Monday, August 9, 2010

MJ Rosenberg on Shalala Incident

Have you guys ever heard the expression, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"? That's how I feel whenever I read a blog post by MJ Rosenberg.

Rosenberg has taken the recent incident with Donna Shalala as Proof Positive: The Lobby Rules. Oh, I'm sorry, he has since changed the title to "Donna Shalala: The Lobby Rules." And what is this "positive proof"? That Shalala is not holding a lasting grudge against Israel. Even though Shalala did not miss her plane, Rosenberg seems to be taking the fact that she doesn't hate Israel as much as he does as proof that "the lobby got her!!!!1111one". Shalala was quoted by the Miami Herald as  
""While I was inconvenienced, Israel's security and the security of travelers is far more important," said Shalala, who is of Lebanese descent. "I have been going in and out of Israel for many years and expect to visit again."" It doesn't sound like she didn't have any problem with it, as Rosenberg implied, but that she understood why Israel does what it does and why the mistake was made. 

But then Rosenberg says something really interesting. He quotes an unnamed "friend" from the University of Florida. Oh wait, that was changed too. Now it is his "friend" that "knows the scene at the University of Miami." What school does Ms. Shalala work at again, Mr. Rosenberg?
"Are you crazy? If Shalala hinted at criticizing Israel, millions of dollars the university is counting on would dry up instantly. She can't say a word or the university will have to put all its expansion plans on a shelf forever, not to mention the scholarships that will disappear."
 Now, let's assume for a minute this quote is in fact true. Given Rosenberg's journalistic track record, this seems unlikely, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt. I have always assumed that when Rosenberg refers to "the Lobby", he is referring to AIPAC, the AJC, and other pro-Israel organizations that pressure the government to do what Israel wants. But AIPAC does not given money to universities, they are a lobby group. I'm not an expert on university finances (and of course, neither is Mr. Rosenberg), but I would guess that those millions of dollars come from the federal government, state government, and alumni donations.

So let's think for a second. Mr. Rosenberg is quoting a "friend" who is claiming that the Jews oops I mean the Lobby controls the federal and state governments and can shut off funding for public universities if university officials don't say the right things about Israel. There are a million reasons Shalala would not be offended (one: she's actually telling the truth about understanding Israel's security concerns), but Rosenberg takes that fact and combines it with an unnamed source to spin the biggest lie he has ever concocted on the HP.

There is no actual proof in Mr. Rosenberg's article, just spin, hearsay, and leaps of logic, but he goes ahead and clearly suggests the Lobby controls the federal government in every aspect of policy, not just foreign policy. And the HP gives him a platform to post these insinuations.

Update: His source is revealed!


  1. You can take a nugget of a truth and weave a slander around it. Sorry but AIPAC does not fund American higher education but MJ Rosenberg is just uninformed or too lazy to do his homework.

    If he wants to believe in his AIPAC hobbyhorse he can flog that issue to death but real sympathy with Israel, I should add, has nothing to do with AIPAC. Try telling that to Rosenberg. He'll never figure out while he's at it why most Americans (not only Jews) continue to support Israel today.


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