When Time Magazine carried an article on “Why Israel Doesn’t Care about Peace”, a whole coterie of American Zionist supporters reacted as if Time had become anti-Semitic.
For any writer to cast the slightest aspersion on Israel’s claim to wish for peace is tantamount to alleging that there never was a Sermon on the Mount.
Author of the Time article, Karl Vick, writes, “Asked in a March poll to name the ‘most urgent problem’ facing Israel, just 8% of Israeli Jews cited the conflict with Palestinians, putting it fifth behind education, crime, national security and poverty.”
Referring to the same poll, Vick adds, “Israeli Arabs placed peace first, but among Jews here, the issue that President Obama calls “critical for the world” just doesn’t seem — critical.”
Time’s cover and story on life in Israel prompted more than 1,000 letters, mostly in protest. Several of those letters allege the usual canard that the article is anti-Semitic.
They berated Vick for lacking reliable support for his claim. However, they ignored a journalist with impeccable credentials who writes for the influential daily journal Ha’aretz.
“The good life in Israel is real, while all the rest is somehow blurred, says Ari Shavit who writes a regular column for Ha’aretz.”
Here are some of the ludicrous, though typical, comments made by readers:
“So Time Magazine is really sucking up to their Arab bosses. Without those petro dollars, Time would have folded years ago. We Jews have a long memory & will get even in the future.”
A typical anti-Arab writer says, “‘Never Again’ only applies to the Jews. Not the Goy vermin. How much are you getting paid to post here, Arab?”
The type of comment by those who believe that Israel can do no wrong goes like this:
“This story and the cover graphic are worthy of a supermarket tabloid. Time has lowered its standards by using provocative and misleading graphics on its cover, and stooped even further by publishing an article better suited to a blog than a news magazine.”
If they find nothing else wrong, they complain about the timing,
“This is disgusting! On one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar Rosh Hashanah, I am greeted by an inexcusable cover story by Time magazine.”
One commentator simply said, without support,
“What an unfounded article !!!!”
If a publication doesn’t say what you want it to say, cancel your subscription. You may have to explain how you happened to read the offending article. This one doesn’t:
“Hurrah for all of those who were nauseated by this latest piece of crass and untrue journalism by Time Magazine. I cancelled my subscription long ago and can only recommend that, if you are interested in what is going on in the Middle East, Time is not the place to find out.”
Here’s the gold-medal winner.
“Wow! What’s next? An update to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion ?”
Calling “the article and its arguments wrong, inappropriate and offensive,” Anti-Defamation League Director Abe Foxman repeated the age-old propaganda line about Israel’s desire for peace:
“Ignored is the decades-long yearning of Israelis for peace and the tremendous efforts successive Israeli governments have made in pursuit of reconciliation.”
Both the Israelis and the American Zionists have been lying and brainwashing others for so long they believe the propaganda themselves.
If there’s any sincerity in the minds of those who say that Israel wants peace, they need to stop believing that Israel can do no wrong.
Israel needs to stop being a propaganda machine refusing to accept criticism and failing to indulge in self-criticism.
Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years. For more information, see http://www.pballes.com.