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Saturday, August 12, 2006

James Zogby, Hypocrite

"Best of the Web Today" has a couple of quotes from James Zogby, of the Arab American Institute, blaming Israel wholly for Lebanese civilian deaths:

Cooper: Jim, do you deny that Hezbollah uses civilians or at least, you know, works among and/or hides among women and children?

Zogby: The resistance movement in south Lebanon, I haven't supported the tactics that they've used in the bombings that they've participated in. I cannot see the Israelis attempting to justify the carpet bombing of many areas of Lebanon as continuing to say that they're simply targeting Hezbollah.....

Cooper: Jim, though, I mean, does Hezbollah bear any of the responsibility for any of the civilian casualties?

Zogby: I've said from the beginning that their behavior was reckless and provocative. But Israel bears the responsibility. It's like saying what Mort is saying and what those who want to make that case is saying, the girl who wore the short skirt deserved to get raped--

Now, his logic is abhorrent and offensive, but the only way you can justify Zogby's claim that Hezbollah has no responsibility for the deaths of civilians it is hiding behind is if you claim that the party doing an action is wholly responsible for that action. (Obviously even that is ridiculous, as one cannot compare the morality of purposeful acts with those of inadvertant acts. Beyond that, it completely ignores the fact that Hezbollah started this war.) The only way this makes sense is to assume in this case this is his position - that each action occurs in a vacuum and must be judged as such.

So, one would assume that Zogby would be equally adamant that Palestinian Arabs are wholly responsible for their terror acts, right? That they should be judged in a vacuum, right? Riiiiiiiiight....
ZAHN: Mr. Zogby, how much responsibility do you think Yasser Arafat should bear for the ongoing troubles in the Middle East?

ZOGBY: Well, listen, it's -- we live in a kind of an "Alice in Wonderland" world here, where Ariel Sharon is the man of peace and Arafat becomes the obstacle to peace. We've lionized one and demonized the other, and I simply don't think this picture is accurate. The man has flaws...

ZAHN: But you didn't answer the question. OK, he has...

ZOGBY: The man has flaws. There's no question about it. But remember, they were negotiating up to Taba, right before Ariel Sharon was elected, and they came awful close. It was Barak who pulled his people back. And frankly, I believe that if this administration in Washington had continued to push and if Ariel Sharon had continued the negotiations, we'd probably have a peace settlement by now.

I don't believe that the process fell apart for the reasons that this mythic-historic narrative that Israel constructed is, in fact, right. I think the Palestinians wanted -- Arafat wanted a two-state solution on the West Bank, Gaza with East Jerusalem as a capital. And frankly, the Israelis just weren't willing to give it, and they still aren't willing to give it.

And look at what they're doing now is the best -- the best answer I have. Settlement sizes have doubled. We're building roads and tearing up Palestinian houses and orchards. Palestinians are living in despair. And that before the intifada even began.
According to Zogby, responsibility is something only Jews have. Palestinian Arabs are not responsible for their actions, of course. Israel has no right to respond to terror attacks but PalArabs have every right to respond to "despair."

Even at the end of the first interview above, Zogby shows his double standard by putting Hezbollah terror in "context" but refusing to give israel the same courtesy:
ZUCKERMAN: OK. Let me just say this, we are in a situation here which is called war. War which is instigated by a terrorist organization called the Hezbollah, which attacked innocent people. They had pulled -- the Israelis had withdrawn from a U.N. sanctioned border. It was started by Hezbollah, which has it's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to attack Israel and to destroy Israel.

Israel is doing this as a matter of self-defense against people who hide among women and children deliberately.

ZOGBY: After 22 years of occupation of the south, a lot of bitterness, a lot of wounds. They're not going to go away overnight. And Israel has not been an innocent bystander all this time, even in the last six years, Mort.
This man, who is a moderate compared to most Arabs, still has an almost psychotic double standard that reflects his own bigotry and bias, and for all the smooth words he speaks on CNN, he is nothing but a hypocrite.