Sunday, October 9, 2011


By Schmoel Yitzhak

"Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland" was a hit song written in 1909 with words by Beth Slater Whitson and music by Leo Friedman. 

The tune is about Coney Island's famed amusement park which later would burn to the ground and it comes to mind because of a few recent stories that crossed by desk. 

In one sense the sweet "Dreamland" song reminds me of a pair of headlining anti-semites -- Jimmy Carter and Nicholas Kristof -- whose passion for publicity is matched only by their disdain for the facts.

When it comes to their view of Middle East politics they appear to be standing in a latter-day Dreamland, which -- like the original -- is burning down.

Carter, who often acts more pro-Arab than Mahmoud Abbas, is on his soap-box again, this time urging Barack Obama to back the Palestinian's bid to the United Nations for statehood. The former president adds that the White House should seize the opportunity provided by the Arab Spring to facilitate Palestinian-Israeli peace.

Apparently, Carter has not been reading the papers lately. Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated over the past weeks that he welcoms a chance to sit down face-to-face with Abbas -- with no pre-conditions, as the European Union suggests -- to talk turkey. Abbas, in turn, has a menu full of pre-conditions which automatically ends the talks before they begin.

Carter, of course, is in a Middle East Dreamland which should surprise nobody, especially not author Mitchell Bard, author of "The Arab Lobby -- The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America's Interests In The Middle East."

As Bard points out with fact after fact in his book, Carter has been in the Arabs' pockets for decades. "In 1990, for example," Bard nots, "in an effort to reshape the terrorist's image, Carter helped Yasser Arafat draft a speech to the UN and praised him for doing everything he could to promote peace."

And this: "In his various writings, Carter has established a pattern of historical revisionism, inaccurate and naive descriptions of the region and its history, and a penchant for blaming Israel and absolving the Arabs of all responsibility for the absence of peace. He has also been an apologist for Saudi Arabia. 

"In a fawning section about the Saudis in his book (Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid), Carter talks about the 'impressive closeness' of the monarchy to the subjects while ignoring the discriminatory aspects of Saudi society. He says nothing about the Saudis' crude anti-Semitism and their hostility to Israel. Carter has never acknowledged that his one-sided attacks on Israel might undermine his avowed goal of convincing Israelis to make peace."

Dreamland similarly would be a welcome place for New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof whose latest kick-Israel-in-the-groin missive is affectionately titled "Is Israel Its Own Worst Enemy?" 

Upset over Israel's decision to build 1,100 new housing units in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem, Kristof goes off on the Netanyahu government thusly: "Nothing is more corrosive than Israel's growth of settlements because they erode hope of a peace agreement in the future."

No surprise here either. Like his other anti-Israel colleague, columnist Thomas Friedman, Kristof will find any reason to bash the only democracy in the Middle East while ignoring the fact that the proposed state of Palestine would -- first and foremost -- be, like Nazi Germany, judenrein. This does not seem to matter to Kristof; nor does the fact that the number of Syrian dead protestors has reached 2,900, according to the UN. Neither Kristof, Friedman nor Barack Obama can be bothered by the massacres that have killed close to 3,000 Syrians. To them, it's as if nothing is happening; but Israeli construction gets their vowels in an uproar. 

No surprise, again. As the Fall 2011 Committee For Accuracy In Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) media report asserts, "The New York Times seems less and less concerned about factual coverage of Israel."

Referring to Times' Israel Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner's coverage of the flotilla campaign, CAMERA'S Andrea Levin charges, "The thrust of Bronner's work in nearly daily dispatches conveys a seemingly irrepressible impulse to mute and distort the openly-expressed aims of the Palestinians themselves with regard to Israel, to focus instead on indictments of the Jewish state and to belittle Israeli concerns."

Like the other Times men, Bronner is in a journalistic Dreamland.

Were they not in that never-never-land, they would have reported a recent interview with Fatah Central Committee Member Abbas Zaki, who was interviewed on Al-Jazeera last month. Had The Times -- or Jimmy Carter, for that matter -- really cared about objectivity they would have paid close attention  to the Arab official for he had an important statement to make; namely that an agreement with Israel based on the 1967 borders is merely part of a phased plan to destroy Israel in its entirety and such a policy must not be spoken about publicly. Here's what the man said:

The settlement should be based on the borders of June 4, 1967. When we say that the settlement should be  based on these borders, President Abbas understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.

If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall -- what will become of Israel? It will come to an end. 

Kristof, his buddy, Friedman and Carter might ask themselves the question posed by CAMERA'S Simon Plosker:

"What is it about the Mideast that makes a journalist's natural skepticism go completely awry? When Netanyahu publicly advocates for peace and negotiations with the Palestinians, the default reaction of many media is to cast aspersions on Netanyahu's intentions, effectively accusing him of being underhanded or even untruthful.

"But what happens when Palestinians (Abbas Zaki, for example) make public statements of intent that don't fit with the accepted narrative of Israel as the obstacle to peace? The media ignore such statements and rarely publish the story. So if the 'mainstream' Fatah are advocating the end of Israel rather than peace with Israel and Hamas are consistently restating their overt desire to destroy Israel by force, why are the media failing to report on these?

"Perhaps the media should stop speculating about Netanyahu's intentions in regard to peace and start reporting on the Palestinians' very real desire to destroy Israel."

Sorry but the likes of Kristof, Carter and Friedman would rather meet in their journalistic Dreamland while Arabs such as Zaki plot to burn Israel to the ground!

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