Monday, June 18, 2012

James Zogby Cries for His "Rights"

In his most recent blog post for the Hufffington Post, James Zogby drops his veneer of "neutral academic" to complain about mean old Israeli airport security, again, which recently made the news when two terror sympathizers were forced to have their email checked by the Jews oops I mean Israelis. Zogby was, of course, outraged by this "invasion" of privacy, and took to the Huffington Post weeks later to rant about it, again. Let's take a look.

Zogby first lays out the facts of the case (leaving out, of course, the Palestinian Americans' ties to various "resistance" movements), and then republishes a conversation between the Palestinian and the US consulate, where the US consulate says they can't do anything to help her get into Israel. Shocking, right?

So then Zogby turns on the waterworks:
"Israeli treatment of Americans of Arab descent is demeaning and disgraceful -- though it pales in comparison with the daily humiliation endured by Palestinians at checkpoints and borders. More disturbing is the acceptance of this behavior and the cavalier disregard some American officials have displayed to these violations of the rights of their own citizens."
Zogby doesn't change the tactics of what has worked relatively well for the Palestinians for so long, the complaint of "rights being violated." Apparently, no one has ever bothered to let him know that no one, not even Jews, have the "right" to enter Israel. Period. Especially not Americans, and definitely not Palestinian Americans. If you don't want to get your email searched by the Israelis, don't go to Israel. It's that easy. But then, Zogby does need to have a topic for his column this week...

Zogby complains for a while about how Americans should be able to freely enter Israel anytime they want because America and Israel are friends, and then shows this remarkable display of hypocrisy:
"The "travel warning" he [the US official] pointed out to her [the poor suffering Palestinian (tm)] specifically notes that "U.S. citizens with Arabic or Muslim names, those born in Muslim or Middle Eastern countries" can be expected to be treated differently by "Israeli border authorities." To understand just how infuriating this warning is, substitute "Jewish" for "Arabic" and "Jordanian border authorities" for "Israeli border authorities." Then ask yourself what the reaction of the State Department and Congress would be if that were the case? Would they merely issue a "warning" or "advisory" to American Jews -- as if this behavior were some "act of nature" to be lamented but accepted"
First of all, there is nothing in the US official's statement about Arabs or Muslims, just Palestinians. If Zogby considers all Palestinians to be Arabs and Muslims, that's his problem.

Second, yes, let's imagine if Jews were treated differently by Arab border authorities. Oh wait, they are. There are numerous countries which won't let you in if you have an Israeli stamped passport, period. And those countries aren't even actively fighting Israel the way Israel is fighting the Palestinians. And what has been the reaction of the State Department and Congress? MEH. So stop crying, James. What goes around comes around.

Zogby ends with a reiteration of his two talking points: the race card, and the rights card. 
"I have been assured by many Secretaries of State that there is but one class of U.S. citizenship, that our rights, as Arab Americans, will be protected and that this matter will be taken up with Israeli authorities. They have done so, and yet the systematic discrimination against and harassment of Americans of Arab descent by the State of Israel not only persists, it has worsened."
So I will reiterate with mine: No one has a right to enter Israel, not even Arab Americans. The good news is that most of the Huffington Posters who read the article (aside from the anti-Zionist crowd of course) understood that your rights as an American end when you step outside of America. Other countries aren't obligated to treat Americans with kid gloves, no matter what their diplomatic status is or how much money America gives them. If you go into Canada, you have to abide by Canadian rules. If you go to Singapore, you have to abide by Singaporean rules. Dr. Zogby keeps trying, but he keeps failing. He really should find something new to complain about. Like, I don't know...thousands of civilians dying in Syria. The last time he wrote about that was back in March. They are Arabs too, after all.


  1. Zogby should be reminded, that Israel, like the US, has the right to manage the ingress into its territory however it pleases, and employ the standards that it deems fit regarding entry, for whatever passports or nationalities.
    The US is an exemplar. And one need only look at the arbitrary treatment of Non-US citizens at US airports. Israelis have been subjected to gruelling questions, about whether they intend to work illegally in the US(for instance, on top of many others), have to obtain a Visa(that is, wasting nearly 5-6 hours in the American embassy, not to mention fees, and the arduous wait)-a requirement that Israel dropped for US passport-holders.
    In short, every country has the right to manage its immigration. And just as I wouldn't expect preferential treatment for Israelis in the US, neither would I anticipate, especially for those HOSTILE to Israel(like those two featured), any such reprieve for Americans in Israel.

  2. After reading your article I left the following comment at Mr. Zogby's own site:

    My Dear Mr. Zogby,

    Cry me a river. There are numerous Arab countries that won't let Americans in if they have an Israeli stamp on their passport. Nor have you ever voiced your disapproval of the confiscation of religious items such as kippot and phylacteries from Israeli Jews on visits to Jordan, as happened earlier this year, or the ban on visitors bringing Christian symbols and items to Saudi Arabia. You've never complained about these, so you have no moral right to complain about this.

    The truth is that border security of any country has the absolute right to deny entry to any individual who is a non-citizen for any reason or suspicion. In the case of the two women in your article - you left out important details of the story which showed their activism with anti-Israeli groups, which Israel is under no obligation to assist.

    Even the government of the United States says the following: Please be aware, entering the United States is a privilege, not a right. It is not our intent to inconvenience law abiding visitors to our country, but our overriding responsibility is to enforce U.S. immigration law and to keep our country safe from those who would do us harm.

    That a leading voice in the American Arab community can be so boldly and completely hypocritical while hiding important details of a story does not speak well at all.

    I've left a couple of messages there before. No doubt I will be accused of being a Zionist, which I am, but there is always the possibility of dialog and reflection that treatment of Americans in the Arab world are in need of improvement.

  3. L King, an excellent post, but honestly, have you ever found "a leading voice in the American Arab community" who wasn't a rank hypocrite?


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