Tuesday, December 4, 2012

James Zogby's "Analysis"

Whenever something happens that is related to the Middle East, the Huffington Post has basically only one person to go to: James Zogby. MJ Rosenberg doesn't know anything except about how to blame AIPAC for stuff, CodePink can only talk about drones, Alon Ben-Meir doesn't hate Israel enough, and the rest of them don't have the star power. So it's down to Zogby to produce long diatribes punctuated mostly by how much of it he just makes up. This latest example is about America's reaction to the Palestinian statehood vote at the UN. As usual some of Zogby's points are legitimate, and some are not. Here we are going to focus on those that are not.

After describing the reaction of the American government as "hysteria," which sounds like editorializing to me, Dr. Zogby talks about how they intend to do things like defund the PA in response. Here is his awesome defense of the PA:
"It is not the PA that is moving to change their status at the UN. The PLO is the group that has brought the resolution to the international body. And the PLO is not a recipient of any U.S. aid."
As Elder of Ziyon explained to those of you who don't already know, there is no functional difference between the PA and the PLO. Mahmoud Abbas is the head of both, as are most of the officials and politicians. Americans are not as easy to trick as you seem to think, Dr. Zogby, even though your fellow Arabs have been doing so for a long time. Whether we give money to the PA or the PLO or whatever, the fact is that we are still giving money to the "government" of the people that are known as "Palestinians," and that is what these American legislatures want to not fund. So you can complain about it all you like but I think we both know that this is nitpicking and a meaningless argument. Next complaint?
"Finally, there is a bipartisan amendment that would ban U.S. aid to the Palestinians should they become involved in any action before the International Criminal Court. This is an obvious and ham-fisted attempt to shield Israel from any action by the Court."
That's all he says about it, there is no more explanation about why that is a bad thing. My answer to you, Dr. Zogby, may sound kind of childish: Yeah, so? Of course America would help shield Israel from lawfare by Palestinian terrorists who want to use the ICC as a weapon instead of as what it really is. Why is America under any sort of obligation to fund people who want to twist the law in order to keep our allies from defending themselves? As your fellow Palestinian supporters so often like to say: It's America's money so why can't we use it the way that we choose to? Or in this case, not use it. Your complaint carries no water here, Dr. Zogby.

After this, he goes after "experts," never specifying who he is talking about, who criticized the Palestinians for breaking their agreements and pursuing unilateral actions. Surprisingly, he doesn't take the usual Arab talking point of saying that because the Palestinians got 50 dictatorships to vote for it isn't unilateral, instead he goes to the playground:
"I am tempted to digress and ask "what about Israeli unilateral actions?" or "what peace process?" All these warnings take for granted the unstated but accepted assumption that any Israeli reaction to the vote must be seen a logical consequence of any Palestinian assertion of their rights."
Uh, you did digress and ask those things, Doc. You always claim to have more respect for peace and negotiation than Israel, and it's time to prove it. Or in this case, not so much. Instead, he just moves on to something else:
"The most infuriating comment came from the Israelis in reaction to the announcement that France and other European nations would vote for Palestine. This they lamented would deny Israel the support of what they termed "the moral majority" -- by which they meant "white," "Western" nations. The racism suggested in this formulation is so obvious and disturbing, and yet wasreported [sic] without comment in The New York Times."
I'm sure Dr. Zogby loves playing the race card, but no one said anything about "white" or "Western" nations. That came entirely from your own head, sir. Has it occurred to you that Israel wanted nations that were not known for genocide (Sudan) or gender apartheid (Saudi Arabia) or terrorism (Pakistan) to be the ones on their side, even if they weren't in the majority of nations? If you assume that by "moral," the Israelis meant white and Western, I guess that tells us more about you than anything else, right?

Towards the end of his article Dr. Zogby just starts launching attacks on all the Americans and American politicians who feel differently from him, calling them "irrational," "panicked," and "crass." He finishes by proclaiming that "the world spoke," a classic talking point of those who control the world's supply of oil, and then pointed out that "the Palestinians won, and yet nothing changed." If that's the case, then what are you complaining about?

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