Today the New York Times published a pro-Israel promotion by the reliable Jodi (“I come knowledgeable about the Jewish American or Jewish Israeli side”) Rudoren. The article is about an early draft of the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948 by a Ukrainian-born lawyer who cribbed the American Declaration of Independence. The headline of the piece is “What’s Hebrew for ‘When in the Course of Human Events’?” Rudoren begins her story like this:
Israeli and American officials often speak of the two countries’ shared values. It turns out that early drafts of the Jewish state’s founding document borrowed liberally from the American Declaration of Independence.
There is no news hook, beside the fact that an Israeli auction house wanted to sell the early draft last year but was prevented by a court from doing so. As Donald Johnson wrote to the public editor today:
“I know what the justification for this story would be– it’s a minor piece of news about history. But the hook is the claim referenced in the first sentence, that the US and Israel share values. But it’s a truism that early America was a society whose leaders believed in democracy while holding an almost messianic belief in the right of white men to take the land from Native Americans. And a very similar belief was held by Israelis, who had to get rid of enough Palestinians in order to establish a majority Jewish state. And this belief is still held.
“I know that politicians gloss over this as a matter of course, but for a newspaper to do this without so much as a glancing reference to what “shared values” they actually had in common is inexcusable. The New York Times would never do this in another situation. The founders of the confederacy also shared values with Jefferson. The Boers resembled early American pioneers. It’s because this is Israel that the ugly aspect of the shared values goes unmentioned and one has this cutesy story about a very minor bit of feel good historical trivia.”
There is no place for comments on this insultingly stupid bit of propaganda.
Today Haaretz offers a very different foundational narrative. Here is the headline: “Israeli Soldiers Murdered Dozens of Captives During One of the Wars the IDF Fought in the First Decades of Israel’s Existence.”
According to testimony obtained by Haaretz, captives were ordered to line up and turn around, before they were shot in the back. The officer who gave the order to kill the prisoners was tried, but got off with a ridiculously light sentence. His commander was promoted to an extremely senior post and the entire affair was hushed up.