Friday, April 13, 2012

HuffPo's Hit Piece on Irving Moskowitz

Every time I think the Huffington Post cannot become more biased, they continue to surprise me. Do you know who Irving Moskowitz is? Well you're about to find out because the Huffington Post just published a multi-page story of his life published by "reporter" Paul Blumenthal. But we'll get to that. First the biased headline lifted directly from the front page:

And already the confusion begins. Look at the headline. Is he a settlement backer who happens to be Israeli? Or a backer of Israeli settlements? But ultimately it doesn't matter because why is the Huffington Post defining him in that way? Is that all that Moskowitz has ever done or ever has been? Of course not, but the Huffington Post knows their readership hates Israel and the settlements so that's what they lead with.

Oh, and before we go any further I'll remind you: I hadn't hear of Irving Moskowitz until this article was published and I don't have any particular love for him. To tell the truth he sounds kind of slimy. But as I often say I value truth more and it sure appears to me that the Huffington Post is spinning like a top to generate outrage, and if no anti-Semitism comes up in the thread I'll be very, very surprised.

So the Huffington Post think it has found a hat trick with this guy: He's right wing, Jewish, pro-Israel, pro-settlements (more importantly), anti-Obama, and has a lot of money. So without further ado let's get right to the article. First of all here's the inside headline with less bias:

You'll notice the anti-Obama SuperPAC is not named because no one has yet heard of it. And $1 million dollars is a lot of money for us normal people but not by Super PAC standards. The National Beer Wholesalers Association spent more than twice that in 2008, and they weren't even in the top PAC in that election. But like I said it's not about the money it's about the man.

Next I'm going to comment a little on the article by Paul Blumenthal. As I said I'm not particularly inclined to defend the questionable things Moskowitz has done, especially where he has decided to send his money. But fortunately I don't even have to go into that to see the bias overflowing from this article. Basically what is happening is every possible story about something the Huffington Posters don't like is being shoved into this article even if it doesn't directly relate to Moskowitz and even if it involves making assumptions. Here's an example:
"Moskowitz's contribution was made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and a subsequent lower court decision that freed corporations, unions and individuals to make unlimited contributions to independent electoral efforts....And it indicates that supporters of Israel's right to control the West Bank, occupied since the end of the 1967 war, will vigorously oppose President Obama in his campaign for reelection."
Just the way that is phrased strikes me as very odd. I'm curious if Mr. Blumenthal can define exactly what he means by "supporters of Israel's right to control the West Bank." I mean it is probably true that people more to the right on Israel will probably oppose President Obama but the conclusion is not supported by the evidence at hand. In other words just because Moskowitz is against Obama doesn't mean other people will similar views will feel the same way.

This might seem like a small nitpick but this kind of subtle spin continues throughout the article. Let's take another example. After referencing something Moskowitz said thirty years ago, Paul Blumenthal proceeds to blame him for a damaging incident between America and Israel:
"In 2010, President Obama witnessed firsthand Moskowitz's ability to stir up controversy when the administration attempted to keep pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to impose a freeze on settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 
"At the time, Moskowitz was planning to demolish the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem, which he had purchased in 1985, to make way for a new apartment complex for settlers....But then, just prior to a meeting between Obama and Netanyahu at the White House,the Jerusalem city government approved the destruction of the hotel and construction of the new settlement. 
"Israel had already been thumbing its nose at the president's call for a settlement freeze by authorizing new settlements throughout the West Bank. The approval of Moskowitz's development prompted harsh statements of rebuke from the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
Now on the one hand, it's kind of funny that the Huffington Post tries to blame Moskowitz for the poor timing of the Jerusalem city government and the mishandling of the situation by the Israeli government in general. But I don't it's really about trying to throw more mud at Moskowitz. After all, they already appear to have enough of it to keep the Huffington Posters infuriated for hours. My personal theory is that the Huffington Post writers just wanted to get as much talk about settlements, Israel, and Israel and America not getting along as they could. So they threw this story in just to keep the pot boiling. This is only a theory, it has not yet been proven. I am welcome to other opinions.

Here is another example that seems to back up my beliefs though:
"Money from the fund [of Moskowitz] has gone to support settlements in the West Bank, according to the New York Times -- including to Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, who wrote a book justifying the killing of Palestinian babies because of 'the future danger that will arise if they are allowed to grow into evil people like their parents.'"
Talk about a picture perfect example of bias.  The Huffington Post doesn't like the settlements, that's fine. So when talking about the settlements, they find the most extreme example of a settler that they can find and spin the hell out of it to make it seems like (a) all settlers are like that and (b) Moskowitz gives money to people who want to kill Palestinian babies.

If that doesn't seem like bias to you, just imagine if the Huffington Post had written this:
"Senator Rand Paul is in favor of renewing aid of $150 million every year to the Palestinians, including to Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad, who murdered an entire family of Israelis including three children."
Yeah. The bias is obvious but it's okay because this guy is a Republican, so he deserves it.

The Huffington Post then proceeds to blame Moskowitz (indirectly of course) for Anders Breivk's massacre in Norway and then gets to some hypocrisy from an unlikely source (emphasis mine):
"The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a nonprofit that tracks discrimination against Arab Americans in the United States and researches nonprofits funding Israeli settlements, wants to stop Moskowitz and others from giving money to groups in the U.S. that provide money to the settlers. The ADC is pressuring the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of these groups."Our argument is that a nonprofit should not engage in activities that are in opposition to American policy," says Abed Ayoub, legal director for the ADC. "We want to raise enough doubt to have the IRS have an audit."" what other nonprofits might be engaged in activities that are in opposition to American policy? How about the ISM? The Holy Land Trust? Or the Holy Land Foundation? Do you think the ADC has ever criticized these organizations or other "charities" that funnel money to terrorists? Not that I would necessarily expect them to, since fighting anti-Arab racism is not generally related to the potentially un-American activities of Jewish non-profits.

Oh, and if you were expecting someone to criticize the ADC for only focusing on Arab racism and to ask why Arabs are so special they need their own anti-discrimination committee don't bother. Those attitudes are only reserved for the Anti-Defamation League.

Getting toward the end, here are up with some nice general attacks on Moskowitz:
"Moskowitz is interested in one thing, and that is supporting people who will unquestionably do the bidding of the most extreme elements of the American Jewish and Israeli polity," says Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, a member of the now-dissolved Coalition for Justice in Hawaiian Gardens and Jerusalem, an organization that opposed Moskowitz's use of bingo and casino operations to fund settlements in Israel."
But not a single viewpoint given about Moskowitz or his foundation that is anything less than completely negative. That's the way fair and balanced is done at the Huffington Post.

Let's finish with a preview of some of the comments to come:

Stay tuned. More to come.

1 comment:

  1. Zach, am I wrong, or isn't it time that we finally start really confronting the problem of anti-Israel bias as a matter of progressive-left bigotry?

    I came out of the progressive movement, and remain progressive on the issues, but it is unquestionably the progressive movement, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic party, that is promoting this never-ending hatred toward the Jewish state and thereby, inevitably, toward the Jewish people.

    Mike L.

    Israel Thrives


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