Thursday, December 12, 2013

HuffPost Continues to Milk Mandela Funeral Story

The Huffington Post couldn't get enough attacks on Netanyahu in the wake of Nelson Mandela's death, and so they have called up Shai Franklin in order to wring some more blood from that stone. Before we get into the article, I must note that the Presidents of the Czech Republic and Turkey also did not go to Mandela's funeral and never even bothered to give a reason. But you know the Huffington Post and other mainstream media will not be bothering to say anything about that. Anyway, here's Franklin:
"Perhaps Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a very valid and truly compelling reason for canceling his participation in the memorial for the late Nelson Mandela. If so, then I look forward to learning of so unlikely a situation. Until that time, as a pro-Israel Jew, I shall remain deeply ashamed."
Netanyahu's office said that he had some under fire for spending too much and so the 7 million shekel price tag for going to Mandela's was "too expensive." The Huffington Post did cover that story to the joy of the Israel haters. It's likely that Franklin doesn't consider that to be a "very valid and truly compelling reason." Neither for that matter do I, but he could at least have mentioned right away instead of waiting until three quarters down the page.

The rest of the article is just Franklin raking Netanyahu and Israel over the coals in various ways, which I think is legitimate. What I'm less sure is legitimate is that he exaggerates the importance of Netanyahu going to the funeral:
"Even if Israel doubles its entire PR budget for next year, it may not be able to compensate for the damage this absence will inflict on its image or the potential gains it forgoes. The value added would have gone far beyond PR to include whispered insights, diplomatic opportunities, bilateral ties, and outreach to -- and on behalf of -- South Africa's often isolated Jewish community.Above all, this is a moral moment on the world stage, when Israel and the Jewish people deserved to be represented and led toward the greater good. If Netanyahu really harbors some secret reason why he could not travel to South Africa this week, let's hope it was worth it, because the costs are painfully evident."
Going to Nelson Mandela's funeral is hardly a "moral moment on the world stage." According to the Huffington Post, around 60 world leaders are attending a memorial service for Mandela, which sounds like a lot but that means 130 world leaders are not attending, including the ones I mentioned above. Netanyahu not going is bad, I would certainly agree about that, but I am skeptical that it will have these far reaction consequences that Franklin attributes to it.

Anyway, the Huffington Post readers proved that hatred for Israel is not limited to anything Netanyahu does or doesn't do:

Maybe Franklin can explain to them whether their comments are anti-Semitic or not, and if so how to change them so they don't come off that way.

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