I have a morning routine timed to the second. After powering up the coffee maker and laptop, the dogs and I barrel outside to pick up my newspapers, returning as the first steaming robust cup has filled to the brim. By this time, the laptop has logged onto my most trusted news sites where updates can be retrieved from the previous evening. But my obsessive compulsive start to the day came to a slamming halt one day last week when I spied an abhorrent political cartoon published by Haaretz, the leftwing Israeli based newspaper.
I glared in horrified disbelief at Amos Biderman’s drawing depicting the three-time elected Israeli Prime Minister and decorated war veteran Benjamin Netanyahu piloting a plane into one of the World Trade towers; an obvious reference to the 9/11 attack on America and massacre of 3000 innocent beings. Suggesting there is a moral equivalency between the leader of the only democracy in the Middle East and one of our closest allies to the 19 Islamic terrorists who committed the greatest mass murder on American soil is despicable. I could not remain silent at the site of this implausible offense and so began an email exchange with the publisher of Haaretz; Amos Schocken. Our communication was professional and respectful yet providing me another glaring example of the leftist mindset.
I sent Mr. Schocken an initial email expressing my revulsion to Biderman’s reprehensible cartoon, questioning the meaning behind it. Within a short period, he responded suggesting it was designed to show Netanyahu’s policies are “wrecking relations with the United States.”
Ironically, his charge came within hours of Jeffrey Goldberg’s published column in which Goldberg quoted an Obama Administration official referring to Netanyahu as “chickenshit.” This vituperative description on the heels of the 50-day war with Hamas of the prime minister whose country is surrounded by scores of Islamic terror groups was immeasurably offensive; but not surprising. With an administration comprised of Islamic lapdogs including John Kerry, Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice and Stephanie Power, there is little doubt this is the most anti-Israel bunch since the Jewish State’s modern day creation in 1948. The odds are strong that the cause of the supposed tension between the President and the Prime Minister is not one-sided, as Schocken suggested.
Most confounding to me is the Jewish publisher of an Israeli daily newspaper embracing the same virulent lunacy as the enemies of Israel. Amos Biderman’s cartoon is an attack on Netanyahu comparable to the viciousness one would expect from Al Jazeera and other forms of Arab-controlled media.
Schocken also stated his belief that the Israel employs “practical apartheid in the land between the Jordan River and the Sea.” In other words, the publisher of one of Israel’s largest daily and influential newspapers believes it is an “apartheid state.” I responded that the phrase he used “from the river to the sea” is the same protest chant pro-Palestinian organizations use, particularly on college campuses. He claimed he was not aware of this. The charge of “apartheid” is absurd, considering 20% of the population of Israel is of Arab descent enjoying full and equal rights under law with representation in the Knesset (similar to our Congress). The only free Arab-owned media in the Middle East emanates from Israel and their editorials show no hesitancy to criticize the government with gusto.
In additional email exchanges with me, Schocken expressed his consternation that Jews have purchased real estate in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Arabs also purchase real estate from Jews. Should Jews be the only people on earth prohibited from legally acquiring housing wherever they wish? In most Arab countries, it is illegal for Arabs to sell real estate to Jews. Oh, the irony (!) as no country on earth is held to the impossible standards of Israel.
The world shrugs as it descends into growing chaos from lessons never learned and as anti-Semitism again rears its ugly head. I find it hard to understand why some of the hate today is manifested by our own, an otherwise vibrant and giving people. Mr. Schocken’s newspaper has the right to hold public figures accountable to counter their power of office. But borrowing a page from the vulgarities of the Ayatollahs should not be this publisher’s goal.
William Pollack is a radio, TV station and movie theater owner based in Memphis,