Sunday, January 23, 2011

Steve Clemons' Selective Outrage

Huffington Post blogger Steve Clemons has been one of the driving forces behind a letter sent to President Obama to encourage him to support a UN resolution condemning Israel's settlements. We know this because he wrote an article reposting it and its signers. On Friday he wrote another about the response that the letter received from other journalists, most notably Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. He was outraged, outraged I tell you! Because she dared to generalize the signers of the letter in this way:
"The usual crowd of Israel bashers has sent the president a letter urging him to go along with a U.N. resolution condemning Israel for its settlements (emphasis added)"
Mr. Clemons was clearly upset by this label, and if you read the article you will see that he spends the rest of his time defending himself. I'm going to selectively quote a little but feel free to check the article yourself if I left out something important:
"What does she consider makes me an Israel-basher?... I don't call those who support Netanyahu Israel-bashers even though I believe that....they are harming Israel's interests. Calling someone as Israel-basher is akin to calling them an anti-Semite or a bigot, and that can't go without response. I'm a strong believer in Israel and want a healthy and constructive relationship between Israel and the United States. I have traveled to Israel, have met people from nearly every political party in the Knesset, and love the place and people....This kind of insidious character attack is irresponsible."
Now I don't know Mr. Clemons' work that well, but I do know two things. The first is that while we have been "watching" the Huffington Post he wrote an article that implied that Senator Chuck Schumer was a traitor to America because he strongly supported Israel and criticized President Obama. Whether you would like to call it McCarthyist or anti-Semitic (because of the history of dual loyalty) that might be kind of a give away. The second thing I know that is that (to my knowledge) Mr. Clemons has not written a single pro-Israel article. If you look at his history his articles are all basically the same: Israel doesn't want peace or negotiate anything to give up for peace so America must force them into doing it. I find it ironic that now that he has been called an "Israel basher" he proclaims his great love for Israel.

But of course that's not really the point. When it comes to this discourse, I feel that "Israel basher" is one of the tamer names to call. Which brings us to the title of this post; it is quite ironic that Mr. Clemons should cry so loudly about his co-signers being called "Israel bashers" when labels of that sort are welcomed with open arms by his fellow bloggers on the Huffington Post. Would you like to see some examples? According to his fellow Huffington Post bloggers, pro-Israel people (in general or specific) are:

Alice Bach: "right-wing student informers"
Max Blumenthal: "extreme pro-settler elements"
Larry Gellman: "need villains...[they have] boxed yourself into an ideological position"
Linda Milazzo: "virulently anti-American... fanatically pro-Israeli."
Ahmed Moor: "the mongrel dogs of war"
Sharmine Narwani: "absolute brainwashed footsoldiers"
MJ Rosenberg: "Israel-firsters."
David Shasha: "Arab haters."

And those are merely a few of many, many examples, both from Huffington Post bloggers and from below the line talkbackers. Compared to these accusations being called an "Israel basher" is almost mild, especially when I have a feeling that for more than a few of the signatories that shoe would fit perfectly. Regardless, I'm not expecting Mr. Clemons to be writing any articles decrying the lack of discourse among his fellow Huffington Post bloggers, which in turn makes his claims of being the real pro-Israel writer among them somewhat dubious.

1 comment:

  1. Pot meet kettle... black.

    If an anti-Semite is outraged at being outed, soo sad, too bad.

    Steve Clemmons will just have to live with the public knowledge of his real views about the Jews and Israel. MAN UP!


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