Friday, April 16, 2010

MJ Rosenberg's False Dichotomy

Wow, two MJ Rosenberg articles right after each other? What a day! Anyway, the man of the hour has cranked out another article for the Huffington Post. This time he gleefully describes a "shift" in US policy toward Israel, which is not exactly breaking news. As usual for Rosenberg, though, he can't resist making obvious slip-ups and the false dichotomy mentioned in the title. Let's get started.

I won't argue with Rosenberg's conclusion that there is now more space in the US-Israel relationship, I think that's pretty obvious to anyone who follows the goings on in that respect. But midway through his article he sets up two not necessarily related bits of information: He has polls that show a majority of American Jews support the way President Obama is handling the situation and that support for the dismantling of settlements is "at an all time high." I would be curious to know why he only cited American Jews and not Americans in general. He also neglected to leave out recent polls that show all time highs of American support for Israel.

But here's where things get really interesting, when Rosenberg goes on the attack against his favorite target: The Jewish  pro-Israel lobby. He says that AIPAC has gotten quite a lot of Senators and Congressmen to sign a letter telling the White House to "ease up" (his words) on Netanyahu. Now check out this quote by Rosenberg:

"One key phrase appears in both the Senate and House letters. The Senate letter states: "Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel." The House letter demands that there be "no space between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space."
In other words, they believe President Obama should stop publicly differing with Israel on settlements or anything else. His job is to eliminate any "space" by supporting Netanyahu. Simple."
 Readers, check out the links provided above and you will see just how foolish MJ Rosenberg truly is. Both of those letters do have those quotations contained within them, but letters cite the quote to another source....Vice President Joe Biden. It was Biden who said there should be "simply no space" between the US and Israel, and therefore it was Biden who expressed Rosenberg's strawman point of view, not AIPAC. Rosenberg must have read the letters and then intentionally ignored the fact that it was a quote to slander their authors. And he clearly hoped his readers were too stupid to look at the letters themselves and check. But the fun doesn't end there.

Rosenberg then goes on to quote himself and his intentionally flawed AIPAC video, which I discussed earlier. You can look at this part in his article but really all he does is restate what he said before, intentionally ignoring the edited video and the dubious source for it. But let's conclude with his false dichotomy:

"But the battle lines are being drawn. On one side is the administration and friends of Israel who understand that the Jewish State can only be secured by an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that implements the two-state solution.
On the other are people who believe, or claim to believe, that Israel is best served by the deadly status quo. The latter group has fewer numbers but many more resources."
 Give me a freakin' break. There is no major pro-Israel group who is anti-two state solution, and if Mr. Rosenberg had been paying attention at all during his time working at AIPAC he would know it. All of us who follow this conflict know that the vast majority of people on all sides agree that an I-P agreement with a two-state solution is how this will end. Mr. Rosenberg is intentionally being dishonest that his gloomy "latter group" (aka people who don't bow to the will of Obama) doesn't want a two-state solution, when any one with the inclination and internet access will find differently. Again, he seems to be treating his readers like idiots. But then again, maybe he is just telling the Huffington Post readership exactly what they want to hear.

1 comment:

  1. More exactly, the majority of us believe no two state solution is possible in this generation because the Palestinian Arabs won't give up their dream to destroy Israel. And polls show the vast majority of them reject a two state solution if it means recognizing Israel's right to exist. That is the reality today. And one cannot make peace when only one side wants it. That is what Rosenberg and the Huffington Post readership don't want to acknowledge. So the claim Israel is not sincere about seeking peace is a completely dishonest one and does not reflect what is going on in the region.