Sunday, April 1, 2012

Further MJ Hypocrisy

MJ Rosenberg is back with a fresh martyr and a fresh subject to get outraged about. This time he has found a new hero in Peter Beinart. Rosenberg likes Beinart because the "right wing" doesn't like him, having written a book criticizing the Israeli establishment. Of course that still is not enough for Rosenberg, he is upset because Beinart doesn't criticize himself enough. But we're not here to talk about Beinart or his point of view, if you really cared about that there are plenty of other more detailed analyses of his book.

As the headline said, we have more hypocrisy from MJ Rosenberg. See, Rosenberg found a video of an Israeli on Israel's "Big Brother" criticizing the occupation. Of course those of us who are actually informed about Israel know that Israelis criticize the occupation all the time, and talk about politics even more. But Rosenberg thinks that this is a massive deal....for some reason, and gets up on his high horse about it. Emphasis mine:
" He is the kind of person Zionism was supposed to produce: a proud Israeli, afraid of nothing. These are the kind of Israelis we don't see much of in the United States anymore in contrast to the period before Israel became obsessed with maintaining the occupation and confronting Iran. You know, the Paul Newman (Exodus) kind of Israelis which, although a stereotype, is rooted in reality. The reason we don't see them is because an Israeli government that is always making the case for the status quo based on fear would be ill-served by proud, unafraid Israelis speaking to Americans. It prefers fear mongering."
This is great. This is so great. Because we have seen proud, unafraid Israelis speaking to Americans recently. It's just that those proud, unafraid Israelis include Benjamin Netanyahu, such as when he decided not to extend a settlement freeze. And do you remember how MJ Rosenberg reacted?


Oh I see. Maybe Rosenberg should have put in a qualifier: "He is the kind of person Zionism was supposed to produce: a proud Israeli, afraid of nothing...who is also radically left wing and ready to capitulate to America at the click of Obama's fingers. Who are ready to give away Jerusalem and ethnically cleanse the settlements for nothing but promises. Who are willing to leave their own people at risk of rocket fire rather than risk displeasing their European neighbors."


And that's what is so annoying about this article. If you want the Israelis to be proud, unafraid, and willing to stand up for themselves, fine. But not all Israelis are going to mirror your politics all the time, MJ, especially when those politics are not exactly moderate. Personality traits don't have political affiliations. If you want Israelis to stand up and be proud, fine. But don't come crying to me when part of that standing up means standing up against you and what you want. 

In the end it's typical MJ Rosenberg. Bombastic statements, big judgement, lots of declarations about the future of Zionism. But at its core, it's just another "Vote Kadima" advertisement. I wish we could see something a little more creative, or at least more honest.

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