Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tweedledum and Tweedledee, not quite...

Last week the editor of a Dutch conservative collective blog ( which has become mainly a podium for bashing Barack Obama and 'unproving' or ridiculing the theories on global warming; I was supposed to be the blog's contributor for MidEast related issues, but after less than a week I packed it in and quit ), in a comment on my comment on a posting by my 'replacement' ( who appears to use an alias, or only his first name, and whose contributions are mostly pieces of Israeli hasbara, and not its best examples ), called the Jerusalem Post and Ha'Aretz Tweedledum and Tweedledee ( the Dutch expression says 'lead and scrap iron' ). I beg to differ. The Jerusalem Post would most probably never expose abuses such as this one, which tarnish the image of the Israeli army ( or, in this case, the Border Police ). Thank G'd for media such as Ha'Aretz. Of course, Ha'Aretz is far from being perfect, or objective ( or conservative ;-) ), but at least it is not afraid to do the dirty on this country's many sacred cows, particularly when those cows have cancerous growths and having a close look at those growths can make the cows only better. I very much doubt whether the Jerusalem Post would expose similar abuses. It often prefers to follow the official government line, as long as the government is (very) rightwing. This could be seen in an op-ed article in the JP, by a Dutch-Jewish writer ( who recently moved to the flespots of LA with his wife and children ) last week. Leon de Winter had the nerve to basically advice Israel to dump the US as an ally and cooperate more with Vladimir Putin's Russia instead. I hardly ever visit the website of the Jerusalem Post ( I used to read the newspaper in my first year in Israel, it was already way too rightwing to my taste then, and to me it seems that it has become even more so in the last decade, in spite of claims to the contrary ) but I heard about this article through an e-mail that I received from the Israeli embassy in Holland, since I am on the mailing list of its press advisor/spokesperson. The mail contained the article, plus "For your information, ....., Israeli embassy, etc". I have no idea who else receives such e-mail updates, but I believe that what has all the appearances of ( or at least could be interpreted as ) an indirect endorsement by the embassy of stupid and dangerous pleas such as the one written by Leon de Winter ( whom I like very much as a writer and as a polemist on Islamism, but who does not always have a clue about what is going on over here; besides, obviously he prefered La-La Land to the Promised Land when he chose to leave the Netherlands with his family ) is unwise and uncalled-for, and damages Israel and Israeli interests enormously. Which is why I wrote a friendly but quite indignant e-mail to my contact person at the embassy. I sincerely hope that nobody at the Foreign Ministry seriously believes that Vadimir Putin is a truer or more reliable ally or friend of Israel than Barack Obama.

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