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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    18 Mar '10 03:19
    Interesting story about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's brother-in-law's description of US President Barack Obama as anti-Semitic. the Prime Minister has distanced himself from the remarks.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/8573657.stm

    What's interesting for me is that, despite all the criticism that the BBC gets - on this forum example - for being "hard left", "Marxist", "anti-American" etc. etc. - the BBC's online news article goes into some detail as to why Netanyahu's brother-in-law, Hagai Ben-Artzi, might think Obama is anti-semitic. The BBC doesn't shy away from it. It doesn't just dismiss Ben-Artzi. It lays his views out so that the reader can make of them what they want.

    I am normally critical of the BBC for its lack of depth and other things, but in this instance I have to say it handles the story in a way that is helpful to readers of any political persuasion or predisposition.
  2. 18 Mar '10 03:37
    Maybe the US shouldn't intervene in anything related to Jerusalem?

    Maybe we should stop intervening by giving them money too?
  3. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    18 Mar '10 05:20
    I don't know if Obama is Anti-Semitic or not, but it seems like you ought to have a stronger argument before accusing someone of such a thing. Obama is not Reverend Wright, even if he did attend Wright's sermons. I've watched speeches of Hitler on the History channel, does that make me an Anti-Semite?
  4. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    18 Mar '10 05:37
    Who is Netanyahu's brother and law, anyway, is he really anyone we care about?
  5. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    18 Mar '10 05:43
    Originally posted by joneschr
    I don't know if Obama is Anti-Semitic or not, but it seems like you ought to have a stronger argument before accusing someone of such a thing.
    Well Hagai Ben-Artzi does have an argument even if it is not a strong one. People like whodey, uthependragon - and Scriabin in the past - and others, hurl the "anti-semite" accusation with no argument whatsoever, neither strong nor weak. And refuse to substantiate it.

    I just found the BBC's decision to lay it out on Hagai Ben-Artzi's behalf interesting. A lot of news outlets label political players and stances and refer to them without really ever explaining things. This allows terminology to be used pejoratively.

    The longest, most illuminating, most unsounbitified interviews on TV with Israeli settlers on the West Bank that I have ever seen were on Al-Jazeera. They were just allowed to speak for 10 or 15 minutes without significant editting. This is rare on TV news now. And it has contributed to my understanding of the issues.

    The BBC could have talked about Ben-Artzi's accusation of anti-semitism without explaining it - and if they had done so it would have probably made Ben-Artzi's accusation seem completely unfounded - but instead they presented the substance of his perspective quite succinctly and neutrally. To claim that his accusation is "unfounded" would be inaccurate. Weak. Unconvincing. Wrong, even. But not "unfounded". Ben-Artzi has based his claim on something and the BBC explained it. If the BBC were "hard left" would it do this?

    And there's a lesson for the likes of utherpendragon here too. If you think someone here at RHP, like me, for instance, is anti-semitic, why not explain your reasoning instead of just throwing it out there as a free floating smear?

    As for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, I wonder what he really thinks.
  6. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    18 Mar '10 05:45
    Originally posted by joneschr
    Who is Netanyahu's brother and law, anyway, is he really anyone we care about?
    Feel free to by all means. The OP is about the BBC as far as I am concerned.
  7. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    18 Mar '10 06:17 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Feel free to by all means. The OP is about the BBC as far as I am concerned.
    I guess I can see your point that the BBC article was balanced in its coverage.

    But I also can't help but wonder why they'd bother to cover the story. It's not like the position of "brothers-in-law" to a prime minister is really all that significant - and so, the only real point to the article would be to convey Netanyahu's reaction, or rumor-monger on the question of Obama's alleged anti-semitism. And it doesn't really do a good job of answering either of those questions.
  8. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    18 Mar '10 07:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by joneschr
    But I also can't help but wonder why they'd bother to cover the story. It's not like the position of "brothers-in-law" to a prime minister is really all that significant ...
    Well, the BBC is probably mindful that

    (1) there may be a very significant proportion of Netenyahu's supporters who agree vehemently with his brother-in-law's opinion, and therefore this little episode in international political theatre is affected by it;

    (2) there are perhaps tens and tens of millions of Americans - from the country that is Israel's key ally - who are absolutely convinced President Obama is anti-semitic (and a marxist, and a Mulsim, etc. ) ; and

    (3) the accusation of "anti-semitism" is a stock-in-trade semi-automatic weapon brandished to stifle debate, smear dissenters, and otherwise distort the discourse on Israeli policy - and not even the U.S. president is immune to it, and this vicious smearing & stifling routine can be carried out even by members of, or people in orbit of, Israel's ruling elite.

    I would personally adjudge it newsworthy.
  9. 18 Mar '10 07:49
    (4) In light on the somewhat strained relations between the US and Israel in recent times, this story perhaps shows an example of how the "love" is no longer unconditional.
  10. 18 Mar '10 13:24
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    Maybe the US shouldn't intervene in anything related to Jerusalem?

    Maybe we should stop intervening by giving them money too?
    Hush you anti-statist blasphamer!!! Withouth Obama and the UN involved, the whole region will go up in flames. Only government has the answer to their ills.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    18 Mar '10 13:26 / 1 edit
    It drives me crazy when people use the term anti-Semite where it obviously has no application to further their own political ends. It cheapens the terms and makes people ignore that accusation when it has merit. The boy who cried wolf.

    I can't say I'm not bothered by Obama's membership in Wright's church for all those years and I don't for a minute buy that Obama didn't know what Wright was about for all those years.

    But to say that this alone makes Obama an anti-Semite is childish nonsense.

    Mr. Ben-Artzi has a lot of advice for his brother-in-law. His brother-in-law should have two words of simple advice for him: Shut up!
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    18 Mar '10 13:32
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    (4) In light on the somewhat strained relations between the US and Israel in recent times, this story perhaps shows an example of how the "love" is no longer unconditional.
    The US has put a lot more pressure on Israel than this at various times.

    The idea that the US has always simply acquiesced to everything Israel has said and done is ignorant nonsense.

    Remember all those anti-Israel Security Council resolutions that Mr. Flash-in-the-Pan-What's-his-R-name-?- was going on and on and on about for 12 pages of thread a couple of months ago?

    By virtue of the fact that they exist, none of them were vetoed by the United States.

    The US has been pro-Israel mostly in that is hasn't cooperated with the anti-Israel agenda of much of the rest of the World.
  13. 18 Mar '10 13:44 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Interesting story about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's brother-in-law's description of US President Barack Obama as anti-Semitic. the Prime Minister has distanced himself from the remarks.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/8573657.stm

    What's interesting for me is that, despite all the criticism that the BBC gets - on this forum example - in a way that is helpful to readers of any political persuasion or predisposition.
    Perhaps President Obama's spiritural advisor for some 20 years can shed some light on the matter.

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/political/punch/2009/06/rev-wright-i-meant-to-say-zionists-are-keeping-me-from-talking-to-president-obama-not-just-jews.html

    Basically he blamed the Jews for not letting Obama talk to him any more. Then he changed his tune by saying he mispoke and meant to say zionists. There is no question that Rev Wright is anti-semetic....er....um....anti-zionist. Sorry, I mispoke. In fact, he was known for handing out anti-sem....er....um...anti-zionist pamphlets in his church in full favor of the Palastinian cause.

    My favorite line in the article is Rev Wright saying, "Obama may talk to me in about 5 years when he is a lame duck, or after 8 years when he is out of office." Basically, he knows that any interactions between the two now is political poison for Obama, but no doubt when it no longer matters the relationship will resume.
  14. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    18 Mar '10 13:57
    Originally posted by whodey
    Basically he blamed the Jews for not letting Obama talk to him any more. Then he changed his tune by saying he mispoke and meant to say zionists.
    You get mixed up between 'the Jews', 'Israelis' and 'zionists' all the time, whodey, when you're throwing your trademark noxious smears around.
  15. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    18 Mar '10 14:45
    Originally posted by FMF
    Interesting story about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's brother-in-law's description of US President Barack Obama as anti-Semitic. the Prime Minister has distanced himself from the remarks.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/8573657.stm

    What's interesting for me is that, despite all the criticism that the BBC gets - on this forum example - ...[text shortened]... in a way that is helpful to readers of any political persuasion or predisposition.
    The whole problem is that the zionist lobby deliberately continue to hurl this sort of abuse: pro-Palestinian = anti Israel = anti semetic = anti Jew.

    And it is completely pathetic.
    More so because apparantly it works.