Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Clarence Jones Swings and Misses

Huffington Post blogger Clarence Jones has written an op ed on the HP's most favorite topic of late: President Obama's trip to Israel. He mostly just repeats what other people have said about the trip, and the facts of the trip, but when he does have to share an opinion, he gets it wrong. Let's take a look.

Jones leads off by lamenting "flat earthers" when it comes to this conflict, people that don't realize the obvious:
"How else to explain the failure to acknowledge that the continued occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands and the failure by the Palestinians to recognize Israel as "a Jewish state" are THE principal obstacles to a negotiated two-state solution to the dispute."
While I appreciate Jones' attempt at even handedness, there is only one principal obstacle to a negotiated two state solution, and that is the failure by "the Palestinians" to recognize Israel, period. Not the occupation, not recognition of Israel as "a Jewish state," just the failure of the Palestinians to accept anything other than Palestine "from the river to the sea."

Here's when the lies start (emphasis added by me):
 "In his speech in Cairo in 2009, presumably addressing the Muslim world, newly elected President Obama said in referring to the then construction of "Jewish settlements" that such "construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop."
In his public remarks during this trip to Israel he never used the word "settlements.""
 Well, then, it must have been some other President Obama who said in a joint news conference with Abbas during his trip to Israel that Israeli settlements did not "advance the cause of peace" and that "the settlement issue will be resolved." Eh, I'm sure Mr. Jones couldn't be bothered to type in "obama settlements" into Google just to make sure he's telling the truth. Oops.

But no time to delve into that one further, because here comes another lie (again, emphasis added by me):
"Such is the case with Obama's trip to Israel. It was a remarkable and courageous exercise of needed presidential leadership. Notwithstanding, his failure to publicly challenge the legitimacy of continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repeating a call to halt settlements during his first term as president, his remarks in Israel on these issues were nothing less than historic and remarkable."
Mr. Jones is accusing President Obama of falling to "repeat a call to halt settlements during his first term," if I read this paragraph correctly. Well, Obama was elected in 2008, and here's the Washington Post reporting that President Obama in May 2009 told "reporters after a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that Israel must halt all settlement activity to build momentum for peace." So what's Mr. Jones complaining about? That President Obama didn't call to halt settlements "repeatedly"? As if. More likely he didn't bother to check Google again to see if President Obama ever called for a settlement freeze. Lie #2.

Jones then quotes other people commenting on Obama's speech and conclude, bizarrely, with an anti-gun message.
"How can those of us who were active in and remember the civil rights movement ever forget that the cornerstone of our success in transforming the United States on the issue of racial segregation under Dr. King's leadership was the coalition of participation and support we received from Jewish communities across our nation.
How I wish we could reconstitute that coalition as we face one of the most serious current internal threats to our nation, such as the continued 24/7 gun violence occurring in so many of our communities. A tidal wave of such a national coalition is NOW needed URGENTLY to halt the continued deaths from the irresponsible use of guns in our country!"

I think Mr. Jones badly needs an editor. But the Huffington Post will publish him, half truths and all.

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