Eric Alterman wastes ten days in Israel
James North, Philip Weiss, MondoWeiss, Jul 15 2016
Eric Alterman just spent ten days in Israel and produced an article for The Nation, titled “As Israel Drifts Further to the Right, Haaretz Remains a Beacon of Hope.” His angle is that the Israeli newspaper and the center-left are unable to counter the right-wing Netanyahu forces, which are “slowly and systematically undermining” Israeli democracy.
The forecast therefore is bleak. All the more reason to raise a glass to Haaretz, which remains a lonely light unto the journalistic nations even as Israel descends, tragically, more deeply into darkness.
Alterman wasted the trip. He states against the evidence that the security fence worked:
In terms of security, Israelis remain uneasy about frequent “lone-wolf intifada” attacks, most recently the horrific stabbing murder of a sleeping 13-year-old girl on Jun 30. But the “security fence” (or “apartheid wall” as some call it) has ended the threat of large-scale suicide bombings.
He says nothing about Israel’s extra-judicial executions of alleged Palestinian assailants. He glosses quickly over the Moshe Ya’alon/military uprising against Netanyahu, providing no sense of its importance.
Netanyahu appears to have overreached in attacking the (somewhat) sacred institution of the military by forcing out the respected and highly critical defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, and appointing the inexperienced far-right ideologue Avigdor Lieberman.
There is no reference to fascism charges made by everyone from Moshe Ya’alon to now Yitzhak Herzog. There is no reference to General Yair Golan’s assertion that Israeli political culture is similar to Nazi Germany. And no reference to the murdering medic, whose execution of a Palestinian lying incapacitated on the ground in occupied Hebron in March led to that crisis. There is no mention at all of BDS, even to attack it. BDS is obviously the bugaboo of the Netanyahu government. Netanyahu and his Pindo friends denounce it all the time. Both the Republican and Democrat Parties repudiate BDS in their platforms, and Alterman has opposed it on earlier occasions. Alterman, who has openly taken Israel’s side in the conflict, has spent his career as the media vizier at The Nation effectively dissecting the Pindo press. When is he going to start dissecting the Pindo mainstream media coverage of Israel, which is its greatest flaw?