Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stuff People Think they Know

Todd Gitlin and Liel Liebowitz thought they knew about the concept of the Chosen People, and even set out to write a book about it. Moving from their uninformed stereotypes into being informed made them change their minds dramatically: which they're eager to admit. The book, by the way, is here The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election.

J-Street tried to convince everyone their donors were lots of run-of-the-mill well-meaning American Jew. Alas, this seems not to have been true at any point in time. There was a lot of excitement in the blogoshpere about this over the weekend; I'm sending you to FresnoZionism because he seems to have done the deepest digging into who is supporting them. It's pretty weird.

The Huffington Post would have you believe that Israeli settlements cover 42% of the West Bank, a statement which is patently false to anyone who's ever been there, but is also contradicted by their own article. Is it possible someone made a dishonest editorial decision when formulating a headline? At a respectable news outlet?


Anonymous said...

there is no respectable news outlet left that I know of, except those which unabashedly confess to their bias like Latma TV - their latest on Churchill is really sweet.

as to the wannabe objective ones I've long switched to concentrate on individual writers, at least with them I can usually tell whether it is evil intent or honest mistake. i.e. whether they are foaming at the mouth or - like me - trying to find their way amidst a lot of confusing stuff.


NormanF said...

One has to wonder why people building homes in their own communities need someone's else permission to do so.

Why is this regarded as a threat to peace?

Ya'acov knows not a single Arab is being deprived of their home, harmed in anyway or having their aspirations threatened by Jews sharing the country with them.

The truth is the more Jews that move into Yesha will eventually convince the Palestinian Arabs the Jews are there to stay.

When that happens, one day peace will really be possible. The Arabs have to learn to share the land with the Jews. There is no other solution.

They are not yet at the point where they will do so. That depends on how steadfast and determined Jews are to cling to their land until the Arabs decide they love their children more than they hate the Jews. That day has yet to come.

Anonymous said...

as to the subject of respectable and news

I remember when Peter Beinart published his NYRb-essay everybody treated him as if he were taken to be serious thinker.

here is David Rieff whom I've begun to like recently, reviewing Beinart's two books - interesting read and quite supportive of my keeping up the emperor is naked vigil based on a Miss Marple world view.
Beinart’s sound bite masquerading as a thesis . . . oh dear, here comes an Icarus metaphor; I can’t help myself . . . melts in the sun and crashes to the ground.
- Silke

Punditry at the Drive-Thru

Barry Meislin said...

"Patently false...."

But since it's what we so dearly wish to believe---and have even talked ourselves into believing---it must, therefore, be true.

Samsung said...

How about doing a post on the settlements?

Barry Meislin said...


Given the precedent of Gaza (and S. Lebanon to some extent---though, of course, there were no settlements to dismantle) settlements are:

1. Helping Abbas and his merry band of self-righteous goons stay in power (while enabling the West to fund the West Bank so that it can continue to develop economically); and
2. Preventing the West Bank from turning into Gaza (with all the wondrous joys that that entails); and
3. Preventing most of Israel from turning into Sderot (along with the rather obvious consequences of that occurring).

I suspect that the real tragedy of the settlements---for many, alas---is that their existence prevents Palestinians from shelling most of Israel most of the a prelude to....

Such virtuous individuals should cheer up, however, since the noose around Israel is growing tighter and tighter. Patience, comrades!....

Anonymous said...


could it be that the "world" is so interested in Israel's "settlements" in the West-Bank because there are lots of other settlements all over the world, different in style and in substance, but undesirable by any decent even slightly bleeding heart's standard that they are powerless to do anything about. Emanuele Ottolenghi highlights one which to top it all the panting for martyrdom do-gooders have no qualms using as base to start harassing Israel once again

It is a common human feature that in order to keep up one's mirage of a decent courageous person that one hides one's helplessness in attacking a too powerful foe from oneself by picking on the most vulnerable one can find.


Lee Ratner said...

Yaacov, I wouldn't necessarily call the Huffington Post, a respectable news outlet. What they really are is a tabloid and like all tabloid, they go for scandal and sensation to attract people. Usually, they have several contradictory articles on the same day on all sorts of topics. Besides having nonsense articles like this, they will also have very pro-Israel articles and editorials. Same for many other topics. It generates hits, which generate revenue.