Monday, May 14, 2012

How the Huffington Post Responds to Israeli Political Shift

In the wake of last week's "earthquake" in the Israeli political system, which I am sure you are all familiar with, the Huffington Post enlisted two of their most objective and fact-based bloggers to comment on the development: James Zogby and MJ Rosenberg. This is what is known on the Huffington Post as "balanced reporting." Let's take a look at them shall we?

Dr. Zogby, as usual, leads with his prejudices and not with facts. Most of his article is a never ending series of personal attacks on Netanyahu, who he calls a "maneuverer," (not a word) among other things, and Shaul Mofaz who Zogby claims is "motivated by crass political survival." As much as I found the political jabbing to be a little boring, you can always rely on Dr. Zogby to punch it up with some hilariously baseless accusations. For example:
"The U.S. press, equally delusional when it comes to all things Israel, largely saw this broader Israeli government as a positive development, with liberals moralizing that with this expanded mandate Netanyahu should now be in a position to move confidently to a peace settlement with the Palestinians, saying that "under Netanyahu, Israel is stronger than ever.""
That would be the U.S. press with the exception of the Huffington Post, right? And I am curious where Dr. Zogby drew this conclusion, from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Actually this comment is even more telling because Dr. Zogby contrasts it with an unnamed "Arab analyst" who said that this was "a war coalition." If that's the case it would be the first time I've ever seen Dr. Zogby criticize a fellow Arab, albeit in the most indirect way possible.

MJ Rosenberg, on the other hand, engages in the classic Internet commentary style of writing an entire article to show how little he cares about the topic. The rest of the article is loaded with that kind of contradiction: he says that this new coalition makes Israel strong but that doesn't matter because America will just tell Israel what to do anyway. Then he says that although Israel is facing all these threats it is really their fault that those threats are there in the first place. Most egregious is when he declares:
"It has exactly one friend in the world and exactly two peace treaties with its neighbors (the more important of which, the peace treaty with Egypt, looks to be on its death bed)....Rather than pat himself on the back for creating a strong coalition, Netanyahu should strive to create a strong Israel. That, however, would require peace. And peace requires ending the occupation. That will not happen under this prime minister."
Follow the logic here. The peace treaty with Egypt "looks to be on its death bed," (very ironic considering Rosenberg's writings here) but Netanyahu should strive to make peace anyway. How? Israel hasn't done anything to Egypt and you'll notice Rosenberg doesn't have any direct suggestions. Would "ending the occupation" of the West Bank make the Egyptians like Israel any more? That's classic left-wing logic but if it were true Israel never would have been able to make the peace treaty with Egypt in the first place. And if you look at the speeches of those in favor of more war between Israel and Egypt, the Palestinians are once again fulfilling their role as a useful club with which to beat Israel. Nothing more. Rosenberg concludes:
"The new coalition is of no significance whatsoever."
Uh huh. That's why you wrote a whole article about it.

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