Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chase Madar and the Return of "My Tax Dollars" (Part 1)

One of the most common refrains we see among anti-Zionists is whining about "my tax dollars," as we have commented on many times before. A lot of Huffington Post bloggers, having found nothing else to complain about regarding Israel, have gone to the well of US aid to Israel before. Steven Strauss, John Feffer, Josh Reubner, and Alison Ramer are some examples, and those are just what I found in a few minutes of searching. So now Huffington Post blogger Chase Madar is here to go down that well traveled road yet again, much to the cheers of the readership. And obviously it goes without saying that no amount of aid given to Egypt will be mentioned in this article. I just wanted to say that up front to prevent myself from repeating it.

So anyway, after pointing out that Israel doesn't need the aid, Madar goes on to prove that Israel shouldn't exist:
"Consider also that this top recipient of such aid -- nearly all of it military since 2008 -- has been busily engaged in what looks like a nineteenth-century-style colonization project. In the late 1940s, our beneficiary expelled some 700,000 indigenous people from the land it was claiming...."
It continues in that vein: Arabs never lifted a finger to harm a single Jew. Israel just randomly attacks Arabs and steals their land, first in 1948 and then in 1967....all of which happened before significant American aid began, I might add. Then they built a "wall" not to stop suicide bombings, that was just a happy side effect. Even by Huffington Post standards, this rewrite of history is jaw dropping in its blatant dishonesty. Madar has no excuse not to know the history, which means he is simply lying to his audience in pursuit of his agenda. I think it's quite remarkable than just explaining why American aid to Israel isn't in American interests without demonizing Israel isn't in the cards. It just goes to show the difference between criticism of Israel's policies and a desire to destroy it. I wonder if one were to ask Madar what his goal toward Israel was, if he would share. Anyway the "ethnic cleansing" accusation resumes.
"“Ethnic cleansing” is a harsh term, but apt for a situation in which people are driven out of their homes and lands because they are not of the right tribe. Though many will balk at leveling this charge against Israel -- for that country is, of course, the top recipient of American aid and especially military largesse -- who would hesitate to use the term if, in a mirror-image world, all of this were being inflicted on Israeli Jews?"
If Israeli Jews attacked their neighbors in a genocidal war, and then fled their homes to avoid being killed in the war that they started, people like the Huffington Post blogger stable (including Madar) would be the first in line to say they are reaping what they sowed. That's how hatred works.

The Palestinians were not driven out of their homes and lands, most of them fled. And those who were expelled were expelled because of the war that was under way, not because they were Arabs. People like Madar will never answer the question of why, if Israel wanted to ethnically cleanse Arabs from their country, there are 1.2 million living there right now. It isn't ethnic cleansing if you do it halfway. I also like how Israel receiving American military aid is shoved in their. What does that have to do with the charge of "ethnic cleansing?" I imagine that this has to do with the radical leftist politics that are so beloved by the Huffington Post: anyone who is related to America must be evil, and who cares whether or not it is true.

Finally, Madar gets to the actual point which is American aid to Israel, which he calls a "terrible policy." It goes without saying that no counter argument is presented in his supremely long article. He rehashes a lot of what we already know, shocked that a whole 25% of the aid is allowed to be spent in Israel. Then he sets up a tidy little strawman article:
"Why is Washington doing this? The most common answer is the simplest: Israel is Washington’s “ally.” But the United States has dozens of allies around the world, none of which are subsidized in anything like this fashion by American taxpayer dollars. As there is no formal treaty alliance between the two nations and given the lopsided nature of the costs and benefits of this relationship, a far more accurate term for Israel’s tie to Washington might be “client state.” 
America and Israel are allies. In 1987 Israel was designed a major non-NATO ally.  I guess Madar couldn't be bothered to do the research on that. And if he really wants to know why America gives Israel aid, Michael Oren wrote an article on that very subject. But I imagine that Madar isn't so willing to read people who say things he doesn't want to hear either.

At this point he whines that Israel is an "ungrateful client" because they "colonize Palestinian territory" when Americans come to visit. A pretty good example of a single standard: Madar implies that no other American ally or recipient of aid ever does anything that the American government or people don't like. This is a joke of course, you'd have trouble finding an American ally that was more loyal than Israel. Just look at UN voting records. But Madar has the blinders up. I'm sure he would justify this by claiming that his article is about Israel, not anyone else.

Except that's also wrong, because aid to the Palestinians is mentioned in the next paragraph. Madar is quick to tack on the qualifiers though: Palestinians only get "a little more than a quarter of what Israel gets,"
 while giving America nothing in return for it. American-funded projects don't count because the eeeevil Israelis just destroy them, and the PA security forces that America props up abuse human rights (gasp!) and besides they just work for Israel anyway. We know that because Josh Reubner told him. Another impartial Huffington Post favorite.


So that was all just the first sentence. At this point Madar gets to the favorite talking point of the anti-Israel propagandist, the body counting argument:
"Nothing is equal when it comes to Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip -- and the numbers say it all. To offer just one example, the death toll from Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 2008-2009 assault on the Gaza Strip, was 1,385 Palestinians (the majority of them civilians) and 13 Israelis, three of them civilians. And yet mainstream opinion in the U.S. insists on seeing the two parties as essentially equal."
To which I bring the usual counter arguments. Which would make Chase Madar happier: more dead Israelis or fewer dead Palestinians? If he wants fewer dead Palestinians, he should join with me in calling for peace instead of whining about US aid to Israel. If he wants more dead Israelis, all I can say is that in that case the Huffington Post is the perfect place for him,.

Second, mainstream opinion in the US sees the two parties as essentially equal...in terms of responsibility for making peace. I don't think your average American thinks that Israel and the Palestinians have equal amounts of military strength. I feel that Madar would insist that the two sides shouldn't be expected to make peace equally. Even though Israel is so much stronger they have to convince the Palestinians to make peace...because somehow that makes sense.

Madar then attacks the US in ways that make you practically hear the disgust for it dripping through the pages. He claims that Americans believe themselves to be a "benevolent bystander." Americans aren't as stupid as the Huffington Post blogsophere likes to think they are, Chase. It's just an uncomfortable truth that no one else is able and willing to arbitrate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. So like or not, and I know you won't, it's America or no one. And you can complain on the Huffington Post for the rest of your life, but ending US aid to Israel won't lead to peace. Oh yeah, I bet you all forgot that that was what the article was supposed to be about. Seems like Madar is taking a page from the BDS playbook: use a legitimate issue to get your foot in the door and just start propagandizing.

Madar then goes after the media, accusing them of covering all this up and "treating our arming of Israel as part of the natural order of the universe, as beyond question as the force of gravity." Since when it is the mainstream media's job to whine about US aid to Israel? Madar has reached into the BDS playbook again: if conversations have been had on a subject and reached a conclusion that he doesn't like, then therefore the conversation must not have happened to his satisfaction and must be had again. The Michael Oren article I mentioned earlier was in Foreign Policy, and let's not forget the Huffington Post is technically part of the "media" as well. It's not the media's responsibility to push your stilted political agenda, Chase. Sorry.

Let's continue in part 2.

2 comments:

  1. It's the not dumbest part of this tripe-y article, but I do love the HP/Hard Left point that still insists the majority of Palestinian casualties during Cast Lead were "civilians." To give a very small but genuine amount of credit, many HP acolytes slunk away from this claim when the post-conflict facts came out (esp. on two major points: that the overwhelming majority of the dead P's were adult males, who comprised the majority of combatans in that conflict as they tend to in all conflicts, and that many of the civilians claimed by Hamas turned out to be Hamas militants who had civilian "cover" by taking on fake policeman positions). To give an asshole like Chase no credit, he seems to have done as little homework on this matter as in the rest of his garbage dump of an article.

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  2. Another turned out over night 'expert' HP blogger on the Israel- Pal'n conflict. These anti Zionist BDS huggers / HP bloggers which are proliferating at high rate on HP is reason I have stopped reading HP. It's becoming the leading propaganda site for Israel hate and in process attempting to make anti Zionism palatable to the masses. As long as an ideologue author/blogger can link to any one source or author to support their confirmation bias and fringe distorted views this slippery slope of false conclusions usually including conspiracy theories & historical revisionism will be utilized to forward a mendacious campaign based on disinformation couched as human rights activism.

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