At Slate, casual racism toward Palestinians (their ‘violent, vengeful’ culture) and some smart talk about Jews

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Writes my friend Rahim:

Just wanted to chime in on the topic of journalistic racism against Palestinians. I thought you would appreciate hearing last week’s Slate Political gabfest, a podcast where two of the panelists are left leaning–Slate editor David Plotz and writer/Yale Law School faculty member Emily Bazelon. They brought up the topic of Israel, framed of course in the Israeli perspective (what’s best for Israel, why are Jews defecting from Obama, etc), but in the midst of this discussion Plotz bemoaned a lack of Palestinian non-violent protest–

“What I’ve never understood is why the Palestinians have not embarked on a very long term highly-engaged thorough campaign of nonviolent protest.”

and Bazelon responded by saying it was hard, and on top of that Palestinians have a violent culture.

“They’re just beginning to do that…. [It’s] insanely difficult to pull that off. It also goes against the grain of their culture and the whole way the Middle East operates. It’s just a violent combative, vengeful place.”

Nobody blinked an eye, so to speak, when she said that, even though if someone said that same thing about another group of people it would be totally unacceptable, or at least more obviously racist. The culture of racism against Palestinians extends to both liberal and conservative journalists. It is rather amazing that David Plotz is willfully ignorant of Palestinian non-violence, but I get the feeling that if he was aware of it, he’d find some other reason to be critical anyways. I wonder what is worse, conservative Jennifer Rubin’s endorsement of genocide, or liberal Emily Bazelon’s casual racism towards Palestinians.

I listened to some of the conversation myself and agree with Rahim. The Arab Spring has been noteworthy for the restraint of the people. There is now a long long tradition of nonviolent protest in Palestine that Slate evidently feels no need to cover.

Plotz is much smarter about Jews. Here is the Slate editor talking about the political significance of American Jews for Obama. I see that he agrees with me entirely about the money question, and Obama’s loss of Jewish donors/fundraisers. Is that why Dennis Ross left the administration?

President Obama… got an enormous amount of support from Jews… They were huge donors to his campaign… They have lapsed as Obama supporters. Jewish support is down, hovering about 50 percent… It’s a gigantic drop. And moreover the Obama administration has embarked on a pretty significant campaign of outreach to Jews, because they’ve lost– because there are so many people who raised funds for them who’ve said they’re not going to raise funds for them this time around. They’ve appointed a Jewish liaison. They’ve got Debbie Wasserman Schultz running the Democratic National Committee, a big prominent Jewish congresswoman. David Axelrod has sent out messages to lots of supporters saying here are the facts of Obama’s Israel policy…

[Nonetheless we see] effective Republican attacks on Obama over Israel… [It’s a] pretty stunning moment, for Obama. There’s some thinking among conservatives, that this is a time to break the traditional alliance between … Jews and Democrats… by showing Obama to be unreliable on Israel

To their credit, Plotz and Bazelon both question the Israel lobby and Bazelon, breaking with the new strategic asset line, says Netanyahu’s gov’t is “provoking” the Arab world, against the interests of the United States. Good on ya, Bazelon.

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How I wish the “Jewish support” (the 50% of the very, very few very, very rich Jews I always talk about) would DRY UP and let Obama be Obama (or be the Obama he once looked like). Another post on MW tells us that in 1973 Israel threatened american with nuking Egypt and Syria until USA airlifted huge military supplies. Who can doubt [the likelihood] that Israeli threats against USA are more direct (that is,… Read more »

Zionism is racism.

You know, here in my opinion is a big part of the reason the debate on things is so skewed: I.e., no, it *wasn’t* racist for Bazelon to say that the Palestinians have a violent culture. And it’s not because she was right or wrong. Why? *Because she was talking about culture and not race.* But go ahead, call it racism, and then try to criticize Israeli or jewish culture and see what happens. Oh,… Read more »

Wasn’t an eye for an eye codified by Jewish authors in the distant past?
Revenge is not limited to any one ethnic group.
And any lack of support by Jews for Obomba is mystifying,as this administration is more Israeli centric than the shrubs.Do they believe their own propaganda?Wow.Or is it just more disinformation.

“violent culture” is beyond the pale, but do you disagree that the middle east is a violent place? and if you think it’s all Israel, get educated.

what do you mean by “he agrees with me entirely about the money question”, that BO’s only concern re:Israel is Jewish money and votes?

“when Israel looks at Obama, they don’t see a friend” M. Bachman