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Monday, March 17, 2008

YIDWITHLID Used BY NY Times as Example of Slanders against Obama's Foreign Policy Adviser

Yesterday the New York Times ran an article using Yidwithlid and Ed Laskey as examples of how Barack Obama's Foreign Adviser Robert Malley is being slandered. On first glance I was honored to appear in the same thought as Ed Lasky, as I read it through again I realized that the column was just another example of what is wrong with the NY Times today.

Below is the Helene Cooper's piece about Malley and my letter to the editor, which knowing the NY Times will only be seen on these pages:

WASHINGTON , March 14—

In the blogosphere, a lot of attention recently has been focused on one Robert Malley, one of Senator Barack Obama’s mid-level foreign policy advisors. Mr. Malley, a former Middle East negotiator for President Clinton, is now the Middle East and North Africa program director at the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent deadly conflicts. Mr. Malley is well-known and respected on the Washington diplomatic circuit, particularly among the cadre of foreign policy hands who specialize in the Arab-Israeli peace efforts. He is not one of Mr. Obama’s top advisors, those who prep the candidate for debates and speeches, but, rather, one of dozens of middle-level types who send position papers to the campaign and sometimes get together to talk.

And yet, Mr. Malley has been targeted by a handful of Jewish bloggers as anti-Israel, and a sign that Mr. Obama, too, if elected president, would carry out anti-Israel policies.

In a Jan. 23 article in the online magazine American Thinker, news editor Ed Lasky called Mr. Malley “the next generation of anti-Israel activism.” The article backs this up by referencing Mr. Malley’s father, Simon Malley, who, in the 1960s, founded and edited a left-wing magazine called Afrique-Asie, which was often supportive of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

In a Feb. 5 post on the Jewish blog Yid With Lid, one writer called Mr. Malley “Israel Hating,” and said “I do not believe the sins of the father is visited on the son but this son has chosen to follow in his dad’s footsteps and so has Senator Barak (sic) Obama.” The post follows with a piece called “the Robert Malley-Arafat Connection,” the bulk of which deals with the activities of Mr. Malley’s father.

Simon Malley died in 2006, and Robert Malley says that while he respected his father, he does not agree with him on everything. In an interview, he questioned why it is that he should even be put in the position of having to defend himself.

“I guess when one is on the defensive one has to say a lot of things,” Mr. Malley said. “I shouldn’t have to say that I’m Jewish, but here I am saying so.” Indeed, Simon Malley was an Egyptian Jew, while Robert Malley’s mother is the American-born daughter of Russian Jews.

Indeed, it is interesting that there seems to be a far greater tolerance for debate among Israelis in Israel than there is among the Jewish community in the United States, Mr. Malley and several Israeli foreign policy experts say.

Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, told a Washington dinner party sponsored by the New American Foundation on Thursday night that Israel should negotiate a ceasefire with the militant Islamist organization, Hamas, and that the Bush administration was doing Israel harm by not talking to Israel’s enemies, Iran and Syria.

In fact, Mr. Ben-Ami added that “I believe Hamas needs to be engaged beyond a ceasefire.” Mr. Ben-Ami could say those things, but an American would immediately be pilloried for similar comments, Mr. Malley said. “Why can’t we have a genuine debate about whether there are different ways to try and defend U.S. interests and Israel interests?” he said. “We should be able to have a debate where people who have different views of the best way to promote a peace process can express them.”

Mr. Malley’s biggest sin in the eyes of the bloggers who have attacked him, aside from being born to his father, appears to be an op-ed that he wrote in the New York Times on July 8, 2001, called “Fictions About the Failure at Camp David,” in which he argued that Israel was not generous enough to the Palestinians, and bore some culpability for the talks’ failure.

In Jerusalem, for example, Mr. Malley noted that a new Palestinian state would have been given sovereignty over many Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and over parts of the Old City, but that Israel would have overall sovereignty over the Temple Mount, revered by Jews, but also the area revered by Muslims as the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. While such a settlement was “a very difficult proposition for the Israeli people to accept,” Mr. Malley wrote, “how could Mr. Arafat have justified to his people that Israel would retain sovereignty over some Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, let alone over the Haram al Sharif?”

That is hardly a radical notion today—many foreign policy experts now say the same thing.

Mr. Clinton has weighed in on the subject of Mr. Malley’s contribution to Arab-Israeli peace. Speaking after Mr. Malley at a Clinton Global Initiative forum in New York in September, 2005, Mr. Clinton said: “I must say, when Mr. Malley was working with me on Middle East peace, all of our team will tell you he lived the words he just spoke.”

“The Palestinians and their cause of a homeland and a just life, and peace for the Israelis, never had a better friend,” Mr. Clinton said.

And my response:

In Helene Cooper's column about Robert Mally "One Adviser Among Many, Under Lights Over Israel" published on 3/15 she references PART of an Ed Lasky column and ONE of a series of article I posted about Senator Obama's Israel Hating Advisers.

Cooper talks about Malley's Column "Fictions About the Failure at Camp David,” in which he argued that Israel was not generous enough to the Palestinians, and bore some culpability for the talks’ failure. If MS Cooper read one of my other columns about Obama and foreign policy such as Obama's Scary Anti-Israel Advisors published on Jan. 26th, she would have learned that his comment flies in the face of what America's chief negotiator Dennis Ross said, "[Ehud] Barak was able to reposition Israel internationally. Israel was seen as having demonstrated unmistakably it wanted peace, and the reason it wasn't achievable was because Arafat wouldn't accept it.,2933,50830,00.html"

In the same post MS Cooper would have seen these other examples:

Playing Into Sharon's Hands: which absolves Arafat of the responsibility to restrain terrorists and blames Israel for terrorism. He defends Arafat and hails him as
..the first Palestinian leader to recognize Israel, relinquish the objective of regaining all of historic Palestine and negotiate for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 boundaries. And he remains for now the only Palestinian with the legitimacy to sell future concessions to his people.
Rebuilding a Damaged Palestine: which blames Israel's security operations for weakening Palestinian security forces (absurd on its face: terrorists filled the ranks of so-called Palestinian security forces-which, in any case, never tried to prevent terrorism) and calls for international forces to restrain the Israelis

Making the Best of Hamas' Victory: which called for international aid to be showered upon a Hamas-led government and for international engagement with Hamas (a group that makes clear in its Charter, its schools, and its violence its intent to destroy Israel). Malley also makes an absurd assertion: that Hamas' policies and Israeli policies are mirror images of each other.

Avoiding Failure with Hamas: which again calls for aid to flow to a Hamas-led government and even goes so far as to suggest that failure to extend aid could cause an environmental or health catastrophe-such as a human strain of the avian flu virus!

How to Curb the Tension in Gaza: which criticizes Israel's for its actions to recover Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped and is being held hostage in the Gaza Strip. He and co-writer Gareth Evans call Israel's actions ‘collective punishment" in "violation of international law".

All of these examples originally appeared in Ed Lasky's column which I picked up for Yid With Lid.

Here is the problem; Yidwithlid is not a mass blog, It averages about 800-1000 readers/day. I am not quoted in the press like the big ones such as Lasky's American Thinker or others such as Atlas Shrugs or the big daddy of them all, Little Green Footballs. To find my article about Malley, MS Cooper had to use a search engine where she would have also found the five other articles I wrote about Obama, Malley, and his foreign policy team which I call the "Anti-Jew Crew."

Ms. Cooper's column is an example of why the NY Times is loosing its relevancy. The paper does ONLY the research necessary to present its liberal point of view. MS Cooper's column is a disservice to your readers and to all the voters in America.

Shame on you!


Right Truth said...

Wow, the New York Times. Consider this an honor, really (heh). Your response is great, I hope it gets printed. Don't hold your breath.

They do have a special way of slanting things, don't they.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

thinkbeforeyougive said...

Kol Hakovod!

Unknown said...

Double shame on them. Kudos' to you for standing up and saying so !

Rivka said...

Congrats!! Great response as well. Keep up the good work!

Kate said...

Needless to say....I'm quite impressed. :)

cary said...

Hey, as long as they spelled your name right ...

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I think perhaps the most salient comment in your response is the one regarding the discovery of your blog -- and all the other posts that, miraculously enough (imagine that!), seemed to be conspicuously ignored. Again, as you pointedly write, another example of the growing irrelevancy of this once-great newspaper.


Anonymous said...

If Palestine becomes a state, what would it do differently? Can those calling themselves Palestinians ever get all they want from Israel? The answer is no, unless Israel self-destructs - that might make these violent, power-grubbing men happy, but then how do they feed and employ and house the people? They don't. They never have.

Yid, just feel honored that these people showcase their bias by "using" you. This is an issue to be proud of.