Zogby is writing about the nomination of Chuck Hagel and basically war whooping that Hagel was confirmed as Secretary of Defense (which seems like an odd thing to do, if Hagel is as pro-Israel as he said he was during the Senate hearings). He claims that he has known Hagel for "years" and "respects him and his insights". But Zogby was distressed about something that happened during the vetting process for Hagel, and now he's going to write about it (emphasis added by me):
"Some right-wing groups demanded that we produce copies of his speeches and asked for our IRS filings. Republicans put his confirmation on hold while the search for new Hagel speeches continued looking for signs that he had made more "anti-Israel" comments -- proving a pattern of bias. New allegations were made about his ties to "Arabs" and possible "Arab funding." All of this was nothing more than a "witch hunt" -- McCarthyism at its worst."Allegations about where Hagel's funding is coming from? Accusations of bias? Ties to ethnic groups? Wow, that sounds like literally any MJ Rosenberg article about any US politician and "the Israel lobby!"
Palestinian groups keep track of AIPAC campaign contributions and closely monitor which politicians speak at AIPAC events. They accuse Jews of controlling the US government on a daily basis!
But when the same questions are asked to Mr. Chuck Hagel, suddenly here comes James Zogby to declare it "a witch hunt" and "Arab-baiting!" Where have you been, Mr. Zogby, in the years since Walt and Mearsheimer published The Israel Lobby? Why didn't you accuse them of "Jew baiting"?
Zogby continues on in his essay with other examples of "Arab-baiting" such as politicians accepting campaign contributions from Arab American groups and subsequently criticized. Again, the irony is palpable.
Then, Zogby deliberately deceives his readership, hardly a first for him:
"Just last year, when Arab Americans in New Jersey rallied to reelect Congressman Bill Pascrell, a pro-Israel group attempted to make our support an issuing an ominous warning about Arab Americans becoming politically involved! "There's some kind of typo here so I don't completely understand what Zogby is saying. I couldn't find any warning about "Arab Americans becoming politically involved" and Zogby doesn't link to it (of course), but here's what I did find, thanks to Wikipedia:
"Rothman [Pascrell's opponent in the House race]'s candidacy in the 2012 primary race reportedly devolved into a highly competitive proxy war over Israel, between the state’s pro-Israel community and a growing constituency of Arab voters who have accused a sitting congressman of putting Israel’s interests before America’s. Aref Assaf, president of the New Jersey-based American Arab Forum, published a column in the Newark Star Ledger titled, “Rothman is Israel’s Man in District 9” in which he wrote:
“As total and blind support becomes the only reason for choosing Rothman, voters who do not view the elections in this prism will need to take notice. Loyalty to a foreign flag is not loyalty to America’s [flag].""What do you know? One of Zogby's precious politically active Arabs is attacking a Jewish Congressman and accusing him of dual loyalty, one of the oldest anti-Semitic myths in the book! Funny how Zogby couldn't be bothered to mention that little fact, especially in light of him complaining about Arabs being accused of influencing candidates earlier in his essay. And by funny, I mean incredibly dishonest and hypocritical. Even if this unnamed pro-Israel group did warn about Arabs being politically involved, if Mr. Assaf is an example of the kind of discourse Arab Americans will bring to the political process, I can't say I blame the pro-Israel group for being concerned.
Zogby then offers a couple of examples of people being nice to Arab Americans, such as President Clinton and Al Gore, and wraps up with this:
"But what the attacks on Hagel demonstrated was that "Arab-baiting" is, at least in some quarters, still alive. We can be proud of the fact that that Hagel wouldn't distance himself from our community. And we have every right to feel vindicated by his confirmation. But while we can hope that this might spell the end of these types of attacks, sadly, we know better. Our opponents have been beaten, but have not been chastened. And we know that there are other still other less courageous politicians out there who will look at this entire affair and learn the wrong lessons. When asked to sign the kinds of "stupid letters" that Chuck Hagel objected to, they will decide that it probably isn't worth it to object. And when invited to engage with Arab Americans they will look at the attacks on Hagel and they will decline.
We won a battle, but the struggle for respect and inclusion, and for a sane and honest discussion of American foreign policy lives on. We still have much work to do."The hypocrisy is enough to make you puke.