Reader View: Anti-Israel screeds need to stop

Judy Moore-Kraichnan at the Santa Fe Opera.

Amy Goodman and Max Blumenthal assaulted Santa Feans with another dose of anti-Israel invective at a Lannan Foundation-sponsored program at the Lensic Performing Arts Center earlier this fall.

Goodman’s introduction began with her description of the Israeli “assault” on Gaza. She noted the high numbers of Palestinians killed as opposed to the relatively few Jews. There are good reasons for this. Israel goes to great lengths to protect her citizens while Hamas deliberately puts Gazans in harm’s way. She attributed the worst “atrocities” to the Israelis with no mention of the events leading up to this assault — the many weeks when hundreds of rockets were fired by Hamas into Israel, aimed at her cities. And no mention of Hamas’s cruel and callous treatment of their own people in Gaza. How should Israel be expected to respond? Any country in the world would respond accordingly.

Max Blumenthal is a left-wing Jewish intellectual, whose Birthright Israel trip awakened in him sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. That is not unreasonable. But to arrive at a position where absolutely everything that happened to them is the fault of the Israelis, and nothing whatsoever is the responsibility of their leaders and other Arab states, is simply untrue, unfair and absurd.

I suspect that when Blumenthal went into the West Bank and Gaza , he was appropriated by radical Palestinians like Hamas, who poured their hateful propaganda down his throat. This is what he is now spewing back at us. Some of his accusations could have come straight from a Hamas Handbook. For him, the dozens of tunnels into Israel are no problem, simply part of the “resistance.”

Noticeably absent from his tirade against Israel were any acts of terror on the part of Hamas, which was hardly mentioned. The icing on the cake of his talk was calling “Israel and ISIS two sides of the same coin.”

The biased and totally unbalanced reporting of Amy Goodman and Max Blumenthal goes way beyond their purported goal of helping Palestinians. It is dangerous. It endangers Israel and Jewish people everywhere.

This is the second year in a row in which the Lannan Foundation has presented such an anti-Israel program. In February of 2013, when Goodman introduced Omar Barghouti, he delivered a non-stop vilification of Israel.

Lannan would do well to present another program with a more balanced approach, with room for a pro-Israel point of view, on this important issue.

Judy Moore-Kraichnan is an artist and photographer living in Santa Fe since 1992. She has visited Israel often since 1987 and worked on photo projects there, mostly in Jerusalem.

(12) comments

Jim Mafchir

While sometimes Amy Goodman hits the social justice mark, when it comes to Israel she has a blind spot. She couldn't be more biased against Israel without the benefit of providing balanced reporting, as if there weren't two sides. As if one side wasn't calling for the other's destruction. Its just not correct that Hamas has just rocks and homemade rockets that don't go far. It is correct that they put foreign aid into tunnels from which to attack Israel? I think its sad that the Lannon Readings have not included some of the critically acclaimed Israeli writers. Or Jewish writers unless they, like Amy, posit an anti-Israel position. Gary Shteyngart, however, was a breath of fresh air, and I applaud Patrick Lannon for booking him.

Edward Buchbinder

Pat. It's not difficult to find fault with Israel's policies in regards to Palestinians. I will call you out when your anti Israel views jump to anti-semitism. More than once you have insinuated that many senators have dual citizenship with Israel and that they have an allegiance to Israel before the U.S. questioning Jews' loyalty is an old form of antisemitism.

In fact, a few days ago the senate unanimously passed a bill sponsored by 3 non jewish senators condemning the use of human shields by the terrorist group, Hamas. That leaves 90 Catholic,Christian, Presbyterian, Baptists, Methodists, Mormons, Lutherans, Protestants, Episcopalians, Buddhist, Church of God, Church of Christ, United Church of Christ, and unaffiliated members who also have condemned Hamas. To use innuendo and single out the Jewish senators who voted the same as all of their colleagues is antisemitism.

If you don't like the U.S. Foreign policy, blame our government, don't blame the Jews.

Pat Shackleford

I don't question "Jews' loyalty". I questioned the primary allegiance of US politicians who have dual citizenship with ANY other country. Are they truly promoting a foreign policy that is best for the United States, or not? I've noticed that some of these politicians happen to be among those pushing for US military action against Iran, as has long been encouraged by Israel's Netanyahu. I find that inflammatory and dangerous, and not in the best interests of the American people. I don't know (or care) what the religious affiliation of every politician is. I make judgement based on the merits of the issue.

As to the senate bill condemning the use of human shields; that sounds good and reasonable. I'm not a defender or apologist for Hamas. My former comments were not in context with any particular senate vote; your supposed "gotcha', falls flat. By your logic, if the "3 non jewish senators" didn't vote the same as a Jewish one, they would be antisemitic. It also sounds like you're saying that every Jewish politician has dual citizenship with Israel, which I doubt is the case.

I criticize US foreign policy regularly. My particular criticism of any administration or politician's stance on an issue therefore, comes regardless of their political party, race, or religious affiliation.

John Greenspan

Well, the usual cast of bigots has spoken. It is interesting how anti-Semitism now comes from the far left rather than the right as was the case 75 years ago. And please don't say you are OK with Jews but not Israel. The more sophisticated among us can see through that. Fortunately, the new Congress will be sympathetic to Israel although no country deserves a blank check. Israel may not be perfect but it sure beats the composition. Hey Pat, Who is that campaign for Adolf Eichman coming along?

Pat Shackleford

The "sophisticated" one among us (Jazzman Greenspan) brings an eloquent defense of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, and insightful rebuttal to the commenters here. "You're all bigots!"

(exactly who or what is the "composition" that Israel "beats"?)

Pat Shackleford

I'd like to remind everyone that US taxpayers currently provide Israel with money of over $10 Million daily, almost $4 Billion annually (that we know of) which not only helps pay for the destruction wreaked on Palestinians, but which also comes back into Washington, DC to buy and bribe our politicians (largely via AIPAC) into acting in Israel's interests, regardless of the negative foreign policy implications for the United States and its citizens. I also find it concerning, that many of our Senators and Representatives have dual citizenship, with Israel appearing to hold their primary allegiance.

Along with bemoaning the Lannan Foundation's choice of speakers and suggesting that critics of Israel cease voicing their observations and opinions, perhaps you and John Greenspan (a frequent scold of Amy Goodman) should produce an evening at The Lensic (or wherever) with speakers who could provide a "pro-Israel point of view".

Colleen Harper

Ms. Moore-Kraichnan, you accuse Mr. Blumenthal of consorting with Hamas in a low-handed ad hominem attack, with no evidence that Mr. Blumenthal has had any communication with Hamas. Could it be that Mr. Blumenthal is telling the truth and that you are the partisan hack, attacking someone who would hold Israel accountable, as any humanitarian should?

If you can make your argument without slander and ad hominem attacks, please do so.

Joseph Hempfling

Please; Max and Amy took pains, in my opinion, not to editorialize and stuck to the facts and like the saying You can put lipstick on a pig but it still is a pig. And there is no denying Israel seems to me to be on a path of self destruction under the current regime and which if nothing else is going to be taken before the World Criminal Court for it's crimes against Humanity. Just as this country should be for it's so called enhanced interrogation technique i.e. TORTURE. Bad Karma begets Bad Karma and always will.

Jeffrey haas

[thumbdown] Friday night 40 of us skyped with Denny Cormier in Gaza City and his friend Walid in the Gaza community of Khuza'a. Their stories the conditions in Gaza during the Israeli attacks and continuing today were heart-wrenching and compelling and showed so much love and respect for their fellow Gazans. Khuaz'aa, a beautiful community known for gardens many years ago, was attacked by Israel with bombs and rockets from planes, drones, and artillery and after many days of shelling Israeli troops came in tanks and bulldozers shooting and executing civilians and destroying much of what was left after the bombs. The Israelis, who had seized the town, left corpses on the ground including children for all to see. One image I cannot forget was after the attacks, parents at the hospital looking at the mutilated bodies of children, not knowing or being able to tell if they were their own kids. Yet, the will to live and build for a better more hopeful future persists.

Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine/Israel raised $5050.00 for the people of Khuza'a!!! It will go to blankets, and warm clothing and materials to fix leaks in their roofs and tarps and broken school windows. Thank all of you who came and gave and showed your support for the people of Gaza. We took a solid step toward building a sister city community with Khuza'a and we heard Denny and Walid
urge us to tell people not to forget Gaza.

Lina Germann

The high numbers of Palestinians killed as opposed to the relatively few Jews is because Israel uses the most powerful military weapons that exist against the Palestinians, while Palestinians have rocks and homemade rockets that don't go far.

It seems to me that you are the one brainwashed by Israel's propaganda. You only hear and see when there is an attack on Israelis by the Palestinians. You do not hear and see much about when Palestinians are killed and when their homes are leveled and destroyed.

Amy Goodman is not only a well-respected journalist but an educated one too.

Something to ponder: Every Israeli has another citizenship or can easily get one. Palestinians have been locked up for years in a large prison inside Israel with no hope of a better life.

Ed Campbell

Anti-Israel condemnation of imperial militarist policies will end when the practices stop. Just as they did for their old ally in apartheid, South Africa.

Criticism of fascist internal policies when Israel's goverment agrees that democracy is the better way to lead a nation long past early days of the original land grab.

Pointing out invalid practices - relying on the threat of nuclear weapons, leaving internal standards to theocrats and bigoted law - will end when that nation decides to join modern times and leave colonial standards behind.

Raymond Deane

The author obviously thinks that Max Blumenthal is a helpless sponge soaking up propaganda from Hamas. This is characteristic of Israel's unconditional defenders, who cannot imagine that supporters of Palestinian rights have minds of their own - and Blumenthal's is a very lucid mind indeed. Her comments completely omit mention of the illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territory (and, as part of the OPT, Gaza is still formally under occupation) and the illegal siege of Gaza, which constitutes the collective punishment of its civilian population. For Ms Moore-Kraichnan also omits mention of - or is perhaps unaware of - the fact that Israel facilitated the foundation of Hamas in order to split the Palestinian resistance, a tactic that has proved disastrously successful - to nobody's benefit. But of course Israel's brutal occupation practices long preceded the foundation of Hamas (in 1987), a fact consistently elided by those who like to pretend that Hamas is to blame for the deaths of the hundreds of Palestinians annually murdered by Israel - including in the West Bank, where Hamas doesn't hold sway. This article is pure propaganda.

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Santafenewmexican.com. Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.