My Think Again column is about Politico’s choice of the top ten media stories of 2012. I find Politico to be quite silly for any number of reasons, but here is just one of them.
My Nation column is called “Putting Stories Into the World.” It’s about about Nathan Englander, Nora Ephron, and the Night of the Murdered Jewish Poets, under Stalin, in 1952 and it’s here.
I also wrote a letter to the editor of The Nation, as I sometimes feel compelled to do, even though it is a blockhead move. It’s behind a paywall and so you can’t read Phyllis Bennis’s reply, but I did, and it’s my considered opinion that you’d be doing both Phyllis and yourselves a mitzvah by skipping it. Anyway, here’s my letter:
To the editor:
There is something I don’t understand about Phyllis Bennis’s editorial regarding Israel and Hamas, The latter, I would note is a totalitarian organization devoted to terrorism, Jew hatred, kidnapping, the oppression of women etc, and the destruction of Israel, and was lobbing hundreds of rockets into Israel proper (not the West Bank). This led, as we all know, to Israel’s attack on Gaza, where Hamas rules.
Now, one may not approve of Israel’s reaction to these facts, I sure don’t. Indeed, I believe them to be profoundly counter-productive just as believe Israel’s entire occupation policy to be so. But in Bennis’s editorial you will find no mention of any of the above. Israel, once again, appears to be attacking and oppressing Palestinians for no good reason. Or perhaps because it’s just fun. Who knows, as the issue is never engaged.
I have to wonder. Just who are such editorials supposed to convince? Certainly nobody in Israel is going to listen to voice that evinces no concern whatever for the safety of its citizens. And why is Hamas given a pass for its horrific behavior and rhetoric? A recent report by Human Rights Watch, for instance, details cases of alleged torture and deaths in detention, a lack of due process and trial of civilians in military courts. A Mr. Abdel Karim Shrair, was executed in May 2011 for allegedly collaborating with Israel, based, according to HRW, on confessions apparently obtained through torture. In the words of Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director, “After five years of Hamas rule in Gaza, its criminal justice system reeks of injustice, routinely violates detainees' rights." Where, pray tell, is the outrage?
And what of what its leaders say about Jews—not “Israelis” Jews. I could give literally thousands of examples but how about this one: “Our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave,” the according to the organization’s charter. “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.” Does that sound like a party with whom one might negotiate a lasting peace?