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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Open Zion’

Peter Beinart’s Cocoon

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

In the New York Review of Books, Peter Beinart is upset that the organized American Jewish community doesn’t invite Palestinian Arabs to speak at their events. He believes that American Jews don’t give enough empathy to Palestinian Arabs.

For the most part, Palestinians do not speak in American synagogues or write in the Jewish press. The organization Birthright, which since 1999 has taken almost 350,000 young Diaspora Jews—mostly Americans—to visit Israel, does not venture to Palestinian towns and cities in the West Bank. Of the more than two hundred advertised speakers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) 2013 Policy Conference, two were Palestinians. By American Jewish standards, that’s high. The American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum earlier this year, which advertised sixty-four speakers, did not include a single Palestinian.

…Guidelines like Hillel’s—which codify the de facto restrictions that exist in many establishment American Jewish groups—make the organized American Jewish community a closed intellectual space, isolated from the experiences and perspectives of roughly half the people under Israeli control. And the result is that American Jewish leaders, even those who harbor no animosity toward Palestinians, know little about the reality of their lives.

Beinart grudgingly admits:

This lack of familiarity with Palestinian life also inclines many in the organized American Jewish world to assume that Palestinian anger toward Israel must be a product solely of Palestinian pathology. Rare is the American Jewish discussion of Israel that does not include some reference to the textbooks and television programs that “teach Palestinians to hate.” These charges have some merit. Palestinian schools and media do traffic in anti-Semitism and promote violence.

But:

Still, what’s often glaringly absent from the American Jewish discussion of Palestinian hatred is any recognition that some of it might stem not from what Palestinians read or hear about the Jewish state, but from the way they interact with it in their daily lives.

Beinart is at least as guilty of willful blindness as the American Jewish establishment he is insulting. His “Open Zion” site all but ignores the Palestinian Arab hate and antisemitism, just as he attempts to minimize it and contextualize it here as a natural result of things Israelis did. He says that most terror attacks are the result of anger at Israeli actions from the first intifada, without mentioning who started the first intifada. No doubt Israel’s initial reaction was more severe than would be acceptable today, but at the time Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza would travel freely to pre-1967 Israel and Israelis would visit freely to Arab areas, without fear.

The restrictions that Beinart is so upset about today came because of Palestinian Arab terror, not the other way around.

Moreover, while Beinart talks about checkpoints that exist today, what does he think would happen if a two-state solution that he so passionately supports would occur? They wouldn’t be checkpoints – there would be national borders. Try commuting to another country every day, let alone an enemy country, and see how painless it is.

American Jewish leaders have access to The New York Times, the BBC, the Guardian and, yes, Open Zion. Jewish Americans read Thomas Friedman and Roger Cohen. The idea that they somehow live in a pro-Likud bubble is ridiculous. They know far more about Palestinian Arab claims and grievances than readers of Open Zion know about the day to day incitement against Israel and Jews in Palestinian Arab lives – not just “textbooks and television programs” but virtually every newspaper, every school, every media.

This is the stuff I expose along with MEMRI, Palestinian Media Watch and others.

Beinart would like to pretend that we cherry pick the worst examples. To an extent that is true. That’s how the media works – to show the worst in order to illuminate the facts – something Beinart is doing in this very essay.

However, as someone who reads quite a bit of Arabic media daily, I can assure Beinart and my readers that the hate isn’t an anomaly, while people like Salam Fayyad are the silent majority. No – within the “cocoon” of Palestinian Arab life, there is zero tolerance for any viewpoint that is the least bit conciliatory to real coexistence and peace. The hate is pervasive, not anomalous. Anyone who would speak to an American Jewish organization would, by that very fact, lose all legitimacy from their own people.

Anthony Weiner Occupies ‘Open Zion’ (Video)

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Israel does not “occupy” Judea and Samaria, New York City candidate for mayor Anthony Weiner told a questioner Wednesday night.

Describing Weiner as a “notoriously anti-Palestinian politician,” the Daily Beast’s Open Zion senior editor Ali Gharib wrote that it received a video of a question and answer session at a Wednesday night event by those who were happy with the Supreme Court’s ruling against anti-homosexual marriage laws.

Weiner, in a debate with New York Times columnist Roger Cohen in 2011, said that Judea and Samaria are not occupied, and the questioner at Wednesday’s event asked, “Do you still believe the West Bank is not occupied?” Weiner answered, “Yes, I do. The status of that area is left to be decided by the people who’re there.”

“So it’s not occupied by Israel?” the questioner insisted.

“I gotta tell you; there are disagreements about what constitutes the West Bank,” Weiner said.

In 2011, Weiner made the same statement to Cohen, the columnist who has a long record of opposing a Jewish presence outside of what Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Abba Eban once called the Auschwitz Borders.”

Cohen sounded unbelievable that anyone would make such a perverse statement, and then asked Weiner, “You’re saying there is no [Israeli military] presence there?”

“Yes,” answered Weiner.

Of course, Weiner is wrong. There is a military presence everywhere in Israel, for obvious reasons.

But facts are facts. The question remains whether Cohen and Open Zion and prepared to refer to Palestinian Authority “police” as a military presence? After all, the Oslo Accords – remember them? – forbid the Palestinian Authority to have an army.

Wait a minute! Didn’t the United States train Palestinian Authority soldiers, who are armed with weapons, some of which have been used to murder Jews?

Yes, indeed, but they are called  “police,” so therefore the Oslo Accords were not broken, at least on one count.

Open Zion was not satisfied to leave Weiner alnoe with the “occupation” issue. It criticized him for having the audacity to attack The New York Times for having an anti-Israel bias and then “proved “ Weiner was wrong by citing liberal commentator Alex Pareene’s reaction that Weiner “makes sense only if you consider any criticism of any action taken by the state of Israel to be out of line.”

If the newspaper does not have an anti-Israel bias, it would not have allowed the Times’ East Africa bureau chief Jeffrey Gettlmen to write last year, “For years, the United States and Rwanda’s other Western friends turned a blind eye to this meddling. Again, like Israel, Rwanda has succeeded in leveraging the guilt that other countries feel for not intervening in its genocide—in which almost a million people were killed when Hutu militias targeted Tutsis in 1994—to blunt criticism of itself.”

The Times‘ journalistic atrocities are too long to be published in less than a two-volume book, and it is fair to be against  a Jewish presence  in Judea and Samaria, but, “Israel is like Rwanda”?

Open Zion also dug into Weiner for stating that the “status of that area is left to be decided by the people who’re there.” The forum’s senior editor complained that Weiner obviously was referring only to Jews.

“Weiner’s pro-Israel views [are] either a deeply cynical move to garner support from the pro-Israel right, or a testament to Weiner’s deep-seated ignorance of the conflict,” Gharib wrote. “When Weiner says people ‘there’ should decide the land’s fate, he’s almost certainly not speaking about the Palestinians in the West Bank, who live in stateless subjugation. And he’s wrong that there are disputes about ‘what constitutes the West Bank;’ right-wing pro-Israel advocates call the area by a different name—Judea and Samaria—and claim the land as part of Greater Israel, but no one disputes what the actual area in question is.”

The leftists are entitled to their opinion, and so is the right-wing, but decades of assumptions have made the left-wing case “fact” and the right-wing case “radical.”

If it were up to the Palestinian Authority Arabs to decide in a fair and honest vote what they prefer, it is far from certain they would choose to be subjects of an Arab state.

”Been there, done that.” They once were “subjects” of  Jordan, which no matter how you slice it, illegally occupied most of Judea and Samaria – sorry, Ali, the West Bank – from 1949 to 1967. Their lives were miserable. They were neglected. No one in Amman could have cared less about them, just as in the Ottoman Empire.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/anthony-weiner-occupies-open-zion-video/2013/06/27/

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