Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MJ Rosenberg Is Still a Hypocrite

Coming fresh off his latest embarrassment, referring to American Jewish leaders as "baby penis suckers," MJ Rosenberg is returning to the stable environment that he rarely leaves: trying to get Americans to not like Israel so much. This time the Huffington Post provided him with the helpfully eye catching title of "Why Do Candidates Keep Insulting American Jews" by praising Israel. See, according to Rosenberg's twisted logic, American Jews do care about Israel, but not that much, and so the candidates shouldn't compliment Israel that much if they want to keep the Jewish vote. If this sounds confusing, it's only because Rosenberg is trying to make beat a horse that continues to remain dead. And if it sounds like we have been down this road before, it's because we have. Oh, we have.
"I think it is the very last thing Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden or Paul Ryan intend. When they do their formulaic shout outs to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and to the State of Israel, I have no doubt that they believe both that it is good politics and that, if anything, they are flattering Jews. After all, no other foreign country or foreign leader gets anything like this kind of attention during the American election season. Jewish voters must be pleased."
You'll have to excuse me, I've been a little busy recently and I missed the Vice Presidential debate. Did they talk much about Israel there? As close as I can find they only did in the context of Iran, referring to Israel as an "ally." And they didn't discuss that at all in the first Presidential debate. But we all know the facts don't really matter to MJ Rosenberg, what he says is believable so who cares whether or not it is actually the truth.

Most amusingly, he insulted American Jewish voters there himself with his final sentence, unless he was being sarcastic. He declares that "Jewish voters must be pleased" before attempting to prove that American Jewish voters don't actually care about the candidates' views on Israel:
"According to the American Jewish Committee poll (the annual survey of Jewish attitudes that is respected as the most authoritative survey), just six percent of Jews choose Israel as their number one issue....[soIt does not mean American Jews don't care about Israel. They do and poll after poll shows it (although they disagree as to what the best course for Israel is). But they are Americans before they are anything else. And their top concerns are issues that affect their fellow Americans."
More contradictions. He says that American Jews don't care about Israel, but they do, even if this poll doesn't indicate that. But of course most notable in this paragraph is that he is saying something obvious: that American Jews care about America. Guess what? Unlike MJ Rosenberg I actually know quite a few American Jews and know that they care about American issues. I don't need freaking polls to tell me that. One would think that everybody knows this to be the case, but apparently on the Huffington Post where everyone thinks that American Jews are "Israel firsters" (thanks to MJ Rosenberg of course), they need the reminder.

Although I didn't want to quote the following paragraph, I think there's a subtly in it that you should see:
"They also believe that both candidates, in fact all the candidates for president since the State of Israel was established, support Israel's security. There is, then, no reason to vote on the basis of that issue despite the partisan efforts to portray one or another of the candidates as anti-Israel."
Notice how Rosenberg says that they "believe" these candidates think the way they do, rather than just stating it as a fact. I don't know if that's significant, but it's interesting. Also, this claim that both candidates are pretty much the same when it comes to Israel not only isn't true (as we have discussed) but contradicts what he said in the past, where he thinks Israel should be a partisan issue, except when he thinks it shouldn't.  But here's where it gets really good:
"But, listening to the candidates, one would think that Jewish voters (and donors) only care about Israel. I doubt very much that the candidates talk about Israel to please so-called Christian Zionists who are safely in the Republican camp due to issues like marriage equality and abortion. No, the candidates are talking to Jews. And it is insulting."
You know what we call that?

Rosenberg is simply assuming that it's not about the millions and millions of Americans who support Israel (the 70%) but rather about the Jews (2%). Not only does this fly in the face of logic, it also ignores some pertinent information. For example, not all supporters of Israel are Jews and right-wing Christian Zionists. I've met many Christian Obama voters who care about Israel and want to support it as our ally.

Furthermore, Rosenberg's assumptions are amazing and hypocritical! Why is it acceptable in his mind to assume that the candidates think that all "Christian Zionists" will vote Republican, but not acceptable to assume that all Jews will vote Democrat? After all, Jews have voted majority Democrat since 1918. So why wouldn't President Obama simply assume that Jews would vote for him and not praise Israel? Ditto with Romney who might quote James Baker and say "F the Jews they won't vote for us anyway?"

Oh wait, because doing thinking those thoughts might lead to the conclusion that Americans in general support Israel, and that the American government's position on Israel is guided by the people and not AIPAC, which is exactly what Rosenberg doesn't want people to think.

The difference between the candidates is in how they support Israel. It's a bit like immigration: everyone knows that illegal immigration is a problem the question is how to deal with it. And voters support candidates that deal with immigration in the way that they agree with. Same with Israel, and I won't elaborate because Rosenberg has this to say (speaking of immigration):
"No, only Jews are addressed as if we are some sort of foreign enclave that happens to live here. That is wrong and it's offensive. America is the most secure haven Jews have ever had. It has allowed us something no other diaspora country allowed us: the right to be identified as loyal citizens of the country, not on the basis of our faith or ethnicity. To treat us as something else is deeply offensive to almost all of us. It is certainly no compliment."
Yep, the same guy who is proud of reintroducing "Israel firster" to the lexicon is complaining that people are treating Jews like foreigners and reasserting Jewish loyalty to America. Isn't hypocrisy amazing?

And if that wasn't hypocritical enough, he is whining that people are identifying Jews on the basis of them being Jews! Except that wait! That's exactly what MJ Rosenberg does in every single freaking one of his articles. His articles are either about two things: About how AIPAC is evil or about what Jews think. Not Americans, but Jews. After all he isn't qualified to write about much else (and that's really saying something).

Once again, we have assumptions in this paragraph. This is about Israel, MJ, not about Jews. As you and your amen corner so often try to remind us, they are different. The candidates "shout out" as you say to Israel because they want the support of Israel supporters in America. Some are Jews, some are not. This is not about Jews, so like with the kosher dishes at the White House, it's pretty clear that you are trying to be offended. And that sums up everything MJ Rosenberg writes.

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