Monday, July 16, 2012

Mondoweiss is not simply a far leftist site. It is not simply a hate site. Mondweiss is a virulent pusher of anti-semitic tropes.

In a guest post written two years ago, Adam Levick exposed some of Mondoweiss' hate (see link for sources of footnotes)

Nazi, Soviet, and, more recently, Arab anti-Semitic caricatures often portray Jews as spiders, cockroaches, and Octopuses – dehumanizing Jews by turning them into animals that are destructive, inhuman and evil. The cartoon below, by the notorious anti-Zionist cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, was posted on the “progressive” Jewish anti-Zionist blog, Mondoweiss recently[ii] – by a frequent Mondoweiss blogger named Seham[iii] – in reference to the Gaza flotilla incident.


This ugly caricature of the Jewish state manages to both employ Nazi-like anti-Semitic imagery of a beastly and monstrous Jewish collective while simultaneously asserting that the Jewish state has become the new Nazi Germany. (Note the Jewish Magen David on the Israeli flag is morphed into a swastika) Such insidious depictions of Israel and Israelis are mostly seen on extremist websites, and is a phenomenon known as Holocaust inversion[iv].

...That such a cartoon would appear on the pages of Mondoweiss[xvi], funded by The Nation Institute,[xvii]is, sadly, not particularly surprising to anyone familiar with the blog. Mondoweiss is an openly anti-Zionist Jewish blog and consistently advances, among other classical antisemitic tropes,[xviii] the argument that Jews exercise too much power over U.S. policy[xix] [xx]and that Jewish “progressive” voices on the Middle East are censored by the organized Jewish community. The viciousness and hatred towards Israel, and the state’s Jewish supporters, can’t be overstated. The main blogger, Philip Weiss, states that “Zionism privileges Jews and justifies oppression, and this appals me.” Weiss has complained that the “suffering of Palestinians that has been perpetrated politically in large part by empowered American Jews who are all over the media and political establishment.” He has openly called for a quota on Jews who work in the media. Weiss refers to Zionism as an ideology of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing.”
Read the whole thing.

Yaacov Lozowick, historian and now head of Israel's State Archives, is not known to use hyperbole. But here is how he describes Mondoweiss:

You recognize the old-fashioned antisemitic trope about the Jews who pull the strings behind the facade which hides reality. Even as I write this Weiss has posted about the 35-year friendship between Mitt Romney and Binyamin Netanyahu; I don't see how his piece can be read except as part of a conspiracy theory. Truly frightening, those Zionists, surrounding a future potential American president with their agents when he was only in his 20s.

Being against the existence of Israel isn't particularly exceptional. One of the interesting things about Mondoweiss is the tremendous amount of work they invest in their animosity. I happen to think the Saudi regime is ghastly, but I'd never spend hours every day digging up dirt on it. The Mondoweiss people do that, first by avidly seeking any remotely negative story about Israel, then by seeking the ones which aren't true, then by damning anyone who casts doubt with terms such as hasbarists, Ziobots (I assume these are part Zionists and part robots), and of course genocidists. In order to collect all that dirt they've got to pass by the occasional positive story too, but these never get linked to or even alluded too unless to demonstrate how yet another journalist has succumbed to the threat of Zionist censorship. The result is a depiction of reality which has at best a glancing relationship with the real world, but these folks aren't interested in the real world. In their world, Zionists are easily the worst group of humans, they purportedly hate all Palestinians, they enforce the most cruel policies possibly on them, they steal from-, degrade and kill Palestinians, on a daily basis. You read Mondoweiss regularly and the force of hatred towards Zionists becomes overpowering: no normal decent person could have anything but the deepest contempt for such a gang of deceitful violent criminals. As a commentor named "American" recently wrote:
The thing about the zionist is they attack even those who help them. They turned on England, calling it “worse than Hitler’ because England tried to uphold the immigration quotas agreed to. They demonize the UN that created their state for them....Everyone, without exception, who has ever had anything to do them has regretted it….the US will too in the end. They are vipers who need to be decapitated.
Comments at Mondoweiss are moderated, so that one could have been deleted - but wasn't. And why would it be? It merely states what is obvious to the locals. Any attempt to argue with them will either be blocked by the same moderators, or dederisively laughed off the screen. If a sane commenter has made a reasonable point which gets past the moderators, the locals will dig up a dozen spurious links to disprove it: the value of links being not their veracity, or the trustworthiness of their sources, but their usefulness to the partly line. Links which are not useful - you guessed it: they're written off as hasbara lies.

Interestingly, the Mondoweiss community not only has no interest in the lives of real Israelis, it also has no interest in the lives of real Palestinians. Their point is to hate Israel and damn it, no matter what; the possibility that there are Palestinians who live alongside Israelis, interact with them, and even could imagine living with them in peace, is a thought never contemplated. I have Palestinian staff members, colleagues and friends; none of them could remotely fit into the Mondoweiss world. The mothodology also has the odd result that according to Mondoweiss, Israelis and Palestinians are all boring cardboard figures, with none of the complexities, complications, shades of grey, frustrations and successes of real people. The very parts of the human story which make it worth following are all dropped, to be replaced by detestation (towards Israelis) and patronizing pity (towards Palestinians).
Only this week, we have this description in The Atlantic:
It's impossible to peer into the hearts and minds of the people who edit the site, but Mondoweiss often gives the appearance of an anti-Semitic enterprise. Site founder and editor Phil Weiss, a former writer for the American Conservative when Pat Buchanan was editor, wrote this past May, "I can justly be accused of being a conspiracy theorist because I believe in the Israel lobby theory ... certainly my theory has an explanation of the rise and influence of the neocons. They don't have a class interest but an ideological-religious one."

An April 2011 article on the site strongly implied that Mossad agents were involved in the murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigonni, an assertion for which there's no factual evidence. In 2011, contributor Max Ajl argued against "left-wing" condemnation of the Itamar massacre, in which attackers killed five members of a settler family, including a three-month old baby. In 2009, Jack Ross, who has contributed to the white nationalist, Holocaust-denying journal The Barnes Review,argued on Mondoweiss that "it was not the appeasement, but the internationalist hubris and bellicosity of Chamberlain which started World War II." In other words, lay off the Nazis.

"Iran has never officially denied the Holocaust," Mondowess claimed in April of this year. This statement might be technically true, but it is functionally false. It also reflects a troublingly dismissive attitude towards Holocaust denial on the part of high-ranking Iranian officials.

One winner of Mondoweiss' recent "New Yorker parody contest" was a bizarre entry in which former Israeli Prime Minister has a teary reunion with the ghost of his long-lost father: Adolf Hitler.

Philip Weiss has found evidence of Jewish influence and Jewish perfidy in everything from NPR to the names of the buildings at Harvard University to an innocuous statement by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Weiss has argued that the "Jewish presence in the Establishment" imposes its own single-minded, communalistic interests upon the whole of American and British society. "Don't you see," he wrote in a post also suggesting "Zionists" were to blame for the outbreak of the Iraq war, "the vociferousness and effectiveness of the Israel lobby make this conflict Our Conflict!" Ironically, Weiss also believes that Zionism entails Jewish self-hatred.
Even Hussein Ibish, hardly someone I agree with often, tweeted today that Mondoweiss was "moronic and repulsive," pointing to one egregious example.

One would think that any mainstream website would think twice before openly associating themselves with what is, effectively, a hate site.

Yet that is exactly what Salon did today:
Salon is proud to feature content from Mondoweiss, a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, and the evolving debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This is beyond troublesome. This is the mainstreaming of Jewish anti-semitism.

Salon is one of the biggest mainstream webzines. It is outrageous that Salon is not being slammed by its own readers and supporters to immediately reverse this sickening decision.

If there is anything funny about this - and this is not funny - it is that Salon's embrace of Mondoweiss directly disproves Mondoweiss' own major theme that Zionist Jews do not allow any divergent opinions to be heard in the US.

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