Monday, April 12, 2010

Jared Malsin Finds a Home on the Huffington Post

Jared Malsin is an American and former editor of the English edition of Ma'an News, a Palestinian media service. However, that ended when he was deported from Israel in January. Why? Well, according to Ynet Israel's Interior Ministry decided to expel him when he was uncooperative with security officials after returning from his trip to Prague. Other sources claim that he made a deal with Israel and chose to leave the country to avoid a prison sentence.

Anyway, he has now found a new place to write his anti-Israel screeds, the Huffington Post. And I'm sure they are glad to have him. Apparently between MJ Rosenberg, Sharmine Narwani, Daoud Kutabb, Mya Guarnieri, Ali Abunimah, Richard Greener and Jerome Slater, there just isn't enough anti-Israel views on the Huffington Post. They really needed one more. For balance.

Malsin's debut article is "Does Israel's Crackdown on Journalists Suggest a 'Crisis of Legitimacy?'" At this point it is mostly what we have some to expect from the Huffington Posts' blogger stable. Click the link below to continue.

Malsin starts his article by telling his story of deportation and interrogation, choosing to leave out any possibilities about why Israel might want to deport him. The Israelis are portrayed as faceless villains who deprive Malsin of his "rights," and of course we are expected to take him at his word. Considering Malsin's blatantly partisan views, and considering that he is basically a Palestinian PR man, I hope no one will hold it against me if I take his story with a grain of salt. Though of course, the Huffington Post talkbackers believed it unquestionably.

When he finished, he then moves on to the Anat Kam case. Yaacov Lozowick has all the information you could need about this circumstances, but needless to say, Kam stole military information, which put soldiers at risk. In any nation that would be a crime, and even though outsiders may ascribe high-minded ideas to Kam, others who know her think she was looking for a quick rise to fame.

The journalist at Ha'aretz, Uri Blau, is currently in London because he thinks he will be arrested should he go back. According to Malsin it is implied that this is because he broke a story that Israel's government didn't want broken. According to Lozowick, this is because he agreed to return all 2000 stolen documents, but only returned 50. When Israel's government wanted the rest, he scrammed for Britain, and his lawyers still won't give the documents back. So not only did Blau break the law, but he fled from his own commitments. Again, Malsin can't be bothered to mention this.

As his article continues, Malsin seems to agree with historian Avner Cohen (who he interviews) that Israel principally went after Blau because they wanted to cover up what he had found. I think this point of view has merit: It wouldn't be the first time a government did something wrong and didn't want it getting out, nor the first time Israel did such a thing either. Most of Malsin's second half of his article is dedicated to pointing out examples of Blau's work.

He finishes with the staple of anti-Israel editorializing: That the current story spells doom and gloom for Israel and its democracy. He doesn't say anything himself, but instead quotes Avner Cohen again, pontificating about that Israel is undergoing a "crisis of legitimacy" post-Goldstone. It is all makes for very interesting philosophizing, which the Huffington Posters are more than willing to do so, but it lacks any kind of hard facts to back up. There is a lot of "thinks" in the article. And for the kind of accusations that Malsin is making, that's not enough.

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