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More insultingly stupid propaganda for Israel in the ‘New York Times’

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.


Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson are NY writers and regular contributors to this site

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9 Responses

  1. MHughes976 on September 16, 2016, 1:00 pm

    Rudoren would have been more objective and more humane had she asked how the idea of ‘shared values’ is viewed from the Palestinian side. Do they say ‘The values of the two Declarations are in complete conflict’ or do they say ‘Those values are shared only too well’?
    The atrocity mentioned here surely has Western and Anerican analogues. We too have talked Enlightened and acted Shadowy.
    The language-borrowing was certainly an attempt to claim shared values, a claim essential to Israel’s survival. It might be interesting, though surely rather painful, to compare different editions of the Declaration and to see how strongly the claim was pursued. The claim is not much in the way of evidence for its truth, of course.
    It was at least remarkably ingenious to combine Enlightened and Biblical in the way the standard apologia for Israel has.

  2. ritzl on September 16, 2016, 3:49 pm

    Yeah. Yeah. Even if you suspend your giant wall of disbelief for a sec and give Rudoren credit for a tiny sliver of truth, the US Declaration was quickly followed by stable, yet living/amendable, black-letter Constitution guaranteeing basic rights and capable of adding more.

    End of Israel analogy and the whole “shared values” manipulation.

    But then, we are now in the process of importing Israeli “values” (c.f. anti-BDS legislation) designed to shred or ignore our written Constitution and make us more like Israel. So maybe Rudoren gets the last “ipso facto” laugh after all.

    And both major party presidential candidates (and at least the last two presidents) say “Amen! Hallelujah!!”

    Sad. Tragic actually. How does one shifty little perrenial [known] bad-actor backwater country have SO much global reach that it can make seemingly everyone else abandon all our ideals and/or aspirations and adopt its diseased/repressive-as-first-resort/Jerry-Springer-show-racist political pathology as our own?

    And the trolls say just asking the question is a proverbial “trope” and assert that we ban burkinis (and worse, like defunding health care for the poor in the US to provide record military/repression/killing aid for Israel) because we have independently deemed that to be in our own best interests to do so. Heh. Right-y-o.

    Thanks for these articles PW and DJ and (((JN))). They really highlight the chasm between what is and what we have been rhetorically “nose-ringed” into believing “is” is. (h/t Boomer for the Juan Cole link the other day)

  3. Citizen on September 16, 2016, 5:07 pm

    Interesting how the 1948 Israeli stance points to the noble European Enlightenment language usage of the 18th Century white founding fathers who limited voting to white propertied males and evolves into the ethnic cleansing of the native Americans, totally ignoring what happened in the very years the Zionists were creating their state via terrorism: the Nuremberg Trials, Tokyo Trials, and Geneva IV–all the only thing universally good that came out of so many deaths in World War Two. Further, the current Zionist stance continues to ignore the demolition of Jim Crow in the US South, and the anti-white supremacist 1965 US Immigration Act. It’s really frustrating that my government, the US government, continues to fund heavily a foreign state that has resurrected all “exceptionalist” values American US kids are taught to reject from infancy. US taxpayers actually fund the IDF more than Israeli taxpayers do. Jewish Israelis get more funding from the US government per capita than US citizens without dual US-Israeli citizenship.

  4. Elisabeth on September 17, 2016, 10:16 am

    According to Richard Silverstein the commander who was promoted was Avraham Joffe.

  5. jd65 on September 17, 2016, 11:01 am

    Hey Phil/Donald:

    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.

    I clicked on the Haaretz link but don’t have a membership so couldn’t read the article. Is it about Deir Yassin? If it is, the phrase “testimony obtained by Haaretz” is interesting. I assume this would be recently acquired testimony by Haaretz, aside from what I’d understood to already be a good amount of solid testimony and historical records on this event, and others like it? Independence indeed…

    • amigo on September 18, 2016, 7:07 am

      Use this link.

      Paste the relevant article link and click on the Google cache box (green) .This allows you to read the full article for free .

  6. David Doppler on September 17, 2016, 11:29 am

    On a tangent from the Elite Establishment Media:

    Did Trump Plan Yesterday’s Birther Reversal Five Years Ago?

    Few things about Donald Trump have both attracted the attention of, and irritated, the news media than his tendency to forcefully state outrageous falsehoods. But it seems there may be method to this madness. As I’ve suggested here before, he deliberately creates cognitive dissonance as a tool to fix the attention of the fact-checking class on him and what he says. And he learned this in the World Wrestling Federation.

    I was never a wrestling fan as a kid, which I dismissed as “fake.” But I still remember a thirty-second snippet of video seen thirty or forty years ago before I could get up and turn the channel. Some beefy, bare-chested, long-haired wrestler was being interviewed about his hope for a rematch of a championship bout he’d recently lost, which would’ve come with a gold convertible Cadillac, which the interviewer was asking about. “I didn’t want that gold Cadillac,” said the wrestler. Besides, he said two seconds later, “I went out and bought my own gold Cadillac, just like it.”

    Why do I remember it? It created cognitive dissonance, and, for those for whom factual accuracy is important, it triggers an emotional need to correct it. And it has stuck with me, like a good joke, as the iconic example of how fake professional wrestling is.

    When Trump said he hoped the Russians would hack Hillary’s server to find those missing emails, the media descended on him with crushing force, seeing treason, where there was only a stunt to draw attention. The servers were long since de-commissioned and in the FBI’s hands. There was no way they could be newly hacked. But Hillary had created them on non-secure servers where they were vulnerable for years, then deleted half of them, at least one set after they’d been requested by investigating authorities. She claimed these were only the “personal” ones, but no one doubts there were juicy political liabilities, as well as serious breaches of security precautions contained in them, as well. The fact-checkers were so intent on slamming Trump that they’ve talked for weeks about the incident, thus keeping the email issue alive, front and center. To those on the fence, it is more proof that Hillary actually plans to be deceptive and even builds elaborate processes to allow her to cover it up.

    Trump is not stupid. He did launch the Birther movement five years ago, and looking back, I think he demonstrates a true mastery of WWF method, because he picked an issue that Hillary’s close aid Sidney Blumenthal had raised in 2008 to smear Obama. He has often said he’s “not ready, yet” to withdraw that. I think he knew the origins of that issue when he launched it, and has stuck to it for so long, because he planned to “end” the controversy, in the election’s final weeks, as he did yesterday, claiming credit for ending it, while pinning its beginning on his opponent. The mainstream media have loudly denied that Hillary had anything to do with it, that Trump is making that up, too, but today’s news confirms that Sid Blumenthal urged a McClatchy editor in 2008 to look into it, causing them to dispatch a reporter to Kenya.

    Her campaign memos from that time stress she was born in the middle of America, an Iowa campaign worker for her (unidentified in recent reports) forwarded reports of his Kenya birth, and was reportedly fired for it (Hillary’s cover story), but Sid Blumenthal wasn’t fired. He remains her close confidante. Hillary and her many supporters in the media look stupid and hypocritical, they look “had,” as a matter of fact. Most of the fact checkers don’t even get that they’ve been had, either, by this master of publicity manipulation. They think Trump is below their level of intelligence. They do not entertain the possibility that he could outsmart them.

    Who knew ham-handedness could be so subtle?

    Next up: watch for Hillary’s and the Elite Establishment’s demonizing of Russia-tied-to-Trump to blow up in their faces, as well. Victoria Nuland and Howard Kagan, watch out.

    No insider information here, just seeing a pattern emerge. Trump looks so relaxed and confident when the Russia issue comes up. He looks “in charge,” like he’s got something something up his sleeve.

  7. dx on September 18, 2016, 12:49 am

    The US had freedom of religion and kept religion out of government from the beginning. Israel made religion an integral part of its government from the start. That was and is a crucial difference between our countries.

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