Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Robert Naiman's Endless Lies

Veteran Huffington Post blogger Robert "Flotilla" Naiman is still fighting the battle for Chuck Hagel, this time crowing over some "apartheid" comments made by Israeli politicians. In the process he gets a lot of things wrong and tilts at windmills. So let's get into what exactly happened.

After providing some free advertising for the Israeli documentaries, Naiman finally gets to his main point about Hagel:
"Chuck Hagel is going to be confirmed as our next Secretary of Defense, despite being attacked by Senator Lindsey Graham for having once allegedly used the A-word in talking about the dystopian future of Israel-Palestine if Israel doesn't make peace with the Palestinians. This is a great victory for humanity, because if Chuck Hagel can allegedly speak plainly about the dystopian future of Israel-Palestine if there is no peace, then every American can do it."
If you click on Naiman's link, you will find that Graham didn't attack Hagel for his comment. This is all that Graham said about it: "Did you say this? Have you said anything similar? Does this contemporaneous email accurately reflect your views?" To me, that sounds like a question. To people who use the victim card ten times before they eat breakfast like Robert Naiman, it comes off as an attack. Can't say I'm particularly surprised about that. As for the rest of his statement, Israel's future really doesn't have anything to do with his role as America's Secretary of Defense, and your "great victory for humanity" solicits one big eye roll from me.

Also, there is no such word as "dystopian," and one of the top favorited comments on Naiman's link is "Because most of the news media is controlled by Jewish people, and they write the stories." Once again we judge him by the company that he keeps.

So at this point, Naiman is off to the races with what he calls "the A-word."
"By becoming our first Secretary of Defense to have allegedly used the A-word in talking about Israel's future, Chuck Hagel will have done the Israeli people a great service. If folks in Washington allowed themselves to make the same criticisms of the Israeli government's failure to make peace as Israeli politicians have routinely made, we could start to have a serious conversation about U.S. policy. Whether he meant to or not, Chuck Hagel has opened a door. We can all walk through it."
Sorry Robert, but Hagel is already married. Also notice how the only people who have failed to make peace are Israelis, not Palestinians or even Americans. And that's why it's different when Israeli politicians use the "A-word" to talk about the possible future of the West Bank than when people like Robert Naiman talk about it.

People like "Jewish Voice for Peace" who he cites later, use the "A-word" to describe Israel not because they want to encourage people to make peace but because they want to slander Israel and "prove" that it shouldn't exist. Like the terrorists that he supports, Naiman knows the truth about these people but doesn't share his knowledge because doing so would undermine his own argument. Of course, in reality Israel will never have an "A-word" in the West Bank because that's not what the "A-word" can ever mean, but I'll throw Naiman a bone here so we can move on.

Here comes the first strawman that I was talking about before:
"The prominent Israelis who have warned of the apartheid future of Israel have something in common: they are not Likudniks. They're Israeli leaders who want peace with the Palestinians. By pretending that Chuck Hagel isn't pro-Israel enough to be U.S. Secretary of Defense because he might have used the A-word, Lindsey Graham is saying that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak isn't pro-Israeli enough to be U.S. Secretary of Defense. Isn't that spectacularly absurd? "
No one, ever, has said that Hagel "isn't pro-Israel enough to be Secretary of Defense." Maybe Naiman thinks he is being funny, I call it being dishonest. Here is one of the most recent criticisms of Hagel, and I would you like to read it even if you don't agree. Notice how Israel is mentioned once, and the "A-word" is mentioned never. It's a classic strawman:

A: "Your criticism of Hagel is based on the fact that he allegedly said Israel was going toward apartheid?"
B: "No."
A: "Well, here are all these Israelis who think that Israel could become apartheid too!"
B: "Great. That has nothing to do with my many other criticisms of Hagel."
A: ....

I think that Naiman found that link to Ehud Barak's statement and ran off to the presses without really thinking through what he was talking about. By the way, "Just Foreign Policy" is Naiman's organization. Nothing like a little self-promotion.

Before we conclude, here is one last epic-level strawman argument as if we haven't already had enough of those:
"The hysteria about using the A-word is coming from people like Lindsey Graham, people who say that "unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel." Isn't that exactly what happened in Hagel's confirmation hearing? Lindsey Graham doesn't want to "make progress" towards peace. He wants to maintain the status quo in which Israel maintains control of the West Bank and expands Israeli settlements there, blocking Palestinian independence forever. He wants U.S. policy to be subordinate to Likud policy. And this is why Lindsey Graham doesn't want you to use the word "apartheid," because that would call attention to the fact that the Lindsey Graham agenda for the West Bank necessarily implies keeping two and a half million Palestinians in a permanent state of open incarceration, which is the antithesis of Jewish and democratic values."
I have two words for you, Rob:

Prove.

It.

Prove that Graham believes any of those things. Provide one single shred of evidence that he "wants U.S. policy to be subordinate to Liked policy," or that he wants to "expand Israeli settlements." Just because he doesn't like Hagel does not make any of the libel you have just written about him true. I say this not out of any kind of love for Lindsey Graham, but because if these lies are directed at Graham today, they will be directed at your average Jewish person tomorrow.

What happened to journalistic integrity on the Huffington Post? Why are bloggers allowed to say things that obviously aren't true as if they are facts?

Robert Naiman has proved himself to be anything but a supporter of "justice" and morality, but one would hope that he would have some time bit of honesty left. I guess even that's gone. This is your brain on Palestinian activism, ladies and gentlemen.

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