Thursday, March 18, 2010

Malkin Award Nominees - Hagai Ben-Artzi and Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan gives Netanyahu's brother-in-law the Malkin Award nomination, which he richly deserves for his idiotic statement that Obama is an anti-semite. But Sullivan himself equally deserves it for his own idiotic statement about the fact that Hagai Ben Artzi's interview was on Army Radio. He says: "Army Radio? Not good. But it's only a matter of time, I have learned, between anyone actually criticizing the policies of Israel and being deemed a you-know-what."

What does Ben-Artzi's interview being on Army Radio have to do with anything? Sullivan is revealing his abysmal ignorance of Israeli society with this remark. Army Radio (Galei Zahal) is staffed by young draftees who are often challenging to authority and by no means always follows the government "line" on an issue. It is not a rigidly government-run radio station that interviews people like Ben-Artzi in order to covertly express government policies or opinions, which seems to be what Sullivan is implying.

I wouldn't accuse Sullivan of being anti-semitic, but I do hold him responsible for his headlong run into the right-wing/left-wing convergence that believes that Israel can do no right. I wonder when he'll start blogging about the U.S.S. Liberty - when he does, we'll know he's disappeared into the black hole of reflexive anti-Israelism.

He is increasingly revealing his real ignorance of Israel, Israeli society, and the complex history of Palestine/Israel in the 20th century. Before he shoots off his mouth more, he needs to sit down and do some serious reading for a few months. He should take a hint from his fellow Atlantic blogger, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who when he wants to write about something serious, like the Civil War, sits down, reads a lot, visits Civil War sites, talks to people who know a lot, and then writes very insightful and thoughtful posts about contentious topics.

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