Sometimes it astounds me the extent to which a progressive “journalist” will go to spin stories in their direction, thus putting politics before serving the readers. Sometimes it astounds me the extent to which a progressive Jew will go to promote their favorite politicians thus putting politics before either their home country, America or the Jewish people.
In his latest column in the paper he publishes, Gary Rosenblatt of the Jewish Week astounded me times two, as he talked about the disastrous ADL/Abe Foxman request for Jews to avoid criticizing the POTUS and warned that if American Jews upset President Obama, he might be really bad toward Israel in a second term.
Case in point: There are no more savvy experts on the mood and politics of the American Jewish community than Abe Foxman and David Harris, professional heads of the ADL and American Jewish Committee, respectively, our two leading mainstream national Jewish defense organizations.
But Foxman and Harris seem to have been caught off guard last month by the sharp criticism of their joint National Pledge for Unity on Israel, which they no doubt thought would be widely accepted in the Jewish community — a kind of motherhood-and-apple-pie affirmation of the ongoing power, and need, for bipartisan support in Washington for the Jewish state.
The outcries over the unity pledge, particularly on the right, have underscored just how fractured political activists in our community are over Israel. More specifically, the issue speaks to the debate over the wisdom of criticizing the Obama administration, and especially the president himself, as being Israel’s adversary as he seeks re-election.
Things need to be put in context. In this column a progressive publisher, is supporting a progressive advocate who is supporting a progressive president while not admitting to their political bias, which is a disservice to the readers, in the case of the Jewish Week and the donors in the case of the ADL.
As I pointed out when the “shut up pledge” was first published, Abe Foxman has been running the ADL as his own personal progressive activist group. Indeed the organization spends as much time promoting progressive social issues such as abortion and illegal immigration as it does Jewish issues. So of course Abe will do just about anything he can to get his progressive prophet re-elected.
As for Gary Rosenblatt and his Jewish Week, the paper could be much more profitable if most of the reporters were fired and replaced with press releases from Media Matters, J Street, the DNC, and the Obama White House. And the best part of it all the readers wouldn’t be able to detect anything different. (In the interest of full disclosure, let me remind you that I am a columnist for a competitive paper, The Jewish Star.)
In supposedly “pure news” articles, the Jewish Week shows its bias by only interviewing people with a progressive perspective, trashing the tea party as dangerous, white-washing the Antisemitism of the Occupy movement, criticizing Jews who disagree with Obama, calling people who fight jihad in America “McCarthyists,” supporting the socialist “Jewish Funds for Justice” in its George Soros-directed attacks on Glenn Beck, and much,much,more. With the exception of one reporter by the name of Stewart Ain, every writer for the paper displays a very strong progressive/liberal bias in their writing, whether the story is about politics in the US or Israel. And like most progressives, the paper always finds a way to criticize those who are most observant, which is strange because Rosenblatt is a graduate of Yeshiva University.
In his column Rosenblatt supports Foxman and threatens that if the Jews upset Obama, he might take his revenge out on Israel.
… Responding to widespread criticism from the right [Rosenblatt incorrectly assumes that only people on the right are displeased with Obama on Israel] , the AJC’s Harris posted a blog that made the distinction between “slash and burn” partisanship, where the goal is to attack one’s political enemy, and pro-Israel advocacy, which is grounded in “the here and now,” irrespective of which political party is in and which is out. And the ADL’s Foxman issued a follow-up statement saying that some had distorted the idea behind the pledge [I fact-check Foxman’s defense of the pledge here}
He said the original premise was not to discourage debate but a plea “to avoid harsh and personal rhetoric or tactics in the form of attacks on political opponents’ positions on Israel.”
Obama has already been described as the worst president ever for Israel, and an enemy of the Jewish state.
…What Harris and Foxman didn’t say, but what is surely on the mind of mainstream [liberal] pro-Israel groups, is that if Obama is re-elected next year, he will be free to carry out foreign policy initiatives in a second term, without political constraints. So it behooves the American Jewish community to be on good terms with him rather than burn its bridges in seeking his defeat.
Here also Rosenblatt is being political rather than honest. Before the 2008 election many Jews predicted that Obama would be awful to Israel, based on previous statements, actions and who his advisers were. The progressive publisher is failing to acknowledge that Obama’s anti-Israel presidency proceeded as many of us warned.
Rather than Rosenblatt’s don’t piss off the POTUS scenario allow me to offer a more logical one. Barack Obama has a long history of anti-Israel positions and advisers, except for a brief time in 2008 when it looked as though he might have problems with the Jewish vote. Ignoring the warnings Jewish voter support was extremely high (78%) and he receive the bulk of Jewish presidential campaign donations.
Despite all of this support, Obama has been the worst president for Israel in American history, worse than Carter and worse than George H.W. Bush. All this time he knew he would need Jewish support in 2012. So does it really matter whether he gets the support or not? If he was so lousy when he needed the supporters of Israel, if re-elected he will be even worse as he needs no one. That why supporters of Israel should be campaigning hard to make sure that Barack Obama is not re-elected, because whether he likes the Jews or not, he is bound to be worse than he was during the first four years.
I would invite Rosenblatt to take a look at the economy, and what has undoubtedly happened to the Jewish Week’s ad pages. Part of the reason for the downturn may be that the Jewish Star hired a new political columnist eleven months ago, but more likely reason is that Barack Obama has not been good to the economy. This too may get even worse during a second term as the president will no longer have to make voters happy.
But none of this matters to people like Gary Rosenblatt. Honesty with readers may be part of Journalistic ethics, but as we have learned so many times with the progressive media, journalistic ethics are not very important.
What Rosenblatt does not understand is unlike him and his buddy Abe Foxman, I cannot be silent because I don’t do this for fame or recognition but I do this for my kids and (God willing) one day my grand-kids. I do this for the future of the U.S. and the future of the Jewish people. Jewish progressives who walk blindly behind this anti-Israel President damn both America and the Jewish people with their silence. But you won’t be able to keep people like me silent. We will speak out against your lies and appeasement.
As Brutus told Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,
You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am armed so strong in honesty
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not.
May Jewish Americans continue to recognize people like Gary Rosenblatt and Abe Foxman are false prophets, out for themselves only. May we speak out in increasing numbers against a president whose domestic policies are destroying our home — the land of the free, and whose foreign policy is harming the holy land of our forefathers.