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Jewish leader’s zoo story is a parable of Zionist fragility

Media Analysis
on 33 Comments

Two days ago, David Harris of the American Jewish Committee tweeted a parable:

At a NY zoo, a child is grabbed by a lion.

A bystander rescues the child & brings her to safety.

A nearby journalist is awed, rushes to the rescuer & asks his name. “I’m Dani Katz from Israel,” he says.

Next day’s headline: “Israeli aggressor steals food from hungry animal.”

Harris’s claim is absurd: the mainstream press is pro-Israel, by objective measures.

The New York Times has four columnists who have embraced Zionism, and zero anti-Zionist columnists.

Four of its writers have had children serve in the Israeli military.

The newspaper has published four defenses of Israel’s slaughter of nonviolent Palestinian protesters in its editorial pages in the last year or so. It would never run pieces defending Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

A former Times editorial page editor confessed that his job included looking out for Israel. “I was much more deeply devoted to Israel than I dared to assert…. As more Arab than Jewish readers recognized, I wrote [commentaries] from a pro‐Israel perspective.”

CNN fired commentator Marc Lamont Hill last year for saying at the U.N. that Palestine should be free from river to sea. An executive at the parent company of MSNBC raised money for the Israeli army, a former executive at CNN’s parent wrote speeches for Netanyahu in recent years without any consequences. Jake Tapper lately sought to explain white supremacist killers by speaking of Palestinians who commit violence against Israelis….

The parable is also absurd in its lesson: Would the press really do a 180 on a man who seized a child from a lion’s jaws and slander him because he’s Israeli? Of course not.

Harris is experiencing Zionist Fragility, when Zionists recoil with shock and injury over mild criticism. This is a man who was paid $689,000 in 2017, and cried out in a NY synagogue, “Where did we go wrong in our homes and schools?!” because young Jews are beginning to criticize the occupation and even question the Jewish claim to a homeland on that territory. David Harris needs a reality check.

H/t Scott Roth and James North.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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33 Responses

  1. eljay on August 8, 2019, 3:42 pm

    Zionists never tire of playing the shooting-and-crying game.

    Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig…   :-(

  2. Keith on August 8, 2019, 7:21 pm

    PHIL- “Harris is experiencing Zionist Fragility….”

    No, he is earning his $689,000. He is no different from Imperial apologists who tout American exceptionalism and democracy. Or who claim that the American Way is hanging by a thread thanks to the evil Putin/Russia. Control of the narrative is critically important and honesty is a problem to be overcome.

    • Sibiriak on August 9, 2019, 3:25 am

      Fragility, my ass. It’s hard-headed professional demagoguery. And very well-paid, as you point out.

      • fyrebird on August 11, 2019, 10:00 pm

        Zionist Fragility is actually a big part of it. I’ve known Zionists who earn less but have a revolting sense of victimhood. Professional demagoguery is another glue in this equation but not the only one.

      • Sibiriak on August 11, 2019, 11:24 pm

        fyrebird: Zionist Fragility is actually a big part of it.[…] Professional demagoguery is another glue in this equation but not the only one.

        The point is: professional Zionist demagogues promote and exploit widespread Jewish fragility.

      • Keith on August 13, 2019, 10:32 am

        FYREBIRD- “Zionist Fragility is actually a big part of it.”

        By referring to the Zionist inculcation of perceived victimhood as “fragility,” you significantly misrepresent reality. There is nothing “fragile” about Zionism or Zionists. Perceived victimhood and fragility are not the same thing. Zionism is a power-seeking ideology.

      • gamal on August 13, 2019, 11:02 am

        “of perceived victimhood as “fragility,” you significantly misrepresent reality”

        I believe the poster is using “fragility” pace Dr. Robin DiAngelo as a form of aggressive domination, so you are quite right, it’s part of the affect or emotional state that underlie all the crimes of domination (after Box et al), so yes you are quite right.

      • eljay on August 13, 2019, 11:06 am

        || Keith: … There is nothing “fragile” about Zionism or Zionists. … ||

        It’s true: Just ask “strong fighting Jew” Boris. He’ll tell ya.

      • fyrebird on August 13, 2019, 10:42 pm

        Keith: ‘There is nothing “fragile” about Zionism or Zionists. Perceived victimhood and fragility are not the same thing. Zionism is a power-seeking ideology.’

        It is ultimately about power-seeking, not just power for $689,000 but also inter-personal power that is not focussed on a grand imperialism and is carried out by less wealthy people.

        I’m trying to draw out threads and arguing there are ideologically ritualistic tantrums / delusional conception of self that are specific to that end. I think the phrase ‘Zionist Fragility’ is apt. The fragility is a study in irony / self-delusion / paranoia that lashes out at anything. It should not be entertained. Zionist Fragility, based on the myth of eternal victimhood, should not be provided any space. Much of Liberal Zionism is an extension of that and it effectively silences the emotions of the Palestinians in the media through its own revolting performance as the ‘fragile’ one. I think it is one of the most sickening things, amd the cruelest things, to see the light of day.

      • Keith on August 14, 2019, 11:10 am

        FYREBIRD- “I think the phrase ‘Zionist Fragility’ is apt.”

        This time you put the phrase Zionist Fragility in single quotes. You didn’t the first time and neither did Phil in his article. Is Zionist Fragility your normal usage or did you pick it up from Phil? If Phil is being sarcastic, it isn’t obvious. The use of the term “fragility” implies a weakness which must be accommodated, perhaps even pandered to. Phil has written stuff like this before and, as far as I know, believes it. His people have special needs due to the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. I don’t believe that “when Zionists recoil with shock and injury over mild criticism” that it indicates “fragility.” And sarcasm, if that was the intent, can be easily misunderstood. So, I am not disagreeing with what you say you meant, I am taking issue with your word choice. And when your word choice requires a lengthy discussion to defend, you really should consider changing your phraseology to avoid misunderstanding. So I join with Sibiriak and say to Phil: “Fragility, my ass!”

  3. Marnie on August 8, 2019, 10:39 pm

    Such an incredibly dangerous psychopathy – fragile, insecure child needing constant approval coupled with violent, maniacal and murderous acting out, without any body willing to stop it. So much like an incorrigible child who, because of immaturity, unwillingness to accept responsibility for its actions, constant demands for attention, is literally screaming for someone to stop him as he cannot. This is what I see when I look at netanyahoo et al and tRUMP. Like Jim Carrey’s character in The Mask, “Somebody stop me!!”

  4. DaBakr on August 9, 2019, 12:59 am

    Yeah, but it’s true. The violent Gaza border protest reports are all that’s needed to prove the anecdote current and with merit. PW and the regular MW commenters may not get it, but your average reader, jew or non jew surely does .

    • Misterioso on August 9, 2019, 9:00 am


      Wake up!! Criticism and condemnation of “Israel” is only going to intensify among Jews everywhere, especially youth, as well as other peoples around the world, including ever increasing numbers of Americans, and rightly so.

      Zionism, a creation of European Ashkenazi Jews, is the epitome of evil. Its well documented and ongoing crimes against the innocent defenseless indigenous Palestinian Arabs are truly monstrous.

      Henry Morgenthau Sr., former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, nailed it in 1919: “Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history…. The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is… a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light.” (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine? p. 261)

      • DaBakr on August 9, 2019, 10:45 pm


        So, your a big fan of the senior morgenthau. Congratulations. Jabotinsky makes him look like a foolish child

      • Mooser on August 11, 2019, 1:14 pm

        “Jabotinsky makes him look like a foolish child”

        “A Jew…/… will always remain Jewish, because his blood, his body, his physical-racial type are Jewish. … It is impossible for a man to become assimilated with people whose blood is different from his own. In order to become assimilated, he must change his body, he must become one of them, in blood. … There can be no assimilation as long as there is no mixed marriage. … An increase in the number of mixed marriages is the only sure and infallible means for the destruction of nationality as such.”  V. Jabotinsky,

        Now, there’s a well balanced, mature adult talkin’…

        Gee, this never occurred to me before, but “mixed marriage” is a lot like the weather. Everybody talks about it…

      • DaBakr on August 12, 2019, 11:21 pm


        the strange predicament of jews considering how much ‘mixed blood’ the male Jewish exiles created with local women spanning from Africa Spain South America to Russia

      • Mooser on August 13, 2019, 1:02 pm

        “Everybody talks about it…”

        …but nobody does anything about it.

        Gee, I guess that old saw about the weather isn’t true any more.

      • Mooser on August 13, 2019, 1:13 pm

        “the strange predicament of jews considering how much ‘mixed blood’”

        Exactly, “Dabakr”! But now that we have the scientific tools to distinguish “the strange predicament” from authentic genetic Jewishness, we must use them.
        And 100% can be the only standard!

      • Keith on August 13, 2019, 7:57 pm

        DABAKR- “the strange predicament of jews considering how much ‘mixed blood’ the male Jewish exiles created with local women spanning from Africa Spain South America to Russia

        Exiles? You still clinging to that Zionist myth? So, you believe that all of those European converts to Judaism (Ashkenazi) went roaming around Spain, South America and Africa looking for wives? Makes as much sense as some of your other comments about Jewish Europeans being people of color.

      • DaBakr on August 14, 2019, 12:14 am


        You make a fool of yourself, despite all your intellectual research, if you think there was a mass conversion to judiaism rather then the other way around. I’ll give you credit for not believing in the bogus claim about turkic khazzers having anything to do with ashkenasim, but maybe I’m too liberal?

      • DaBakr on August 14, 2019, 12:15 am


        And if I said you were correct, what exactly is your point about the conflict? Why is it different from any other land conflict…

      • Mooser on August 14, 2019, 2:28 pm

        “Why is it different from any other land conflict…”

        I see, it’s all about getting the land.

      • Mooser on August 14, 2019, 2:30 pm

        ‘mixed blood’ the male Jewish exiles created with local women …”

        Considering that Judaism descends through the matriarchal line, that’s some pretty serious mixing.

      • Talkback on August 14, 2019, 3:22 pm

        DaBakr: “Why is it different from any other land conflict…”

        Why is it different from any other Apartheid conflict in post colonial times?

      • gamal on August 14, 2019, 5:35 pm

        “it’s all about getting the land”

        as the complex and fascinating song Capture Land protests Rasta na live on na capture land

        in conclusion Chronixx explains, but obviously for full exposition merely click on the link to enjoy the line “Now here comes de tiefing Queen a englan”

        ah those happy days when we could captcha lan’ and “carry we go home” is a spiritual metaphor rather than a colonial plan requiring no capture land.

        “Cherry Garden, a capture land
        Me tell you Shortwood, say dat a capture land
        Los Angeles, dat a capture land
        And New York City, dat a capture land
        East some a di place weh you wah go live sweet
        A teifing land there’s no title fi it
        And some a these place weh you wah go live nice
        A tief dem tief it in the name of Christ
        In Spanish Town, dat a capture land
        The whole a Kingston, dat a capture land
        Remember Portland, dat a capture land
        And all down a Trinidad, dat a Capture land
        Barbados, say dat a capture land
        Tell dem Bermuda, dat a Capture land
        And tell Columbia, say dat a Capture land
        All round a Cuba, say dat a Capture land”

    • oldgeezer on August 9, 2019, 12:28 pm


      Violent? You’re still a joke and joker. There are pictures of unarmed settlers in cherry pickers enjoying the spectacle of Gazans being murdered in cold blood. It’s less violent than a G8 protest and they don’t get murdered in cold blood by cowards wetting their pampers.

      I could concede that it’s violent due to the Israeli terorrists murdering unarmed civilians but that’s not what you meant as you are either delusional, dishonest, or both.

  5. Talkback on August 9, 2019, 3:54 am

    In the Zionist setter zoo a Palestinian child is grabbed by soldiers of the Zionist occupation, colonization and state terror force.

    A bystander rescues the child & brings her to safety.

    A nearby journalist is awed, rushes to the rescuer & asks her name. “I’m Ahed Tamimi.”

    Next day’s headline: “Israeli aggressor kills journalists, shoots rescued child in the head, arrests Ahed Tamimi, puts her under administrative detention and demolishes her parents home for her act of terrorism against Israeli soldiers.

  6. Misterioso on August 9, 2019, 10:19 am

    Not on topic, but of note:

    “I Said No to a Netflix Series Audition Because I Support Palestinian Rights” – David Clennon, TRUTHOUT, August 7/19

    “I’m an actor in the U.S. film and television industry. I’ve been around for more than 40 years. Recently, I was invited to audition for a new Netflix television series with the working title ‘Sycamore.’ The appointment sheet informed me that I would be trying out for the role of Martin Wexler, a series regular character described as an American politician, living in New York — ‘approachable, distinguished, practiced, and elusive.’

    “I was intrigued by the role, and I was preparing, with some enthusiasm, to make a ‘self-tape’ — a home video recording of my audition performance, which I would then submit to the casting directors. The casting directors, I hoped, would then show my video to the producers of the series. They, in turn, might give me the job.

    “While I was preparing my audition, I noticed the last two lines at the bottom of the appointment sheet: Start Date: Sept 2019 Location: NY & Tel Aviv.’

    “I decided to do a little research in the Hollywood trade papers, and discovered that ‘Sycamore’ had to be the new working title of a series announced in 2018 as ‘Hit and Run.’ It was further revealed that ‘Sycamore/Hit and Run’ will be a co-production of U.S. and Israeli companies. Two of the creative executive producers of the new series, Avi Issacharoff and Lior Raz, are also the creator-producers of the Israeli Netflix series ‘Fauda.’

    “’Fauda’ is an action-adventure drama set in Israel and the Occupied Territories. I was aware that the show had been criticized for its portrayal of Palestinians and for its tendency to justify Israel’s human rights abuses.

    “Mitchell Abidor reviewed the series in Jewish Currents. He wrote, “‘Fauda, in its second season, is clearly not, as its creators have pretended, a humanizing portrayal of Palestinians, but rather is quite clearly aimed at solidifying an Israeli image of them as cowardly beasts who must be dealt with by any means necessary.'”

    “I watched the show myself and noticed there was a missing narrative element: “Fauda” doesn’t give its international audience the historical context of the conquest of Palestine, which the Palestinian people continue to resist with a range of strategies and methods.

    “’Sycamore/Hit and Run’ may or may not be as offensive as ‘Fauda,’ but there is an equally important issue here: Israeli production companies like those of Issacharoff and Raz stand to benefit enormously from their alliances with their American partners and Netflix. In addition to substantial revenue for the companies and the Israeli economy, the Israeli government will benefit from the prestige of creative partnerships with Hollywood. These show business relationships matter, politically. The Israeli Foreign Ministry runs the ‘Brand Israel’ campaign to use culture, entertainment and technology to counter Israel’s negative image in the world as a racist state that systematically violates human rights.

    “I have supported the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel since the 2014 Israeli War on Gaza. (That astonishing display of high-and low-tech cruelty, I believe, opened the eyes of many Americans.) The Academic and Cultural Boycott is part of a larger movement on behalf of the human rights and self-determination of the Palestinian people. The overall campaign is known as Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) and originated within Palestinian civil society.

    “I’ve come to think of Israel as a European settler-colonial state, which practices apartheid in order to control the Indigenous population it has conquered militarily. In this respect, Israel is similar to the previously apartheid state of South Africa, where white European colonists had conquered the Indigenous Black African population and occupied their land.

    “In the same way that human rights activists boycotted the South African regime to abolish apartheid, many now are boycotting Israel to pressure its government to end its own practice of apartheid and its other constant, daily, gross violations of the human rights of the people of Palestine.

    “I believe the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is of special importance, and I admire the professors and artists who have refused to lecture or to perform in Israel. Through their refusal, they have denied Israel the legitimacy and the prestige it seeks in the world community. I have been encouraged by intellectuals and artists like Stephen Hawking and Lorde, who have honored the boycott.

    “I haven’t been employed for a year and a half. So, with considerable reluctance, but inspired by the example of so many others, I chose not to participate in the whitewashing of Israel’s image. I did not submit a video audition to the casting directors.

    “I’m not a high-profile performer. My refusal to collaborate with Israeli producers will have a negligible effect on this expensive and ambitious project. My decision is just one individual’s act of conscience in solidarity with the Palestinian people — and with dissident Israelis who envision a better future for both peoples.

    “I decided on a small act of resistance. I take some comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. And I’m optimistic that others in our industry will seriously consider withholding their talent and their moral support from a regime that abuses the dispossessed, impoverished — but still resistant — people under its control.”

  7. JaapBo on August 9, 2019, 10:29 am

    What’s typical of Zionism is hypocrisy, playing the innocent victim, and a denial of the reality of what Zionism means for Palestinians.
    This is an example of that!

  8. timfrom on August 9, 2019, 1:06 pm

    The main surprise here is there’s no reference to Dani(el) In The Lions’ Den.

    His surname’s even Katz, for crying out loud!

    Pfft! Journalism ain’t what it used to be…

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