Monday, June 4, 2012

Stephen Zunes Tries Again

Professor Stephen Zunes has written for the Huffington Post before, and as befitting his role as a professor at San Fransisco University, he's a usual left wing Huffington Post blogger. In the past he has complained because the American Congress supports Israel and this time is no exception. Unfortunately he does so in a way that is very dishonest and misleading to his audience. Just as we've come to expect from bloggers there. But at least it isn't as humorously long as his previous works.

Even from the very first sentence the agenda comes out:
"Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed a dangerous piece of legislation (H.R. 4133) which would undermine the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, weaken Israeli moderates and peace advocates, undercut international law, further militarize the Middle East, and make Israel ever more dependent on the United States."
Ah, I'm so glad that we can rely on the Huffington Post to provide us with cool, measured analysis free of political agendas or persuasions. Anyway Prof Zunes entire article is based around this "dangerous" decision aka the US-Israel enhanced security cooperation act. With that in mind let's take a look at what he has to say, and how badly he misrepresents this legislation. This is him:
"The "Findings" of the bill, rather than praising the growth of democratic movements in the Arab world, bemoans "the fall of some regimes long considered to be stabilizing forces," indicative of how little either party cares for democracy in the Middle East. Similarly, rather than praise the grassroots pro-democracy movements and their strategic nonviolent action, the bill blames Iran..."
There is simply no way around it: Professor Zunes is completely misrepresenting what the bill is saying. Let's take a look at the actual text:
"The Middle East is undergoing rapid change, bringing with it hope for an expansion of democracy but also great challenges to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region, particularly our most important ally in the region, Israel. Over the past year, the Middle East has witnessed the fall of some regimes long considered to be stabilizing forces and a rise in the influence of radical Islamists. [emphasis mine]"
There is simply no way that Professor Zunes could have missed that section. It was right freaking next to the part that he quoted in his article. That means that he read the USA's hope for democracy there, yet continued to put his pen to paper and write "rather than praising the growth of democratic movements in the Arab world..." as if it simply didn't exist. What else can one conclude except that Professor Zunes is a liar?

The paragraph is a balanced one. The change in the Arab world has brought down stabilizing regimes and helped radical Islamists gain power. That is simply the truth. Yes, it could also lead to democracy and the Congress recognizes that. But it could also bring challenges. It's pretty amazing that this "Zionist controlled Congress" has a more balanced perspective on the Middle East than a Huffington Post blogger. Actually I take that back: it's not amazing at all.

Professor Zunes then proceeds to complain that the bill requires Congress to veto any "one-sided" resolutions against Israel at the United Nations. He then says "even those that are reasonably critical of Israel's ongoing violations of international humanitarian law [etc]." First of all: if you would like to prove that Israel is violating international humanitarian law, go for it. Last time you tried it didn't go so well. Secondly: if it's reasonably critical then it isn't one sided, so your whole point is bogus. Obviously Professor Zunes was just looking for something else to complain about, and thought he would try to make a mountain out of a molehill. Nice try.

Like many of Zunes article this is one is very long so I'm going to skip ahead a little bit. Let's see here:

his resolution takes the unprecedented step of insisting that that commitment be within the context of defending Israel as an explicitly "Jewish state." The Israeli government certainly has the right to identify itself as a Jewish state or anything else. But this clause not only demonstrates a lack of concern about the security interests of the more than 20 percent of Israelis who are not Jewish and the millions of Palestinians who are effectively under Israeli military control."
As I believe we have discussed before, Israel only insists on being recognized as a Jewish state by the people for whom it being a Jewish state is a problem. That would include the Palestinians who insist on turning Israel into a Palestinian state, but not Egypt and Jordan, who did not. With that in mind Professor Zunes' "interpretation" levels are turned up as high as they will go here: if he would like to prove that Israel doesn't care about the security interests of non-Jewish citizens, let's see it. We already know that the "anti-Zionist" Palestinian terrorist organizations try to not kill anyone except Jews but let's not expect Professor Zunes to talk about that. After this he complains that Israel has an "ethnic character," once again implying it is the only country that does.

All right let's finish this up with one final lie:
"The legislation calls for dramatically increasing U.S. military aid to Israel over this year's record of $3.1 billion in order to ensure Israel right of self-defense."
One little problem: it doesn't. The word "aid' does not appear, no amount of funding is discussed. It simply isn't there. But rather than actually back up what he has to say, Professor Zunes moves on to complaining about something else. How typical.

Welcome to the Huffington Post, where they don't even trust you to read a bill before lying to you about it.

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