The PJ Tatler

Earth to Ha'aretz: Criticism of Obama Is Not 'Propaganda'

Today, Israel’s left-wing daily, Ha’aretz, published an editorial masquerading as a news story, that began as follows:

“WASHINGTON – Is President Barack Obama’s relationship with the American Jewish community in crisis?   It depends on whom you ask.

“For Jewish Democrats, the presence of some 80 Jewish business people at a fund-raising event that Obama held this week in Washington’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel – at a cost of between $25,000 and $35,000 a ticket – indicates that Republican propaganda against the president on this issue has failed.”

Oh, really?

Let’s get this straight: because exactly 80 self-described Jewish Democrats attended a fund-raising dinner, entry to which cost each of them between $25,000 and $35,000, the Ha’aretz Washington bureau chief,  Natasha Mozgovaya, has inferred that this minuscule group is representative of the views of all “Jewish Democrats”?

Even more absurd than that inference is her gratuitous statement, for no apparent reason and with no evident justification, that their presence at the dinner “indicates that Republican propaganda against the President on this issue has failed.”

As it happens, Barack Obama does not need a nano-second of “Republican propaganda” to persuade Americans of any religion that he is not supportive of Israel and is no friend of the Jewish state.

And since when does the expression of a point of view different from the Obama administration, or from Ha’aretz’s editorial and news columns, constitute “propaganda”?  Labeling views that differ from one’s own as propaganda does not make them so.

This label inadvertently infantalizes Jewish Democrats, the very group with which Ms. Mozgovaya appears to wish to ingratiate herself, by suggesting that their political decisions have the potential to be manipulated by Republican “propagandists,” rather than be based on their own observations and independent judgments.

The Israeli readers of Ha’aretz are ill-served in their quest to understand the perspectives of Jewish American Democrats, Republicans and Independents by a report as slanted and as sloppy as this.