Monday, March 15, 2010

"According to Jews I Speak With..."

Do you have an anti-Israel viewpoint? Do you have no objection to stereotyping large groups of people? Are you willing to take anecdotal evidence and apply it universally? And do you need a platform for your "journalism"? If so, the Huffington Post has a deal for you!

Paul Rosenthal has taken the killer deal described above and written in to the Huffington Post about the state of American-Israeli relations. Mr. Rosenthal, hailing from the same career path as our current President in his profession as "community activist", initially presents a relatively moderate summary of the history of the I/P conflict. As the article goes on, though, it starts to go off the rails. You may think I'm taking the following quotes out of context, so I invite you to go read the article yourself and see the quotes among the greater article.

"According to Jews I speak with, peace with the Palestinians is impossible -- "all Arabs can't be trusted, Hamas is going to keep launching missiles, and the Palestinians in the West Bank aren't much better than Hamas," they say. To claim that a secure, just, and lasting peace is possible calls into question my bona fides as a Jew and Israel-supporter, especially when I suggest that not just the Palestinians need to be pushed towards peace, but the Israelis as well."

Yes, according to Mr. Rosenthal's anecdotal evidence, American Jews are racist against Arabs and will question the loyalty of anyone who disagrees with them. Rosenthal presents himself as the lone voice of reason in the crowd of extremism, the one guy who can see in the land of the blind. His message is being criticized, therefore he must be right. 

Rosenthal then tells us something we all should know, in a hyperbolic fashion that a fifth-grade schoolteacher would have told him to cease:

"American Jewish leaders never criticize Israel's government when it is wrong, even when Israeli leaders give in to anger and arrogantly bite the open hand of their best friend the United States. "

Apparently, American Jewish leaders never criticize Israel, even when Israel goes so far as to not do what the U.S. wants. Never ever. Never ever ever. 

I'm not sure why Mr. Rosenthal has no problem making value judgments about big groups of people, even his own. He doesn't even attempt to moderate his comments with statements like "Obviously not all Jews feel this way" or "Of course, Israel is criticized sometimes in the United States". Especially on the Huffington Post, it seems like when HP bloggers are allowed to post sweeping generalizations, it could serve as encouragement for the true anti-Semites who we know lurk on the boards of the HP. If Paul Rosenthal can say Jews are racists and never criticize Israel, why can't I as an anonymous poster say Jews control the media and are to blame for the Iraq war?

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