Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lara Friedman Plays Both Sides Again (Part 1)

As one of the Huffington Post's most clueless left-wing Jews (and that's saying a lot), it should be no surprise that Lara Friedman just can't get over the fact that the "Church Letter" is yesterday's news. So she is back one more time with the fourth article about it, and it's a dense one. Let's take a look at what she has to say and I'll try not to get too bogged down in the details.
"Why did this letter elicit such outrage? Was it the suggestion that U.S. funding shouldn't support policies that undermine the prospects for peace? There's nothing inherently anti-Israel about this suggestion -- and in the context of the full letter, it is clearly an expression of these leaders' frustration in the face of Israeli government policies that undermine a future two-state solution."
Jaysus. I've already explained to you what's wrong with the letter two weeks ago, and if you don't read this blog then you should because clearly you need the education. But I really like the cognitive dissonance in this paragraph: that there's no thing anti-Israel about the letter...except that the letter blames Israel for everything and the Palestinians for nothing, and then that Israel should be punished and the Palestinians should not. Now why would anyone construe that as anti-Israel? Lara Friedman doesn't see anything wrong with it and everyone knows hers is the only opinion that matters.

Now check this out, this is amazing:
"Many of us in the Jewish community share this frustration, but we nonetheless support military aid to Israel, without such a condition. We know that U.S. assistance is vital to Israel's security and aren't willing to endanger Israel's citizens just to punish an Israeli leader, no matter how intransigent or anti-peace he might be. We know that if there is ever going to be a peace agreement, the Israeli people must know that U.S. support for their security is truly unconditional."
Nice try, Ms. Friedman. Really nice try. Actually, I'm being a little generous. Mediocre try, Ms. Friedman. If you really supported military aid to Israel without the conditions called for in the church letter, then you wouldn't have written two articles defending it. You've never written a single positive thing about Israel the entire time you have been at the Huffington Post (if ever) and now you claim to be their friend (and part of the "Jewish community")? By your deeds we know you. Start collecting those feathers.

So how does she try to play both sides to try and seem moderate? By criticizing the Jews, of course.
"Given this difference of opinion, wouldn't the appropriate course of action be to engage Christian leaders on the issue, to urge them to take greater care to be attentive to Israel's legitimate security concerns? And it would be fair to point out the importance of their also denouncing Palestinian violence when it occurs, recognizing that neither the cause of peace nor the Palestinian people are served by letting Palestinian leaders off the hook. Surely this is a more constructive approach than canceling inter-faith dialogue and vehemently attacking the letter's authors."
Hmmm...how devoted to engagement were those Christian leaders when they published the letter in the first place without even so much as talking to the major Jewish organizations (let alone their own congregations) about it? Again, this point of view might be a little easier to stomach if Friedman didn't stand by and do nothing while her fellow leftists launched a knee-jerk attack on her fellow Jews the first time around. If she's trying to get in their good graces, she could try sounding a little more conciliatory, I'm just saying.

She continues to try and play both sides of the issue in a hilarious example of pretzel logic. Check this out:
"Perhaps this vehemence is more about the Christian leaders' call for Congress to investigate whether Israel is violating U.S. laws governing arms exports. For many in the American Jewish community, the idea that Israel might have violated U.S. laws is indeed very scary. Even scarier is the suggestion that Israel should be subjected to public scrutiny that might reveal these violations...Nevertheless, U.S. arms export laws exist for a good reason: to leverage U.S. military assistance as a force for good."
In the space of two paragraphs her tone shifts from a Mondoweiss columnist to a Hasbara fellowship candidate. She also gets her facts wrong:  If America's arms exporting to Israel violates US law, then who is "violating the law?" Think about....think about it....got it? The answer is America. Also, this hypocrisy is amazing. First she is gleeful that America's aid to Israel might get cut off (remember, she claimed to be in favor of the aid), but again doesn't appear to care about any other country except for Israel. That was the main complaint of the ADL and other Jewish organizations about the letter, but she doesn't appear to even know that. Instead she goes back to her usual left-wing roots and bashes Israel ever more:
"Many have concluded that such a sense of impunity may have led to Israeli actions in the last wars in Lebanon and Gaza that exacted a heavy price on Israel's international standing....True friends of Israel should recognize that Israel is strongest when it is acting in ways that withstand public scrutiny. Israel is strongest when it is accountable, rather than on the defensive over policies and actions that it knows look ugly, or even indefensible, under the harsh light of public inspection."
Yeah, sure. Haven't we heard this one before? In case Ms. Friedman forgot, organizations like hers are expert at trying to "hold Israel accountable," even for things that they haven't done. And considering that she considers defense actions like Cast Lead to be something that Israel should be "held accountable for," it's pretty clear that this is her agenda talking and not a commitment to reality or fairness. After all, there is little to no accountability for American actions and drone strikes (and yes, I know the left has commented on that) but it remains hypocritical to hold one country to a different standard than our own.

Anyway, more than halfway through the article she finally gets to the actual criticism of the church letter that I wrote about at the beginning of this post. But we'll cover that in the next installment.

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