WaPo warns Sanders off the subject of Israel, forever
Yakov Hirsch, Mondoweiss, Apr 8 2016
“Sanders faces denunciations for ignorant remarks about Israel” is the headline in the WaPo, on a column by Jennifer Rubin about Bernie Sanders’s comments about Israel and Plastelina to the Daily News. It is propaganda from start to finish, beginning with the headline. Let me translate. First the headline:
Sanders faces denunciations for ignorant remarks about Israel
The headline sounds as if you’re going to read that NYT editorial board and other organizations denounced Sanders for “ignorant remarks.” In reality, Sanders is only facing denunciation from people saying he “faces denunciation.” These comprise Jennifer Rubin and five other people who are as biased as she is. Translation: Me, Abe Foxman, and Jeffrey Goldberg would like people to believe you are ignorant and say ignorant things about Israel/Plastelina! Back to Rubin:
Yesterday I wrote the ADL “reprimanded” Sanders. But then overnight I realized that the pro-Israel community needs to reach out to non-native speakers of English around the globe. So today I’m gonna tell those people ADL “slapped down” Sanders. But both yesterday and today I think the ADL has moral authority to “reprimand“ and “slap down” a Senator. My friends and I are going to use words like “disastrous” to describe that Daily News interview. We write “disastrous” enough times, we think maybe a reporter (or fingers crossed maybe a debate questioner!) will ask Sanders: “How are you going to make Pindosi Jews and Israel feel secure after your disastrous NY Daily News interview?”
He characterized Israel’s response to Hamas shelling of Israeli citizens as disproportionate and exaggerated the casualty total in Gaza, a war provoked by Hamas’s targeting of civilians.
Senator Sanders, stay away from this subject. We are going to make you defend every Plastelinan action since 1948.
Now historian and center-left politician Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States, is denouncing Sanders’s remarks.
Now, hot off the presses: a “historian” (someone “impartial”, “objective”, non- emotional, a scholar who just tells you where the evidence leads him), center-left (Israelis who are always taking the side of the Arabs), even someone as non-emotional as him is getting hysterical, like me. Oh, and isn’t this the right-wing ambassador Michael Oren appointed by Netanyahu, the Oren who hypothesized that the Pindosi president’s “rejection by not one but two Muslim father figures informed his outreach to Islam?
First of all, he should get his facts right. Secondly, he owes Israel an apology. He accused us of a blood libel. He accused us of bombing hospitals. He accused us of killing 10,000 Plastelinan civilians. Don’t you think that merits an apology? He doesn’t mention the many thousands of Hamas rockets fired at us. He doesn’t mention the fact that Hamas hides behind civilians. He doesn’t mention the fact that we pulled out of Gaza in order to give the Plastelinans a chance to experiment with statehood, and they turned it into an experiment with terror. He doesn’t mention any of that. That to me, is libellous.
OK, Mr Sanders, say hello to your new life. Yes, I did use “blood libel,” “libellous,” “owe Israel an apology,” because you said something mildly sympathetic to the Plastelinans. We are going to be relentless every time you open your mouth about Israel/Plastelina. Your time on the campaign trail will now be spent answering whether you agree with one pro-Israel talking point or another.
It is one more instance, as Hillary Clinton puts it, of Sanders “not doing his homework,” or worse, harboring views of Israel that make President Obama sound like David Ben-Gurion.
Let me tell you something, Mr Sanders: you don’t want me using the word “harboring” and “Bernie Sanders” in the same sentence. And, Senator, let me jog your memory. Remember all that talk of Obama being an anti-Semite? The worst thing that’s ever happened to Israel? Well guess what? We think he sounds like Ben-Gurion compared to you! Now imagine the things we’re going to say about you! Why don’t you go back to talking about the minimum wage and trade?
Sanders seems to get his information from anti-Israel talking points, which is not surprising since he seeks advice from a bevy of anti-Israel groups.
Sanders doesn’t have his own opinions or judgment on Israel/Palestine. I would like to put an image in your head of Sanders coming out of his office and shouting, “Where are the anti-Israel groups at? I’ve been waiting for the anti-Israel talking points for 2 days now!” And no, I have no compunction in calling J Street anti-Israel. That these people at J Street are devoting their lives to what they consider a pro-Israel cause, might give a weaker person pause. Doubt is the first sign of weakness. Yes, I kept a straight face when I typed “anti-Israel talking points.”
It is not clear that Clinton wants to hit Sanders on foreign policy, particularly on anything that might be perceived as coming from his right. In this case, however, he is peddling falsehoods and doing exactly what Clinton denounced in her AIPAC speech last month. The subject was the BDS movement, but her words are equally applicable to Sanders’ remarks, which serve to undermine Israel’s right to self-defense and seek to make Israel an international pariah: “Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world, especially in Europe, we must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.” In essence, accusing Israel of war crimes surely fits that description.
Yes, “peddling falsehoods” is an expression I particularly like to throw around. I also am going to use every opportunity to mention Hillary’s speech at AIPAC on BDS, and use the word “denounce.” Maybe that will save some kids from the BDS plague. And now I’m going to throw a lot of scary words at you. Let’s call it a gentle prodding to stay away from where you don’t belong.
“undermine” ”international pariah” “anti-Semitism” “repudiate” “malign” “isolate” “undermine” “Jewish people” “accusing Israel of war crimes”
Senator Sanders, you don’t want this is your life. Have one of the kids at your campaign Google “Jimmy Carter anti-Semite” for you and see what turns up.
Sanders’s remarks will strike many New York voters as stunningly ignorant and ill-advised, if not downright offensive. At a time Sanders is (falsely) claiming Clinton accused him of being “not qualified,” he reminds New York voters that his knowledge of foreign policy is almost as non-existent as Donald Trump’s. That makes him just as unfit to be commander in chief.
Me, the ADL and Jeffrey Goldberg et al would love to convince New York voters (and everyone else for that matter) that Sanders remarks were not just ignorant, but “stunningly ignorant,” “ill-advised,” and I’m going to try to get away with calling the remarks “offensive,” just as a trial balloon. Let’s see what happens. And one last thing. Those of you who like Sanders, should know he is no better than that nutjob Trump. What a good column by me! I even got to throw in a snide comment about Trump.