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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Israel-Bashers' Refrain - "We aren't saying this because we aren't allowed to criticize Israel"


There is an old joke about the Englishman who explains that their way of answering the telephone is much better:

"We say 'Are you there?' If you're not, there's no sense in continuing the conversation, is there?":

The same logic underlies a popular refrain that seems to accompany every recent Israel bashing publicity gig. No matter that it is totally prima facie illogical, it is now a permanent repetitive feature of every article, book and interview relating to anyone who wants to criticize Israel. You can read it in the morning paper, you can hear it on the radio, and you can see it on television. Jimmy Carter does it. Professors Walt and Mearsheimer do it. Everyone's doing it. I am referring of course, to the whining complaint that "nobody is allowed to criticize Israel" that is heard as the contrapuntal refrain to the crashing resonance of every trumpet blast of Israel-bashing, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Jimmy Carter just wrote what is by all accounts an execrable book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that will make Israel hate respectable. Given the author, it is inevitably a best-seller. This shoddy, one-sided account is ranked #9 in the Amazon sales charts. Carter is feted in media interviews across the United States. And in all of them, everywhere, he tells the same impossible story: "Nobody is allowed to criticize Israel." Here is Carter himself, badmouthing Israel in a favorable story in the LA Times:

The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations - but not in the United States. For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.

...What is even more difficult to comprehend is why the editorial pages of the major newspapers and magazines in the United States exercise similar self-restraint, quite contrary to private assessments
expressed quite forcefully by their correspondents in the Holy Land.

As Carter asserts that nobody in the USA is allowed to criticize Israel, it seems Los Angeles is not in the United States.

Here is the same Carter with the same complaint in of the purposes of the book was to provoke discussion, which is very rarely heard in this country. And we can find Carter badmouthing Israel in Democracy Today and on Israel radio and just about everywhere else, always with the complaint that nobody is allowed to criticize Israel.

Carter was not the first to voice this lie of course, and he won't be the last. Everyone's doing it. Iranian President Ahmadinejad, with his Holocaust denial conference, also claims that "the Zionists" won't let anyone discuss whether or not the Holocaust happened, even while he holds his macabre show conference and attracts media attention from around the world. Mearsheimer and Walt, whose shoddily done "study" of the Jewish conspiracy - oops, I mean "Israel Lobby" - was discussed around the world in every media and every language, also insist that nobody allows them the to criticize Israel, and the list goes on and on and on.

The sheer gall of this absurd and blatantly self-contradictory complaint is amazing. It is a good indicator of the integrity, logic and quality of the rest of the message served up by such people.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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