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Note to Readers: Going against the grain of most of the Orthodox community, I've never been enamored of the Catskills – to put it mildly. "The mountains" give me the creeps; it's a deep-bred animosity that just won't go away. I'm a city boy through and through.
The recent release of yet another batch of Nixon tapes and transcripts inspired a new round of fulminations by Nixon-haters, most of whom are tellingly silent or remarkably forgiving when the misdeeds and indiscretions of other former presidents are revealed.
Apparently it was not enough that many of America’s best-known journalists disgraced themselves and their profession by portraying Barack Obama during last year’s presidential campaign as a savior-like figure come to redeem a sin-sick America. Now that the Anointed One is in a position to exercise his wise and benevolent rule from Pennsylvania Avenue, it will no longer do to cast him as a mere mortal.
The reaction to Obama’s big speech in Cairo last week broke mainly along predictable political lines. If you liked Obama before the speech, you probably liked all or most of his address; if you viewed him with any degree of wariness before, chances are he said nothing to make you change your mind.
As Israeli officials continue to warn of the unacceptability of a nuclear-armed Iran, the 28th anniversary of Israel’s June 7, 1981 attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor approaches. The world of course was outraged at Israel’s effrontery, with the usual suspects – European leaders and the liberal media – leading the way.
Every so often the Monitor feels the need to dust off its files on Pat Buchanan and remind readers why Senator Joseph Lieberman and other Washington eminences are dangerously wrong when they insist Buchanan is no anti-Semite. A column he wrote last month on John Demjanjuk provides the latest opportunity to put Buchanan in proper perspective.
It would be fair to say that the recent demonstrations in cities around the world during which Israel was likened to Nazi Germany, and Israeli soldiers to Nazi storm troopers, created a fair amount of angst among an appreciable number of Jews. But as this is hardly a new phenomenon, the surprise really lies in why so many Jews continue to be surprised.
Well, now, that didn’t take long, did it? Less than two months into Barack Obama’s presidency and the doubters are already coming out of the woodwork – among them several big-name pundits who, just an hour or two ago (or so it seems) were still in full swoon mode for the Miracle Man sent to lift and cleanse us from the hellish Bush-Cheney miasma.
A few weeks back (Feb. 27) the Monitor characterized a Feb. 23 piece by New York Times columnist Roger Cohen on Iranian Jews as reminiscent of “the naïve and insidious reporting by such legendary Times dupes as Walter Duranty and Herbert Matthews, whose whitewashing, respectively, of the Soviet Union in the 1920s and ‘30s and Fidel Castro in the 1950s will stand forever as monuments to the argument that the self-described ‘paper of record’ is often anything but.”
Mindless Jew-hatred conveniently masquerading as mere criticism of Israel is not a new phenomenon by any means, but it’s been rising to heretofore unimaginable levels in Britain – to the point where a number of left-wing British Jews have begun publicly moving away from their ideological soul mates.
New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote a piece earlier this week (“What Iran’s Jews Say,” Feb. 23) that brought to mind the naïve and insidious reporting by such legendary Times dupes as Walter Duranty and Herbert Matthews, whose whitewashing, respectively, of the Soviet Union in the 1920s and ‘30s and Fidel Castro in the 1950s will stand forever as monuments to the argument that the self-described “paper of record” is often anything but.
It took The New York Times long enough to issue a correction concerning Rashid Khalidi's Jan. 8 op-ed column. Those of you who read the Monitor’s Jan. 16 column (“What Did Moshe Yaalon Really Say?”) will recall that Khalidi, the Columbia University professor of Arab studies and Barack Obama’s longtime friend, acquaintance or friendly acquaintance (depending on whom you asked and when) cited an incendiary statement allegedly made in 2002 by former IDF chief of staff Moshe Yaalon: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”
The end of George W. Bush’s presidency coincided with the 20th anniversary of Bush’s father taking the oath of office, and it got the Monitor thinking of how one televised performance on the part of Bush Senior cemented his reputation as a president indifferent or even hostile to Israel.
An op-ed column in last Thursday’s (Jan. 8) New York Times by Columbia professor of Arab studies Rashid Khalidi, while fairly unremarkable in its boilerplate condemnation of Israel’s military operation in Gaza, ended dramatically with a citation of the following statement allegedly made in 2002 by former IDF chief of staff Moshe Yaalon: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”
The cause that for two years now has been closest to the liberal heart – the election and glorification of Barack Obama – has, of course, benefited immeasurably from the virtually uncritical coverage accorded it by the mainstream media. The weeks since Obama’s election have been a period of celebration and self-satisfaction for liberal journalists who barely even attempt to conceal their bias anymore.
(A) Name the high-profile Democratic strategist and former White House deputy chief of staff who said the following about President-elect Obama’s economic team: “He’s generally surrounded himself with intelligent, mainstream advisers. Investors, workers and business owners can only hope that, over time, this new administration's economic policies bear more of their market-oriented imprint.”
The Monitor supported John McCain in the presidential campaign just concluded, and given the opportunity would do so again. Having said that, anyone who wasn't profoundly moved by Barack Obama’s victory rally and speech last week has to be either emotionally dead or devoid of any appreciation of just how historic a moment it was.
It’s difficult to say which member of the mainstream media has shamed him- or herself most in terms of pure self-abasement at the feet of the idol Obama. We are, after all, talking about a cast of name-brand reporters, analysts and opinion columnists (are such distinctions even relevant anymore?) probably numbering in the hundreds.