zionist?

    Yes.

  8. pabelmont says:

    Maybe all journos who are NOT Zionists should step up and say so, and prove it, and maybe even explain why. Then those journos who didn’t do so would be shown up both as cowards and as Zionists.

  9. hophmi says:

    Sorry, but that’s ridiculous. It is not a journalist’s responsibility to declare the details of their personal life. You want this only so that you can misuse it to insinuate things that you have zero evidence for.

    • Danaa says:

      hophmi, it may not be their responsibility to declare their true allegiances, but it is the responsibility of the rest of us to ferret out those which acted and advocated things that are criminally inhumane AND likely ran counter to the interests of the country in which these individuals live and work. Beinart or Cohen likely have not a single relative, or acquaintance no matter how distant in the US armed forces. And neither do you hophmi. So you p- like them – probably don’t give a hoot about how many soldiers die – it’s probably just a “little” collateral damage for you. of course, if an israeli soldiers dies, no matter what cause, it’s a huge tragedy, right? because perhaps you consider them “one of yours”, unlike those hapless, un-urbane, non harvardian US grunts that are just so much gist for the mill?

      I, for one, do not believe that it is possible to be a zionist and an true American at the same time. the values are just too far apart, as are, ultimately, the allegiances (whether or not it is clear yet).

      there, I can be in the open now….

    • Cliff says:

      Journalists should disclose their Zionist background.

      Especially when they are employed by pro-Jewish colonialism organizations like CAMERA or UNWatch or NGOMonitor or the Reut Institute or Gatestone Institute or any number of pro-Israel propaganda outfits.

      Of course a Jewish colonist like you wants your cult to remain under the radar. You are the Jewish taliban.

    • Pamela Olson says:

      This isn’t about their personal life — it’s about ideology. If a journalist is, for example, a card-carrying communist writing about the economy, it will most likely affect the lens through which they see the world. If they are a Hindu writing about Muslims in India, that’s pertinent information. It’s of course not necessarily true that their religion or ideology will affect their analyses. Arguments should be judged on their merit.

      But an author’s core ideology (and therefore many of their unspoken assumptions) shouldn’t be kept hidden.

      It’s funny that no one dared answer Andrew Sullivan’s question. If you’re NOT a Zionist in today’s media (or at least if you say out loud that you’re not), you’re in trouble. It’s taken as an article of faith, virtually untouchable. (That’s finally starting to change, though, little by little.)

      • seafoid says:

        Monthly review is the pre eminent economics journal. Card carrying marxists have more credibility on the economy than arch capitalists on wall st. They look at the system objectively. It is a ponzi scheme.

    • What are we to make of Rudoren’s (self-mocking?) quip?: “Rudoren (rue-DOOR-en) felt the most real. We Googled it and found a section of an island in Finland. Someday we’ll claim that as ancestral homeland.”
      link to nytimes.com

    • Donald says:

      “t is not a journalist’s responsibility to declare the details of their personal life.”

      That’s silly. If you want to criticize Phil’s point, you ought to be able to do better than that. Since you didn’t, I’ll step in, because I have mixed feelings about this.

      Should a reporter on any political subject have to state his or her own political biases? Ideally, he or she would do a professional job no matter what. Anyway, most likely the editor (or ultimately the publisher) has more clout regarding what actually gets into the paper, so maybe the editor should report biases. I’m not sure where I stand . Zionism is just one example where reporters could have strong feelings about an issue which might conceivably effect how they do their jobs. But what is likely to be the case is that any reporter with radical views will either be weeded out or forced to conform.

      Now when someone is acting as a pundit, advocating for war, then yes, the advocate should state all of his reasons for supporting the war, including any strongly held convictions which might bias his (or her) viewpoint. Again, that’s not limited to Zionism.

    • Ecru says:

      If a journalist is reporting on stock options and financial affairs they’re expected to declare any interests they might have. It’s basic ethics. You might want to look up “ethics” in a dictionary since it’s obviously not to be found in any Zionists vocabulary.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      Baloney. a zio background is relevant to the reader in deciding the value of a writer’s views and analysis on the ME. If the reporter is a fashion reporter or something than a zio world view is irrelevant. If they’re a political or general reporter dealing with anything touching the issue, it is crucial info to know.

  10. miriam6 says:

    Journalists should tell their readers if they’re Zionists

    Aaah – the continuing dumbing down , degradation and erosion of the ethics of modern journalism.
    The assumption here of course is that journalists are simply unable to put their own views to one side and report on the I /P conflict in an objective fashion.

    And how have we arrived at such a situation where people no longer trust journalism to give them a fair account of the world?

    As it happens this erosion of the proper business of journalism to report objectively began in the 1990′s with the Balkan civil wars and the bloody power struggle between Hutu’s and Tutsi’s in Rwanda.

    In both cases journalists forgot their responsibilities to report on both conflict’s undoubted complexities in an OBJECTIVE way.

    Instead – journalists began to elevate their position in society by re-casting themselves as moralising forces in society in pursuit of the greater ‘Truth’.

    If the facts relating to the undoubted complexities got in the way of their neat Good v Evil’ summations of such conflicts as those of Rwanda and the Balkans – then such facts were simply ignored in favour of the pursuit of what those journalists held to be the greater ‘Truth’.

    • miriam6 says:

      Journalists should tell their readers if they’re Zionists

      The same devaluing of the ethics of journalism to report objectively is happening all over again with the media’s latest ‘morality play’ hobbyhorse – the I/P conflict.
      Again – just as with the Balkans conflict – the Rwandan Hutus were compared to Nazis.
      As are the Israelis today.

      The likes of Weiss and others are demanding that the I/P conflict be reduced to another simplistic ‘morality play’ in which the Israelis are now cast in the role of the new Nazis whilst the Palestinians are reduced to no more than passive, helpless victims of Israeli brutality.

      The whole purpose of course – as was the case in the Balkans and Rwanda – is to engender support for intervention in the affairs of both Israelis and Palestinians – on the assumption that outsiders ‘know best’ rather than allowing both sides in the I/P conflict control in order to determine their OWN future.

      A cursory glance at the history of the I /P conflict from the move to partition Mandatory Palestine in 1948 – to the Oslo Accords of more than twenty years ago – shows that intervention by outsiders has only ever served to deepen and exacerbate the conflict between Palestinian nationalism and Jewish nationalism in the Middle East.

      Lastly – I suspect Weiss’s setting up of the straw man of biased journalists hiding their supposed Zionist agendas as a reason for the failure thus far of the anti Zionist argument – is simply a means of avoiding the strong possibility that anti – Zionists such as himself have simply failed to win the argument.

      In reality – simplistic depictions of the I /P conflict as drawn by the likes of Weiss and M .W are never likely to hold much credibility with the thinking masses.

      Rather than setting up a straw man conspiratorial argument that anti Zionist views are not being heard because of a media dominated by Zionist shills-Weiss and the other ardent anti – Zionists evidently need to get better arguments.

      • seafoid says:

        Yeah miriam. The nazi slur is reserved for bibi. And the conflict is so complex it has nothing to do with colonialism .

      • libra says:

        miriam6: In reality – simplistic depictions of the I /P conflict as drawn by the likes of Weiss and M .W are never likely to hold much credibility with the thinking masses.

        In which case miriam, why do you expend such an inordinate amount of effort here arguing against the likes of Phil? Surely you have something better to do? After all, it might be some time before your Australian visa comes through. And I can’t imagine that recent remark about Antipodean dental standards will have helped your case. Australians can be very sensitive about such things.

        That said, I do think Phil is being very naive here to expect any honesty from Zionist journalists. Like you, they would simply continue to dole out the hasbara whilst at the same time telling us “I’m not a Zionist”.

      • Cliff says:

        Palestinians ARE by and large, passive victims.

        And Israelis ARE by and large the aggressors and oppressors.

        This is not due to something in Jewish or Palestinian or Israeli or Arab ‘DNA’.

        It is due to geographic luck and choices people make

        And what the hell do you mean, ‘thinking masses’? Americans do not even know where the Middle East is.

        You don’t know what this amorphous, abstraction known as something-something ‘masses’ collectively thinks or knows.

        Surveys and polls do not assess what Americans KNOW about the conflict. They assess how Americans FEEL. And taking any of these polls as gospel is silly anyway.

        We couldn’t stop the Iraq War and there were tons of protests and lots of popular support for the anti-war movement initially. It faded.

        People are comfortable enough in America that they will not organize as ‘thinking masses’ to stop their own wars let alone Jewish colonialism.

        You have gained your advantage through LIES and DECEIT and shared hatreds and prejudices. Not through meritocracy.

        But keep deluding yourself, 666.

        • miriam6 says:

          Cliff@;

          You have gained your advantage through LIES and DECEIT and shared hatreds and prejudices. Not through meritocracy.

          You appear to be talking about American Jews here.
          Your talk of meritocracy only makes sense in an American context after all.
          If you are talking about American Jews – you have inadvertently let your mask slip – showing the prejudice underneath.

          And it is not an edifying sight..

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          LMAO. wow. create a strawman and the react to it. Can we all try it?? miriam, by your statement it appears you like torturing bunnies. You let your mask slip and it’s not a pretty sight.

        • miriam specializes in ‘suggestive’ propaganda, and she’s got her schoolmarm voice revved up today.

        • miriam6 says:

          No Woody – I prefer to eat delicious tender scrambled baby bunny rabbits on toast served with a side dish of homemade spicy relish for breakfast instead..

          They do tend to lose their piquant flavour if one is so crude as to torture them I find..

          For dinner – I favour a sophisticated dish involving baked rabbit marinated in red wine and garlic accompanied by dauphinoise potatoes plus fava beans all washed down by a nice Chianti!

          Scrumpdiddleyumptious!

          as Ned Flanders might say..

          No animal cruelty was in involved in the writing of this comment..

      • Keith says:

        MIRIAM6- “Again – just as with the Balkans conflict – the Rwandan Hutus were compared to Nazis….As are the Israelis today….The whole purpose of course – as was the case in the Balkans and Rwanda – is to engender support for intervention in the affairs of both Israelis and Palestinians….”

        Your sophistry is breathtaking! You have literally turned reality on its head comparing the past labeling of the Serbs as Nazis- a pretext for military intervention- with the reasonable comparison of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. As a pretext for what? For the reasonable objective of getting the empire to STOP intervening in the I/P conflict. Stop the military aid! Stop the diplomatic support! Stop the money going to settlement construction! If it wasn’t for imperial support, Israel would have long ago abandoned its hegemonic pretensions and most likely sought peace and reconciliation with it Arab neighbors instead of ongoing warfare and human rights abuses. Surely you are aware of all of this. So why this clumsy insult to our intelligence?

        • hophmi says:

          The reasonable comparison of Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto? How is it in any way reasonable? Do we have hundreds of thousands of people dying there every year? Let’s start with that.

          You make these casual Nazi comparisons, and they’re ridiculous.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          When I went to Gaza it reminded me of the book about the Warsaw Ghetto my mother had bought for his six kids, by Roman Vishniac. A Vanished World. Of course the Warsaw Ghetto ended in genocide, but the ghettoized component was vivid to me in the open air prison of Gaza; and of course I thought, the abused becomes the abuser….

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “The reasonable comparison of Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto? How is it in any way reasonable?”

          Sure. They were both urban areas turned into open air prisons based on racist ideologies.

        • jon s says:

          Phil, Would you care to explain :

          “When I went to Gaza it reminded me of the book about the Warsaw Ghetto my mother had bought for his six kids, by Roman Vishniac.”

          In any case , the comparison of the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jews were victims of sytematic genocide, and Gaza, where the population is steadily increasing, is obscene and offensive.

        • Keith says:

          HOPHMI- “The reasonable comparison of Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto? How is it in any way reasonable? Do we have hundreds of thousands of people dying there every year? Let’s start with that.”

          I referred to the Warsaw Ghetto, not the Treblinka death camp. Below is a link to Wikipedia’s description of the Warsaw Ghetto. Read it. See if you can’t detect more than a few similarities with Gaza. I can. Notice that I am not comparing Gaza to Germany’s final solution. However, with several hundred Israeli nukes aimed at the Arab capitols, you Zionists stand ready to implement your final solution which would exceed Germany’s by a factor of ten or more. Not that you care, or can see beyond the tribe.
          link to en.wikipedia.org

        • so what would you suggest a person do when their mind is reminded of something? shut up about it? you know what’s worse than the comparison ? the systematic blockade of gaza. you’ve been around here a long time and you never say the occupation is ‘obscene’. where are your priorities jon. the occupation is not a memory, it’s real life. you sound more concerned with coveting an memory than torture and suffering going on right next door.

        • Cliff says:

          jon s said:

          where the population is steadily increasing, is obscene and offensive.

          Phil, how is this different from Holocaust DENIAL?

          Seriously.

          How f***ing DISGUSTING.

          The population in Gaza is growing! Everything is swell!

        • miriam6 says:

          Annie;

          so what would you suggest a person do when their mind is reminded of something?

          In the first place – why is it that people who see the situation in Gaza as desperate – feel the need to imply that things are even WORSE than that –

        • you know miriam, people might take you more seriously if you didn’t rely so much on strawman/ad hominem crutches. it really doesn’t take much effort to review what was written here to establish no one claimed gaza was worse than it is.

          it’s bad, very bad.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “In any case , the comparison of the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jews were victims of sytematic genocide, and Gaza, where the population is steadily increasing, is obscene and offensive.”

          No, “leftist,” what is obscene is what you people are inflicting on the Palestinians; what is offensive is your Nakba denial demonstated here.

        • jon s says:

          Fact is, the population of Gaza is growing , while the population of the Warsaw ghetto was annihilated. Warsaw was under Nazi occupation , while Gaza is ruled by the Palestinian Hamas.
          The comparison itself can be seen as a form of Holocaust denial.

        • Keith says:

          JON S- “Warsaw was under Nazi occupation , while Gaza is ruled by the Palestinian Hamas.”

          The notion that the enclosed, sealed off Gaza is “ruled” by Hamas is absurd. Israel controls Gaza in similar fashion to how the Warsaw Ghetto was controlled.

          From Wikipedia: “The Germans closed the Warsaw Ghetto to the outside world on November 16, 1940. The wall was typically 3 m (9.8 ft) high and topped with barbed wire. Escapees could be shot on sight.”
          link to en.wikipedia.org

          Hmmm, a separation wall. People could be shot on sight by guards. Jeez, that sounds similar to Gaza, doesn’t it?

          From Wikipedia: “The ghetto was divided by Chłodna Street, which due to its importance (Warsaw’s major street leading to the east) was excluded from it. The area south of Chłodna was known as “Small Ghetto”, while the area north of this street – “Large Ghetto”.

          The ghetto was divided and separated by German only streets. Ring a bell? (at least for the West Bank).

          From Wikipedia: “Like all the ghettos in Poland, the Germans ascribed the administration to a Judenrat (a council of the Jews), led by an “Ältester” (the eldest).”

          Like what Israel did with the PA? Or is it unfair to compare the PA to the Judenrat? And when Hamas won the election, Israel tried to crush Hamas and Gaza like the Nazis crushed the Warsaw Ghetto following the uprising. But since Israel is not currently operating a Treblinka extermination camp, we should all hold our tongues concerning some rather obvious comparisons. This, in spite of the fact, that we Americans are enabling this to occur and have a responsibility to speak out. And don’t forget that our comparisons with Nazi Germany mostly refer to prewar Germany to when the stage was being set. Seems to me that the stage is once again being set. Should we wait until there is a war in the Middle East and Israel unleashes its nuclear armaments killing tens of millions before we speak?

          Finally, perhaps you feel that it would be more honest to compare Gaza to an Indian reservation than to the Warsaw Ghetto. Feel free. Also, did you know that Hitler greatly admired how the US dealt with our native population in order to provide lebensraum for our white settlers? Yup, Israel and the US have a lot of skeletons in their combined closet.

        • miriam6 says:

          Keith@:

          Why on earth do you choose to insult MY intelligence and that of others with your continuing clumsy , historically illiterate attempts to compare Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto?

          Such erroneous comparisons cannot be taken at all seriously.

          Claiming that Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto have similarities because they are both partly or entirely enclosed is highly disingenuous.
          In fact – your comparison is most strongly reminiscent of the anti Serb propaganda pumped out relentlessly by a media eager to demonise the Serbs as the new Nazis – in which photos of emaciated Bosnians allegedly held prisoner behind barbed wire were held to provide proof that the Serbs were running concentration camps reminiscent of the Nazi run concentration camps of the WW2 in Bosnia.

          Your comparison between the PA and the Judenrat is disingenuous too.

          The PA resulted from the Oslo Accords – which emerged from a context of the defeat of the Palestinian project to liberate Palestine.
          Whereas the Judenrat emerged as a means by which the Nazis meant to carry out a programme of genocide.
          So the PA and the Judenrat were formed and used to entirely different ends.
          On was as a result of the defeat of a liberation movement – the other – a means of facilitating the physical annihilation of an entire ethnic group.

          You cannot ignore that genocide was the ultimate purpose of the Warsaw Ghetto.

          However awful the situation in Gaza, it is obscene to compare it with the Warsaw Ghetto where, in the early 1940s, the population of Jews was reduced from 450 000 to 71 000 through starvation and mass deportations to Nazi death camps. More than 300,00 Jews were forced to the Treblinka extermination camp and murdered. To be comparable , by 2007 over 300,000 Gazans would have had to have died from similar causes. Following a Jewish uprising, the ghetto was finally invaded and destroyed by the Nazis in 1943, with an estimated 56 000 people massacred or deported to camps. Ninety – eight per cent of Warsaw’s Jews perished. About 63 per cent of Europe’s pre -war Jewish population were killed during the Holocaust.
          Nothing remotely on the scale of the Holocaust is taking place in the OPT nor is the situation in Gaza comparable to the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto’s Jews.

      • kalithea says:

        Interesting that you brought up the Nazis… Diaspora Zionists appear to have some kind of subconscious shame going on when they hide the fact that they are Zionists.

        I wonder what Freud would say about individuals who conceal their Zionism? I’m sure it has something to do with the supremacist nature of Zionism.

        Maybe closet Zionists worry that Zionism might be tainted with the purist, supremacist ideas that Nazism sprang from, and that one day in the future it might be frowned upon by society. So, better to be prudent now and conceal the fact that one is a Zionist just in case Zionism ends up in the pages of infamy, which it no doubt will.

    • Ecru says:

      @ m6

      “The assumption here of course is that journalists are simply unable to put their own views to one side and report on the I /P conflict in an objective fashion.”

      No it’s about the compelling evidence that no Zionist has EVER put their ethnocentric views aside to report objectively about anything. The bias of the MSM and most who work within it in regards to Israel has been obvious to any member of the “thinking masses” for quite some time.

      “..this erosion of the proper business of journalism to report objectively began in the 1990′s with the Balkan civil wars and the bloody power struggle between Hutu’s and Tutsi’s in Rwanda.

      You need to go back to school if you believe that clap trap. Was Hearst reporting “objectively” when he cried out in the New York Times – “Remember the Maine?” Hardly.

      As for comparing Zionists to Nazis it’s actually a very close comparison if you actually bother to read what the Nazis believed. Blut und boden, lebensraum, state paranoia, happiness to indulge in collective punishment, sadomasochistic fantasies of the master-races power over the untermensch, etc. etc. Zionism IS Nazism, it’s Nazism for Jews.

      “…intervention by outsiders has only ever served to deepen and exacerbate the conflict between Palestinian nationalism and Jewish nationalism in the Middle East.

      Well yes, but only because 99% of the intervention has been to protect Israel no matter how repugnant its actions. And that largely thanks to a population of Fifth Columnists who have no loyalty to their natal nations only to their “tribe.”

      “..ever likely to hold much credibility with the thinking masses.”

      Well since you’re so obviously not one of them I’m not sure what relevance your beliefs about what they consider credible or not has to do with anything. As for the thinking masses themselves, since most in Europe seem to think Israel is the most dangerous nation on the planet, looks like they disagree with you.

      And yes I know, you mean the other thinking masses. The ones who’re constantly trying to think up new justifications and excuses for their favourite bigoted state. The ones who can only muster patriotism for a tribe not the nation of their birth and their home.

  11. Betsy says:

    Great post, Phil!

  12. radii says:

    I disagree … journalists should not become part of a story … their outlook reveals itself with their choice of subject matter, how they frame it and which outlet in the media their work is featured … a reader/viewer can discern the bias, if there is any, pretty quickly

    • just says:

      Disagree. “Journalists” are a huge part of the story, and part of the problem as well as the solution.

      It’s past time that the biased scurry out of the closet. The “reader/viewer” who is/has been discerning is/has been immediately labeled an anti- semite or worse.

  13. W.Jones says:

    Phil, you write:

    “I am one,” he said in confessing his “deep despondency” over Israel’s failure to end the occupation. Shouldn’t I have known that before? I wondered.

    Didn’t it come out in a way you could notice in the way he wrote about the IP conflict?

    Back when Cohen was advocating the war in Iraq, for instance: Was his concern for Israel’s security part of his thinking?
    Would that be surprising? If you read about Muslim Pakistan in a conflict with non-Muslim India, perhaps some Americans after the “War on Terror” may be biased in favor of the latter, even if the US was not involved in their conflict.

    In Beinart’s book as you quoted, he wants to have Iraq invaded to make a way between secular dictators and theocrats. However, since when has invading countries for democracy alone been a staple of the modern left? I thought since Vietnam liberals figured out that the US invading other countries to impose democracy was problematic, if not insincere.

    Your main issue raised about Beinart’s book was whether it mentions Israel. Page 101-102 says:

    Needles to say, for the US to withdraw from [Asia] would constitute a geostrategic revolution. American power is the guarantor… in Jordan and Egypt, the lyncphins of peace between Israel and the Arab world… But were the jihadist movement to force the US to withdraw…. producing governments with dramatically different orientations, the consequencees for American securirty… and regional peace could be grave.

    Another portrayal is on page 28.

  14. Yitzgood says:

    Somebody (William F. Buckley?) once said about McCarthy (Or founding Bircher Robert Welch?): “He understands Communists and he understands anti-Communists, but he doesn’t understand non-Communists.” How does Mondoweiss define “Zionist”? Anyone to the right of Mondoweiss on the I-P conflict? Anybody who sides with Israel against Hamas? Anyone who supports a “two-state solution” and to the right? Would people here put anyone in the category of “non-Zionist”?

    • yitz, i would put myself in the category of non zionist.

      • dms says:

        What is a “non zionist”?
        I have never heard that term before.

        • it is someone who is not a zionist.

        • dms says:

          So you are not an ANTI-zionist?

          Maybe I have misread you. I thought that your criticism of Israeli government policy broadened into active antipathy for the entire Jews-forming-their own-nation endeavor.

        • seafoid says:

          Zionism is a mental illness. In patients presenting with the condition logic is missing. They talk in colonial memes from the 1920s. Many sufferers are unaware of the end of Jim Crow in the US . They assume apartheid still works and compare even the smallest problem to Syria in order not to have to do anything.

        • hmm. well, yitz asks, “How does Mondoweiss define “Zionist”? ” and mondoweiss is a few people so i can only speak for myself. for me, zionism is ethnic nationalism. like anti semitism is racism in the sense that anti semitism is no different than racism it’s just that jews have there own exclusive word for it. so in that sense, jews have their own exclusive word for their ethnic nationalism. it’s the ideology of them having their own ethnic nationalist state. so, for me, i really wouldn’t have a problem with that other than the fact they decided to manifest it in a place other people already lived, whom they ethnically cleansed. but in principle, if a bunch of people want to live with eachother without me or people like me or just with themselves, and not hurt others, i don’t really care.

          but i am not an ethnic nationalist, i am a civic nationalist. iow, if a bunch of ethnic nationalist (jewish or otherwise) wanted to buy land on some mountain top and be exclusive, really, i have bigger fish to fry. ideologically i have bigger fish to fry than ethnic nationalism. iow, it’s not their exclusivity i have a problem with. it’s where they’re doing it, who it’s impacting, how they’re doing it, etc etc etc. but on principle, if they did it elsewhere and nicely .. i wouldn’t mind. if they found themselves a vacant island i would have no problem w/their zionism.

        • RoHa says:

          I am very much an anti-Zionist. I do object to the ethnic nationalism and the exclusivity.

          However, if it were carried out somewhere it would not affect other people – let alone not impact them – I would probably just grumble quietly in my beer, in between grumbling about the Decline of Standards of English, Young People Today, the Blasted Government, the Horrible Modern Music Which Is Nothing But Screaming, and so on and so forth.

          It isn’t. It harms real people. So I grumble more loudly.

        • see, zionism doesn’t have to be how it’s being. the big problem w/zionism it the way it acts and manifests. but if you took the colonialism out of the ethnic nationalism it wouldn’t be so bad. and if you took the torture out of the ethnic nationalism it would be so bad, and if you took the occupation out of the ethnic nationalism it wouldn’t be so bad. if you took the controlling palestinians out of the ethnic nationalism it wouldn’t be so bad.

          but, they didn’t. i’ve said before, if you want people to not have a problem w/zionism, make it nice. but they won’t because …they want more than ethnic nationalism, they want palestine. not nice.

          if it were carried out somewhere it would not affect other people –

          no no no, those benign harmless jews didn’t just want ethnic nationalism, they only chose to ethnically cleanse the holyland. phew, and then they accuse us of picking on them.

        • Shmuel says:

          I thought that your criticism of Israeli government policy broadened into active antipathy for the entire Jews-forming-their own-nation endeavor.

          And when did you stop beating your wife?

        • piotr says:

          That ["Zionism is a mental illness"] would justify the disclosure of prior history of Zionism while applying for gun permit (gun purchase?). One could apply the same principle to arm export which could prohibited in the case of countries where governments use what they view as holy books to justify territorial claims that are not recognized by US government. But journalists etc. should be free to conceal whatever they want.

          However, I think the bigger problem may be with TV, especially panels what are assembled to represent a wide spectrum of opinion which may run from rabid supporters of Israel all the way to ardent supporters of Israel. While introducing the panelist it would be most appropriate to make a note of an ideology that may color the views on the discussed subject.

        • MHughes976 says:

          I would define Zionism – maybe I say something like this too often – as the belief that Jewish people, and they only, have an inherent right (now commonly called a birthright) to a share of sovereignty in the Holy Land (to some, ‘Palestine’), others having a share only by the grace and generosity of the true heirs.
          Others may use the word in a different sense but it seems to me that only this sort of definition produces a sense of ‘Zionism’ in which that belief justifies what has actually been done in Palestine.
          This def doesn’t exclude grace and generosity on a significant scale, so that many enfranchised non-Jewish Palestinians would exist in the Zionist state.
          Defining Zionism in this way I would say that I consider it a false belief, so I am an anti-Zionist.

        • German Lefty says:

          I am very much an anti-Zionist. I do object to the ethnic nationalism and the exclusivity.

          Same here. I am an anti-Zionist.
          I find the term “non-Zionist” quite vague. It doesn’t say what you are. It only says what you are not. A non-Zionist can be either:
          - a person who is opposed to Zionism (= anti-Zionist),
          - a person who is undecided about Zionism (= neither anti-Zionist nor pro-Zionist), or
          - a person who is indifferent to Zionism (= neither anti-Zionist nor pro-Zionist).

          I remember a tweet from Jamie Kilstein in which he wrote that he is “very non-Zionist”. I think that’s a strange choice of words. He wrote “very” to emphasise that he is NOT a Zionist. However, he shied away from using the prefix “anti-”. So, he didn’t dare to express clear opposition to Zionism.

        • RoHa says:

          “maybe I say something like this too often”

          Since, like me, you are a retired gentleman of a certain age, a certain amount of “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again” is expected of you.

          But since it is a very good definition of Zionism, I think it bears considerable repetition anyway, along with Saleema’s succinct version of the Zionist mindset.

        • German Lefty says:

          like me, you are a retired gentleman of a certain age

          Oh! For whatever reason, I have always assumed that you are a woman.

        • RoHa says:

          You clearly haven’t read enough of my posts. Click on my name and you will be able to read them all in their full, scintillating, glory. It will do you good, as well as making clear that I am a man. Builds character, too.

        • eljay says:

          >> Oh! For whatever reason, I have always assumed that you are a woman.

          Really? Most of his posts read like they were written by a crotchety old man – which, as he points out much more elegantly than I just did – he is.

          :-D

        • RoHa says:

          “a crotchety old man”

          Ahem! “Curmudgeonly old man”, if you please.

        • eljay says:

          >> Ahem! “Curmudgeonly old man”, if you please.

          My point exactly. ;-)

    • Cliff says:

      What do you mean, ‘side with Israel against Hamas’?

      If you side with Israel against Hamas, it implies it is Israel vs. Hamas.

      Who cares about Hamas. They have not even a FRACTION of the firepower or political power.

      This is a colonial conflict and Israel is the colonizer and oppressor. Hamas and other radical Islamist groups did not arise out of a vacuum. They are a response to the despair of the Palestinian people due to ZIONISM.

      Palestinians are not Islamists. They are not radicals. They BECAME this way through decades of Israeli TERROR.

      So yes, you are a Zionist. It has nothing to do w/ being to the ‘right’ of MW.

      You are a Zionist because you ignorantly divide this conflict between a Jewish pinata and a sea of angry Arabs. You think Islam is a big deal in this conflict.

      It is not – this is a conflict about LAND.

      The only religious fanatics that matter are the ones with power and those are the JEWISH fanatics who think God gave them the right to destroy the Palestinian people and STEAL their land.

      But instead you focus on Hamas as if they even matter with their shitty rockets and blockaded landmass of Gaza – fragmented from the rest of their society in the West Bank and E. Jerusalem.

      Yes, people like you who think this is a symmetrical conflict between terrorists and counter-terrorists are indeed, Zionist.

      • tokyobk says:

        Zionist does not mean “person who disagrees with you” about Hamas or symetry anything else. (Let’s say you are right about both). It means someone who supports a Jewish state in historic Palestine.

        • Shmuel says:

          Zionist … means someone who supports a Jewish state in historic Palestine.

          Not bad as a concise definition, but I would change it slightly to “actively supports” or “advocates”. There are plenty of people (certainly many non-Jews in the West) who support a Jewish state in historic Palestine, but could hardly be called Zionists.

          Volumes can and have been written on what advocating a Jewish state in historic Palestine may entail – including such components as “negation of the diaspora”, belief in “eternal anti-Semitism”; or how it may be characterised — “auto-emancipation”, self-determination, ethnic nationalism, colonialism etc.

        • Ecru says:

          @ tokyobk

          It means someone who supports a Jewish state in historic Palestine.

          In theory it used to mean that. In practise it means “bigoted, xenophobic, ethno-nationalism intent on theft and misappropriation of other people’s properties through any means necessary.”

        • German Lefty says:

          @ tokyobk
          Zionist = someone who supports a Jewish state in historic Palestine
          My suggestion:
          Zionist = someone who supports the existence of a Jewish state (no matter where)

          @ Shmuel
          I would change it slightly to “actively supports” or “advocates”.
          In my opinion, mere mental support is sufficient to be a Zionist.

          There are plenty of people (certainly many non-Jews in the West) who support a Jewish state in historic Palestine, but could hardly be called Zionists.
          Such as?

        • Shmuel says:

          My suggestion:
          Zionist = someone who supports the existence of a Jewish state (no matter where)

          Do any such people exist outside of history books?

          In my opinion, mere mental support is sufficient to be a Zionist.

          Really? Do you at least require a certain degree of conviction, or is merely thinking that Jews having a state is more-or-less OK sufficient?

          Such as?

          Such as at least half the people I meet, journalists in the mainstream press, politicians virtually across the political spectrum. Supporting the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine (if only as part of a 2ss) seems to be the preferred position of “reasonable people” in the West. Calling them all Zionists strikes me as a little over the top.

          Supporting Tibetan, Irish or Palestinian national aspirations doesn’t make one a Tibetan, Irish or Palestinian nationalist, so why should supporting Jewish national aspirations make one a Jewish nationalist? The “isms” would appear to require a little more commitment than that.

        • German Lefty says:

          @ Shmuel

          Do any such people exist outside of history books?
          Probably not. However, if there were still someone who wanted to establish a Jewish state in Uganda, then this person would have to be categorised as Zionist, too.

          Do you at least require a certain degree of conviction, or is merely thinking that Jews having a state is more-or-less OK sufficient?
          I would say that it requires a certain degree of knowledge, interest, and conviction.
          For example, the idea of “two states for two peoples” sounded okay to me at first. However, this wasn’t an actual conviction but rather a guess or an assumption due to lack of knowledge and interest. At that time, I didn’t even know when and how Israel was founded and what the term “Zionism” means. Therefore, I wouldn’t categorise myself as former Zionist.
          The situation is different with journalists and politicians. It’s their job to know and to care about such an issue. They made a conscious decision to support the existence of a Jewish state (as part of a two-state solution). This makes them Zionists. They refer to Israel as “Jewish state” and mistake anti-Zionism for anti-Semitism. That’s Zionist behaviour.

          At least half the people I meet, journalists in the mainstream press, politicians virtually across the political spectrum. Supporting the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine seems to be the preferred position of “reasonable people” in the West. Calling them all Zionists strikes me as a little over the top.
          I don’t think that it’s over the top. I view all of these people as Zionists. Christian Zionists by far outnumber Jewish Zionists. Without this Western support, Israel wouldn’t have the ability to commit its crimes.

          Supporting Tibetan, Irish or Palestinian national aspirations doesn’t make one a Tibetan, Irish or Palestinian nationalist?
          I disagree with you. Supporting war makes you a war monger. Supporting nationalism makes you a nationalist. However, it’s important to distinguish between ethnic nationalism and civic nationalism. Supporting Jewish ethnic nationalism makes you a Zionist.

  15. Yitzgood says:

    yitz, i put myself in the category of non zionist.

    I would put myself in that category, too, but I imagine that as far as a Mondoweissnik is concerned, I’m a “Zio-bot.” I don’t think nationalism is the primary Jewish imperative, and I think the original Zionists were misguidedly anti-religious, but I support Israel against its enemies, and I paid $120 for an etrog this year. So what’s a “Zionist”? To me a “Zionist” is someone who lectures me that I’m doing something wrong by not moving to Israel.

    • amigo says:

      “I would put myself in that category, too, but I imagine that as far as a Mondoweissnik is concerned, I’m a “Zio-bot.”Yitzgood

      Talks like a duck, walks like a duck.

      You know the rest.

      Zionism is Quackery.

      • Yitzgood says:

        Talks like a duck, walks like a duck.

        Fine with me. As a religious Jew, I’m conscious of distinctions that you don’t care about. I’m not anti-Zionist like a Satmar Chassid. I’m not a religious Zionist, which to me is a specific community with specific leadership. It seems that the category Phil is interested in consists of people who are often harshly critical of Israel but who would still label themselves “Zionist.” Not everybody is like me, obviously, in terms of how to apply terms like “Zionist,” but lots of folks also don’t have the same with us or against us sensibility that exists at Mondoweiss. Is Obama a “Zionist”? To you guys he probably is. Would he apply the label to himself? Who knows. Depends on what he thinks it means.

        • Cliff says:

          You are a Zionist, Yitz.

          In the only sense that matters – practical sense – you are a Zionist.

          Who cares whether your own, abstract internalized claptrap about Zionism makes you think you’re any different from a settler freak.

          If you divide this conflict between Israel and Hamas – if you think in those terms (opportunistic) then you are a Zionist.

        • Yitzgood says:

          If you divide this conflict between Israel and Hamas – if you think in those terms (opportunistic) then you are a Zionist.

          What do you mean by “divide this conflict between Israel and Hamas”? I have a feeling I’m going to be sorry I asked.

        • Cliff says:

          As you said earlier, you support Israel ‘against Hamas’.

        • Yitzgood says:

          As you said earlier, you support Israel ‘against Hamas’.

          I know what I said that you were responding to. What do you mean by “divide this conflict between Israel and Hamas”? It should be an undivided conflict? Some other entities should be included in the division? I don’t know the sense in which you are using the word “divide.”

    • Bumblebye says:

      Yitzgood
      You paid over £80 for a weird looking lemon?! That has to be a definition of totally bonkers! What on earth are they *for*? Does anyone gather them up after they’ve served their religious purpose and make etrog-ade?

      • just says:

        lol.

        (ahem.)

        Why no olives??? Oh, yeah… now I remember.

      • Yitzgood says:

        Does anyone gather them up after they’ve served their religious purpose and make etrog-ade?

        Etrog Jam is a fairly common use for post-Sukkot etrogim. It requires a lot of sugar since etrogim by themselves are pretty bitter. About what they are “for,” look up the “four species” or the holiday of Sukkot.

  16. kalithea says:

    “I am one”, meaning: I am one of them-Zionists. That’s shame. Shame and deceit are the operative words.

    The deceptive fail to admit they’re Zionist because then they’d have to check the Zionist slant in their work and would therefore lose the “credibility” and power to brainwash the masses with what is really biased propaganda.

    While others are ashamed to admit they’re Zionist because they can’t escape the fact that there’s something not right with Zionism and that the word has a negative connotation among the wider public; as it should.

    None are comfortable with admitting they’re Zionist or identifying themselves as Zionist even those who have already. And if they pretend to be proud or comfortable with identifying themselves as Zionist that’s merely hubris covering bullshet.

    And any “Liberal” who supported the Iraq War did so on behalf of Zionism because he or she is a Zionist FIRST or is in Zionism’s pocket…period.

  17. kalithea says:

    Oh yeah, one more thing: “I regard Zionism as a core attachment, an intellectual/emotional/spiritual commitment that can be deeply binding.”

    I’d omit “spiritual” from anything Zionist-connected.

  18. RE: “Journalists should tell their readers if they’re Zionists”

    MY COMMENT: But then, Phil has both a “brutal compulsion for the truth”, and a sense of journalistic ethics. Needless to say, Phil’s pal Fred Hiatt is not so encumbered, and consequently he would undoubtedly disagree!*

    *SEE: “Media analysts in Syria debate have ties to defense contractors”, By Holly Yeager, washingtonpost.com, 10/10/13

    [EXCERPT] Military analysts who made frequent media appearances during the recent debate over a possible U.S. strike on Syria have ties to defense contractors and other firms with stakes in the outcome, according to a new study, but those links were rarely disclosed.
    The report by the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit watchdog, details appearances by 22 commentators who spoke out during this summer’s Syria debate in large media outlets and currently have industry connections that the group says can pose conflicts of interest.
    In several media appearances in September, Stephen Hadley, a former national security adviser to President George W. Bush, was a forceful advocate for strikes. He told Bloomberg TV that Republicans should back the president’s use-of-force resolution and argued in a Washington Post op-ed that failure to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against his own people would damage U.S. credibility if military action were threatened over Iran’s nuclear program.
    While Hadley’s role in the Bush administration was always noted, there was no mention of his ties to Raytheon, manufacturer of Tomahawk cruise missiles, which likely would have been fired from Navy destroyers stationed in the eastern Mediterranean in strikes against Syria. Hadley has been on the board of directors of Raytheon since 2009 and, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from June included in the new report, owned 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, now worth about $875,000. Hadley was also paid $128,500 in cash compensation by the company last year, according to a filing with the SEC.
    In one appearance, CNN noted that Hadley is a principal at RiceHadleyGates, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington.
    Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor at The Post, said Hadley’s opinions in the newspaper’s op-ed commentary were not colored by his association with Raytheon.
    “More disclosure is generally better than less, but I’m confident that Hadley’s opinion piece, which was consistent with the worldview he has espoused for many years, was not influenced by any hypothetical, certainly marginal, impact to Raytheon’s bottom line,” Hiatt said in a statement. . .

    SOURCE – link to articles.washingtonpost.com

  19. yrn says:

    Annie Robbins
    yitz, i put myself in the category of non zionist.

    “Non-Zionism is the political stance of Jews who are willing to help support depoliticized Jewish settlement in Palestine.”
    “Non-Zionism has also been defined in terms of a non-position on Zionism.”

    Try to hide under a different tree.

    • i’m not hiding anywhere yrn. everyone knows what “non” means. this is not a game of ‘owning phrases’ where you can scoop them up and make their meaning into whatever you want. just listen to how bogus this is “Non-Zionism is the political stance of Jews who are willing to help support ” no one can be a non if they are ‘supporting’ jewish settlement. david polish can’t write a book in 1980 and own the term. i’m not playing that game.

      zionism is a political construct, and i do not adhere to it nor do i support it.

      i made a conscious choice in life way before i ever heard about zionism. based on the idea ‘you are what you eat’ or ‘you become what you resist’ to not self define by against-ness. you can define it for yourself however you want, but this is how i regard myself if asked, as not a zionist or a non zionist. otherwise, of course, it is not how i define myself just like i do not define myself as a ‘non jew’. but everyone already knows what ‘non’ means, even the dictionary.

      touche!

  20. piotr says:

    I was thinking about the “Zionist bias” a bit. In American establishment it is much wider than just Jewish Zionist. Given a chance to be a racist, supremacist and take a position with haves against have-nots, this is most natural for the “right-of-center”. Closer to the left end of the spectrum this is not much of an issue, so the question arises for the “left-of-center”, a.k.a. liberals. To cite a few people discussed most recently, people like Samantha Powers or Bill DiBlasio (unlike Alterman or Barnie Frank, not exactly card-carrying Zionists). A closer look reveals that American liberals have somewhat surprising lack of empathy for have-nots, low income people who may be our “domestic Palestinians”.

    For example, in criminal cases the ancient idea of “due process” was almost abandoned, while the penal codes went amok so the liberals could prove that they too are “tough on crime”. While a person with more than average income can theoretically get life in prison with no parole for stealing a slice of pizza, clearly such ridiculous laws would never be enacted or enforced in the case of people who matter.

    Or consider the cases of domestic police brutality. Certain David Silva was found disturbing peace in Bakersfield, California, by sleeping on public sidewalk. He was beaten to death by 6 to 8 policemen. One issue raised fleeting interests of media outlets like New York Times: police confiscated cell phones of the witnesses. Disturibing, to be sure, but the very fact of police beating to death a person not threatening anyone was not found interesting outside Bakersfield where the local press followed the case for a longer time. The last I read the police was exonerated by the country coroner who attributed the death not to the beating but to the medical condition of the guy — a fancy term they used simply means hypertention. In a nutshell, a healthier person would probably survive. Clearly, this is not a standard that could be used by a normal person to escape a homicide charge. Boooring! Basically, the police has the license to beat people (and send dogs against them) at will, provided that they are not middle class or higher.

    Those are most drastic issues, but on topic after topic after topic one can see scant interest in our media in the problems faced by the bottom 25-50%. Of course, this is not just USA, but a more general aspect of capitalism, but perhaps in USA it is more acute than, say, in Europe.

  21. dms says:

    Perhaps anonymous writing and commenting should be prohibited? Applies to all people who write anywhere? Whether newspaper or blog etc etc? Not just journalists.

  22. dbroncos says:

    I don’t know if Joe Klein considers himself a Zionist but he’s one of only two people that I know of (the other was Pat Buchanon ) who published articles in the lead up to the Iraq war that claimed that Israeli security was the prime motive. Klein’s Time magazine article minced no words in its title: It’s All About Israel

  23. dms says:

    Had the author said “All reporters should disclose their education, interests, biases etc” I might say “Well, interesting idea. How do you do it? What’s the process?”

    But this post is not written in good faith to elevate all public discourse but only concerning Israel. Such an attitude is pretty fucked-up, (technically-speaking.)