Friday, January 11, 2013

Mitchell Cohen and the Hypocrisy of the Left

During the 2012 election, one of the myths that was pushed the hardest by the Huffington Post and its community was that Israel and the Netanyahu government "interfered" in the election in order to help Mitt Romney win it. It was stated flat out by such fanatical bloggers as MJ Rosenberg and Ira Chernus, and the Huffington Post editors helped it along as well. The number of comments that contained variations of "Bibi, butt out" have probably run in the thousands at this point. Everywhere you looked, the message was the same: This was America's election, and it is for the people of America to decide. Obama and Romney were seeking to become President of America, not President of Israel. Therefore Israel should keep out of it.

However, in January of 2013, here comes Huffington Post blogger Mitchell Cohen to declare that we Americans should get involved in Israel's elections! He doesn't even bother trying to disguise his intentions:
"Political change within Israel is the only thing that matters. Israel's real friends abroad need to help the Jewish state turn left again....One urgent matter should preoccupy them: defeating Netanyahu's politics. If it proves impossible in this upcoming electoral round, then they need to back openly and incessantly the opposition parties so they can build to win in the future. [Theycan start by shouting, facebooking, tweeting and emailing to Israelis: "Reelect your disastrous government at your peril." Pro-Israel American political action committees could support vigorously the center-left."
Absolutely! You see everyone living in Israel are idiots, and they really need the advice of people living thousands of miles away to open their eyes to what's really going on around them. And of course it's true that "Israel's real friends" won't be the ones suffering and dying should the left's bright ideas literally blow up in everybody's face. The people of Israel have no idea what is best for them, clearly Americans are the only ones who do. But remember, "interfering" with other countries is something that only Republicans do, and it's totally not acceptable to interfere in anyone's elections except for Israel's. Why? Because Mitchell Cohen said so.

If this sounds familiar to you then it should because I've written it before and it remains just as true now. It's just the timing of this dichotomy is particularly rich, coming right after the American elections. No Israeli blogger that I have ever seen has demanded that Israelis try to convince Americans to vote Romney. Pro-Israel Americans did, certainly. Once again, the left doesn't care about being consistent. They will happily go back on their own statements if it means getting elected. So I guess they are just like every politician.

The rest of Mr. Cohen's article is not exactly the greatest thing I've ever read either. He rewrites the history of Menachem Begin to consistent entirely of the 1981 Lebanon War, forgetting about the peace treaty with Egypt. He lays into Netanyahu and Lieberman for a while, calling their policies "disastrous" which I think is a bit of an exaggeration, but as I said I'm not so inclined to defend them. Then he actually tries to get conciliatory for a while, before failing at the end of the paragraph:
"Anti-Semitism, too often masquerading as anti-Zionism, plays a real role in this loss but the story is also more complex. Israel is indeed demonized like few other countries. (Anyone who knows the history of anti-Semitism will recognize remodeled tropes). It is impossible, however, to exonerate Israel's rash right-wing government for its current difficulties. It is one thing to thwart Muslim extremists who shoot missiles from Gaza; it is another to settle Jewish fanatics in the West Bank."
Yep, that's right. Genocidal terrorists who want to commit a second Holocaust are "extremists," while Jews who want to live in the Jewish ancestral homeland are "fanatics." I know that Mr. Cohen lives in New York City but has he met any settlers? I've met quite a few in my time and although some did have religious views that I wasn't comfortable with, most of them made it clear they were there for economic reasons. Not every settler is a "fanatic" the same way not every Palestinian is an "extremist." I would hope that we can put down the rhetoric and go with a fact-based approach but apparently not.

Anyway, he goes back to Israel's laundry list of right-wing candidates, and singles out Danny Danon (not to be confused with Danny Ayalon) who said that he preferred Mitt Romney. Read for Mr. Cohen's hypocritical reaction? (emphasis mine)
"Since when does a deputy speaker of one country's parliament stick his nose in this way into elections in another country? It seems Danon has a bridge to sell -- from West Bank settlements across the Mediterranean and Atlantic to Fox TV where he has appeared to promote his extremism."
Yeah! Get it right! If you want to stick your nose into elections in another country, that country had better be Israel (not America) and you had better be a liberal! That is if you want to avoid Cohen's ire. Oh, and Facebooking, Tweeting, and emailing Israelis to convince them to change their vote? That's totally different from appearing on FOX news! Somehow.

Is Cohen even aware of how ridiculous this article is?

Let's let him finish with more hypocritical demands:
"Perhaps friends of Israel could also place billboards across the Jewish state together with ads in its media that say in Hebrew:"Be Shortsighted, back Bibi." Or: "Be Foolhardy: Bind Israel's Future to American Fundamentalists and Right-wingers." Or, "If Iran is a threat, you need friends abroad: Support a balanced foreign policy, not settlements.""
Can you imagine what the Huffington Post would do if Israelis chipped in their money to place billboards across America that say stuff like "Be Shortsighted: Back Barak?"

They would flip their freaking lid, and Mr. Cohen knows it!

This is exactly the kind of lack of introspection that has turned me off to the left. How can they not grasp the hypocrisy of what they are doing? Nice to see the Huffington Post blogger stable is continuing to lose any legitimacy it might have left.

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