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Baffled Leftist Journalists


Laura Flanders announces today she can’t "make sense" of among other things Israel’s construction of a separation wall but suggests it might have something to do with Israeli "self-righteousness". I’ve pointed this tendency before re: Doug Henwood’s dazzled reaction to the recent economic meltdown. What I can’t makes sense of is how professional leftists can be so dumb. Israel has declared its intention to take land currently occupied by the Palestinians and building the wall facilitates this by creating a de facto border and in other ways.

I think in fact the perplexity is phony. That Flanders like Henwood is a bet-hedger. Expressing just enough populist concern to keep an audience but calculating not to say anything seriously offensive to the powers that be. And I think it’s worth drawing attention to this hedging both because it does some harm in perpetuating confusion and because these are people we can put to good use if we get them sincerely on our side.

By the way, the argument that professional journalists have to make these sort of compromises to be able to print any thing at all leaves me cold. At present, at least apropos highly impolite truths such as US-Israeli’s crimes against humanity, the position they take is useless. They stand well behind the courageous activists who are the reason we pay attention to these issues at all. If journalists aren’t the first to expose these injustices so the world can react they aren’t doing their job and either they better shape up or find a new one.

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