Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Two Brief Insights Into the Huffington Post

A couple small sections of the Huffington Post to note today. The first is the the "Entertainment" section, which covered a movie review of the film "Omar," which as you're probably not surprised to hear is that latest go around of the "Palestinians are victims" story. The review tried to cover in a relatively unbiased way:
"Adam Bakri is Omar, a young Palestinian baker in an occupied section of Israel who is in love with his best friend's sister, Nadia (Leem Lubany). He regularly climbs the massive isolation wall separating him from his beloved, spending his spare time hanging with pals who fashion themselves as freedom fighters. They seek ways to get some measure of revenge for, well, their whole existence as what they see as an occupied nation."
Unfortunately this is the Huffington Post, so no amount of objectivity or pandering will satisfy the desires of the readership, even the two who actually cared enough to comment on the article:

Elsewhere, the Huffington Post's "Arts and Culture" section managed to wade into politics as well, this time about a controversy over the Jewish Museum. Judith Butler was supposed to speak there but her invitation was rescinded when the Jewish Museum was reminded that she's an anti-Israel activist who supports BDS. Michael Roth, the President of Wesleyan, was speaking in the voice of "Sigmund Freud" for some unknown reason...and as you're probably not surprised to know they wanted Judith Butler to speak. In fairness, Roth was against the academic boycott of Israel, but he misconstrues the intentions behind the Jewish Museum's decision:
"That's why cultural boycotts are so debilitating -- whether it's the refusal to hear from Israeli professors or the refusal to hear from an anti-Zionist philosopher. Isolating yourself from voices with whom you might disagree is also a sign (need I say it?) of your own insecurity about the views you claim to hold so dearly. Fear of your own error is often expressed as aggression against an outsider's view."
It's kind of amazing how often even rather straight forward terms like "boycotts" and "freedom" can be contorted when it comes to these issues. The difference here is that the Jewish Museum chose not to host Butler because of what she believes. BDS believes that Israelis should not be allowed to speak because of who they are. If Butler renounced BDS, she would be welcome back, but Israelis can't stop being Israeli. Also I feel like Roth is being slightly misleading in his point about "isolation," as he himself admitted earlier in the article that Butler wouldn't be speaking about Israel but rather about Kafka. So it appears that is an unrelated point.

Although we've noticed the Huffington Post has gotten significantly less uglier over the past few weeks, articles like this do pop up every now and then and are worthy of attention.

1 comment:

  1. According to The Guardian (2/22/14), 95% of Omar's 2 million dollar budget was "entirely funded by Palestinians"; so much for their cries of poverty.

    The film's main character participated in an attack against Israeli soliders that killed one of them. This sweet story of a "freedom fighter" was nominated for an Oscar. ugh


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