Friday, March 11, 2011

Josh Ruebner Guzzles the Haterade

For Thursday's "Bash Israel" op ed, the Huffington Post published a piece by Josh Ruebner entitled: The "Only Democracy in the Middle East"? Hardly. It's all the usual anti-Israel rhetoric, drudging up ancient history and full of double standards towards Israel. I won't dissect every lie and obfuscations in the piece, as that would take a very long time, but I want to hit some of the highlights.

First let's talk about Mr. Ruebner himself. According to his bio blurb under his name, he is the "National Advocacy Director, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation". That tells us two things about him. First, he is, in the words of the HPers, "a professional propagandist". If an Israeli advocacy professional wrote a piece, no HPer would read a single word he or she wrote. But of course Ruebner's words are taken as gospel. Second is the fact that his organization is dedicated to 'ending the occupation'. That is fine, a worthy goal that will inevitably happen for there to be peace. But if he wants to end the Israeli occupation, why is he attacking Israel's status as a democracy and calling it an apartheid state? How does that end the occupation? We know what will end the occupation, a peace treaty like the interim one signed in the late 1990s that ended the occupation before the Second Intifada brought it back. Clearly, Ruebner's goals are quite different from merely 'ending the occupation'. He has more gradious goals in mind.

So now we get to the blog post itself. Ruebner talks about the history of US-Israel relations and then brings up the discredited General Petraeus quote misinterpretation, something I thought had been put to bed a while ago. He then accuses Israel of being an 'ethnocracy' and then lies about Palestinian history:
"Israel became a preponderantly Jewish state, thereby gaining this veneer of democracy, only by ethnically cleansing indigenous Palestinians from their homes in 1948 and preventing to this day these refugees and their descendants from exercising their right of return to their homes as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
Historians agree that most of the Palestinians who left (not all) fled because of the war they themselves started and with the understanding that they would return once Israel was destroyed. There were thousands who remained in Israel and they were not harmed in any way. That is hardly ethnic cleansing. Israel became a Jewish state by drawing borders in such a way that a majority of the people inside the borders were Jewish. Easy. No ethnic cleansing required. Note the second point about refugees being denied their 'right of return'. Neither the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Convention Regarding the Status of Refugees grants a right of return to descendants of refugees. Ruebner straight up lies about what rights the Palestinians have in order to make Israel look as bad as possible.  

Ruebner, as usual for a Palsbarist, talks about how Israel mistreats the Palestinians with no context about why Israel does what is does. For example, he talks about how Israel's occupied the West Bank since 1967, with no mention of the Jordanian attack that caused Israel to take control over the WB, or the Khartoum Resolution that Israel received when it offered to give the West Bank back. And, of course, he lays down the double standard,
"Israel's apartheid policies toward Palestinians hardly qualify it as a democracy, much less the only one in the Middle East."
If you mistreat another hostile population, you are no longer a democracy. I guess the US's treatment towards the Iraqis and Mexicans means it's no longer a democracy, then. No mention of that by Ruebner, of course.

Ruebner closes out by extolling the virtues of the Arab states, which are about to become liberal democracies, didn't you hear? And threatens that unless Israel gives the Palestinians 'justice' it's going down.

Can't wait for the Huffington Post to publish a counter argument by an Israeli advocacy director, you know, in the name of 'balanced dialogue'.


  1. Ruebner doesn't mention all the Arab countries are also ethnocracies. Check.

    And he doesn't observe international law does not provide a collective right of return to any country. It does mention an individual right of return, subject of course to the requirements of state sovereignty. Check.

    That's how balanced his article is when he omits pertinent points that weakens his case against Israel.

    But don't hold your breath waiting for HPers to acknowledge the case against Israel is not made from an objective understanding of the Jewish State and the region in which it must survive.

    The Middle East is not the Mid-west. But don't expect anti-Zios like Ruebner to acknowledge that fundamental difference.

  2. Ruebner's article was so full of shit my antivirus program detected E.Coli.



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