Wash. Post book review stacks the deck against Israel

Leo Rennert
Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder of J Street, a group that purports to be "pro-Israel" and "pro-peace" but in reality is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel, is out with a book plugging its campaign against AIPAC, the traditional pro-Israel lobby -- "A new Voice For Israel -- Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation" -- a title that is equally deceptive.

To review the book, the Washington Post disserved its readers by picking Sari Nusseibeh, a Palestinian academic and politician whose views just happen to coincide nicely with J Street and Ben-Ami's agenda.  The Post, with its own lack of candor, identifies Nusseibeh only as "author, most recently of 'What's a Palestinian State worth?'"  No mention that he's a former PLO representative for Jerusalem.

Just as J Street puts the entire blame on Israel for lack of a peace agreement, Nusseibeh -- in his favorable review (surprise, surprise!) -- likewise avers that "there has never been a moment in the history of the conflict when the Arab side has been more ready for a settlement -- and the Israelis less willing to agree to one."

Never mind that, with Gaza, half of "Palestine" is ruled by Hamas, an anti-Semitic terrorist group fully committed to the destruction of Israel.  Never mind that in the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas, like his predecessor, rejects realistic two-state peace plans because he's unwilling or unable to make the necessary compromises.  Never mind that Abbas -- far from being ready for a settlement -- also continues to glorify suicide bombers and rejects any and all Israeli historical claims to the land.

Whatever happened to reader expectations that a reviewer is supposed to demonstrate a certain analytic and critical detachment -- not someone whose political and ideological outlook coincides with the author's?  Ben-Ami and Nusseibeh are peas in the same anti-Israel pod..

What's next in how the Post reviews books and selects reviewers?  Dick Cheney reviewing George W. Bush's memoirs?

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the founder of J Street, a group that purports to be "pro-Israel" and "pro-peace" but in reality is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel, is out with a book plugging its campaign against AIPAC, the traditional pro-Israel lobby -- "A new Voice For Israel -- Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation" -- a title that is equally deceptive.

To review the book, the Washington Post disserved its readers by picking Sari Nusseibeh, a Palestinian academic and politician whose views just happen to coincide nicely with J Street and Ben-Ami's agenda.  The Post, with its own lack of candor, identifies Nusseibeh only as "author, most recently of 'What's a Palestinian State worth?'"  No mention that he's a former PLO representative for Jerusalem.

Just as J Street puts the entire blame on Israel for lack of a peace agreement, Nusseibeh -- in his favorable review (surprise, surprise!) -- likewise avers that "there has never been a moment in the history of the conflict when the Arab side has been more ready for a settlement -- and the Israelis less willing to agree to one."

Never mind that, with Gaza, half of "Palestine" is ruled by Hamas, an anti-Semitic terrorist group fully committed to the destruction of Israel.  Never mind that in the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas, like his predecessor, rejects realistic two-state peace plans because he's unwilling or unable to make the necessary compromises.  Never mind that Abbas -- far from being ready for a settlement -- also continues to glorify suicide bombers and rejects any and all Israeli historical claims to the land.

Whatever happened to reader expectations that a reviewer is supposed to demonstrate a certain analytic and critical detachment -- not someone whose political and ideological outlook coincides with the author's?  Ben-Ami and Nusseibeh are peas in the same anti-Israel pod..

What's next in how the Post reviews books and selects reviewers?  Dick Cheney reviewing George W. Bush's memoirs?