Monday, July 18, 2011

Jeffrey Goldberg's Rube Goldbergesque Article on Bachmann and Israel

Jeffrey Goldberg, Fidel Castro fan,  just wrote an article in Bloomberg titled "Michele Bachmann's Hazardous Love for Israel".  I think the point of the article was to say that the religious right loves Israel too much and that love is somehow precarious, but how he got to that conclusion doesn't actually make much sense to me.  He starts off by writing:

I've devised a fail-safe way to bring her to a state of cognitive paralysis. This method will require some travel on her part. Bachmann's destination: the Tel Aviv gay-pride parade.

Goldberg's logic is that since she loves Israel so much but also is anti-gay, the fact that their are proud homosexuals in Israel will cause her to short circuit.  Huh?  She has definitely made her share of anti-gay statements but I haven't heard her say that they shouldn't be allowed their rights to freedom of speech or freedom of assembly (unlike Goldberg's friend Castro, who actually sent gays to internment camps in the 1960's), so I don't see why a Tel Aviv gay pride parade would make her love Israel any less.  In fact, Israeli policy is relatively close to what she believes in as same sex marriages cannot be performed in Israel (though they do recognize same sex marriages performed outside of Israel after a court ruling). 

Later in the article, Goldberg makes a statement which should be viewed as an embarrassment to journalists:

Of course, Bachmann would not be surprised by Israeli society's laissez-faire attitude toward gay rights if she knew very much about Israel. But she doesn't seem to know much at all, apart from what she reads in the Bible.

It wouldn't have been very hard to do a little research and find out that Bachmann has actually been in Israel 4 times, including a four month stint as a teenager on a kibbutz right after the Yom Kippur War (she has said about the experience, "We worked on the kibbutz from 4 am to noon. We were always accompanied by soldiers with machine guns. While we were working, the soldiers were walking around looking for land mines," sounds like she knows quite a bit about the reality of life in Israel).  But actually trying to do research on this subject would probably just hurt Goldberg's narrative, so why do it?

Goldberg then writes:

The Israel these "Christian Zionists" support is the uncompromising Israel of its most right-wing ideologues...  Organizations such as the Rev. John Hagee's Christians United for Israel lobby in Washington for a particularly right-wing vision of the Middle East, in which Israel would keep every one of its West Bank settlements.

My god, what right wing fanatics, they promote the status quo!  How horrible!  Run for the hills!  Puleeeese.  It seems to be pretty easy in Goldberg's universe to be considered a fanatic unless you are Fidel Castro, of course.  Hey Jeffrey, just because you and your friends all believe one thing doesn't mean that people who disagree with you are fanatics.  I think one could argue more reasonably that people who demand Israel give up land to a group that will, with 100% certainty, launch attacks from that land upon Israel are left wing fanatics and promoters of ethnic cleansing (after all nobody seems to think Jews should be allowed to stay in Palestine, as they have been cleansed from much of the Middle East already).

Then he makes a very ludicrous argument, implying the Christian right will turn on Israel if it "makes peace".

How will the Christian right feel if Israel does, in fact, make compromises for the sake of peace by "betraying" its biblical birthright?

Considering that Israel will only give in to Palestinian demands (loss of the Western Wall, a return to 1967 borders and a right of return for Palestinian "refugees") if forced to by external actors, I highly doubt that the Christian right will turn on them as it will be understood that they only did so due to threats and pressure placed upon them by the anti-Israel forces in Europe, the US State Department and the current White House.  I'd say the bigger threat to Israel's future are people like Jeffrey Goldberg and his friends who continually pressure Israel to sign its own death warrant.

No comments:

Post a Comment