The Grotesque Spectacle of Michelle Goldberg Throwing Up Her Hate

If you follow New York newspapers, which I do as someone who grew up there, a key question the last day or two was who was more offensive, bigoted, ignorant and disgusting concerning the American embassy opening and the violence on the Gaza border with Israel:  Michelle Goldberg, a New York Times columnist , or the people who  prepare the front page headlines in the New York Daily News? Take your pick: the Daily News or Goldberg.

Photo credit: YouTube screen grab

I vote for Goldberg.  It is hard to know where to begin to unpack her lies and deceptions, but let’s try a few. Goldberg:

This spectacle (the embassy opening), geared toward Donald Trump’s Christian American base, coincided with a massacre about 40 miles away. Since March 30, there have been mass protests at the fence separating Gaza and Israel. Gazans, facing an escalating humanitarian crisis due in large part to an Israeli blockade, are demanding the right to return to homes in Israel that their families were forced from at Israel’s founding. The demonstrators have been mostly but not entirely peaceful; Gazans have thrown rocks at Israeli soldiers and tried to fly flaming kites into Israel.

A massacre? Really?  There have been such events in the history of the Arab Israeli conflict, almost all committed by Goldberg’s favorite team,  Palestinian terrorists, but this was not one of them. Goldberg seems to regard a battle as a massacre if the casualties and damage were mostly on one side, the Arab side.  In other words, to avoid being labeled a massacre, she would need some dead Jews for balance if Palestinians are getting killed. It is hard to tell, however, what would be an acceptable kill ratio for her or the “paper of record.” Two Jews for every Arab? Two Arabs for every Jew? One for one?

What exactly would Goldberg recommend Israel do to secure its border, security expert that she is, when 40,000 demonstrators try to break through the security fence, throwing Molotov cocktails, firing guns, hurling rocks, planting explosive devices, and promising  if they get through, to murder or kidnap every Jew they can get their hands on?  Does Goldberg doubt that Hamas was involved? Hamas claims that at least 50 of the 62 killed were their fighters

 Does Goldberg have evidence that most of the “demonstrators”  were in fact peaceful civilians who presumably just wanted to discuss the need for a two state solution? Hamas says the peaceful resistance story is false. Does Goldberg believe Hamas is a reliable source for casualty counts, but nothing else? Is she aware that the Hamas charter calls for the killing of all Jews and Christians? Why should Israel doubt their intentions given their bloody history -- how they have dealt with Jews, and even their own people?

While Goldberg would like readers to believe she grieves for the Palestinian dead, Hamas was basking in its victory of dozens of Gazans killed. Hamas won the day because western journalists are too stupid, or too seething in hatred for the one Jewish majority state, to accept or acknowledge that Hamas could be so cynical  as to seek to get its own people killed. The alternative explanation is  that these media tools don’t care how cynical Hamas is, if it gives them an opening to trash Israel.

If only 2 or 3 Gazans died, then the embassy opening would have been the big story. But if Hamas got enough Gazans killed, then the embassy opening is overshadowed, and Israel stands accused by those itching to do so every day they wake up (e.g., Goldberg).  

Israelis who were on the border could educate Goldberg on what the situation was like, assuming she had an open mind on the subject.  Here is one report on three of the Palestinian “demonstrators”:

A short while ago, 3 terrorists attempted to place an explosive device near the security fence in Rafah, under the cover of violent riots. In response, the IDF fired at the terrorists, who were killed

Here are how 8 other “demonstrators” met their end:

On Monday afternoon, at the peak of the violent demonstrations near the security fence and the rioters' attempts to breach it, the IDF received intelligence about two Hamas cells intending to carry out terror attacks aginst IDF soldiers by planting explosive devices on the security fence. A Maglan Special Forces unit used the intelligence to ambush one of the cells on the Israeli side of the border, catching them in the act. The terrorists, eight of them in total, opened fire on the soldiers and on two armored IDF vehicles passing by and threw explosives at their positions. Noticing this, the crowd of demonstrators dispersed and fled the area. This gave the Israeli soldiers a window, which they then seized to return fire and shoot dead the eight assailers.

Hamas made  clear what its intentions were, though Goldberg seems to have missed it:  “We will tear down the fence, and tear out the hearts from their bodies”

Hamas had offered $100 to every rioter. During previous violent assaults back in April, the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group had been offering $200 to anyone shot by Israelis, $500 for severe injuries and $3,000 to the dead. One would have to be naive to think Hamas did not want to absorb many casualties.

Goldberg also offers support for a right of return for Gazans who want “merely to return to homes their families were forced from at Israel’s founding.”   Here is another big lie. The United Nations partitioned mandatory Palestine into two states of equal size, one majority Jewish, one majority Arab, with Jerusalem a shared international city.  Israel accepted, the Arabs did not. Instead, the Arabs launched a full scale war to eliminate the new state of Israel with help from five invading Arab armies. The Arabs lost the war, and as happens in every war, there were dislocations of civilians on both sides.  Goldberg may think that you can start wars and get do-overs when you lose, but you don’t. The Palestinian nakba, or catastrophe, was a result of their choosing to destroy Israel instead of accepting a new state, and they have chosen to stew in the misery of their defeat for 70 years.

Who created the refugee problem? Mostly it was Arab armies who encouraged Palestinian Arabs to get out of the way of their invading armies or people fleeing the fighting.

“The Syrian Prime Minister during the war of 1948-1949, Haled Al Azm, wrote in his memoirs in 1973:

“Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call for them to leave and our appeal to the United Nations to resolve on their return.”

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wrote in 1976:

“The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettoes in which the Jews used to live.”

Goldberg must be unfamiliar with this Zionist propaganda.

She also tries to be cute by arguing that Gazans want to return to homes their families were forced from. She  avoids acknowledging that there are almost no refugees left alive from the 1948 war in Gaza or the West Bank, maybe 25,000 in total. If Arabs keep their people in camps for another 100 years, will they still be called refugees?  Refugees from what, exactly? Today, virtually all the Arabs in Gaza or the West Bank  are 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation descendants of Arabs who lived in the area in the 1940s, many living in exactly the same place or near where their ancestors lived, among other Arabs  who speak their language and practice the same religion. This should have been one of the easiest refugee populations to resettle and absorb. 

Sovereign states determine who is admitted to their countries as visitors and as immigrants. If Palestinians want to return somewhere, it will be to a state of their own, if they ever get serious about negotiating for one. Naturally, Goldberg ignores the Jews expelled from Arab countries in North Africa and the Middle East after the creation of the state of Israel, a number greater than the alleged number of Arab refugees from the 1948 war. These Jewish refugees mostly landed in Israel, but in a short time, they were no longer in temporary camps, but part of the country, new citizens with a future. Why did the Arabs choose to deny their own people a future by not resettling refugees as Israel did?

Goldberg also blames Gazans’ misery on Israel’s blockade -- another cheap shot with little factual basis.  Israel supplies many truckloads of food, medicine, and supplies every week to Gaza, subject to Hamas permitting these items to get in, which often they don’t. The near-total blockade is on the  Gaza-Egyptian frontier, never mentioned by Goldberg, since it is an inconvenient truth. President Sisi shut down the enormous smuggling operation from Sinai to Gaza, and closed off almost all the human traffic when Hamas allowed ISIS fighters, and other killers into Sinai to murder Egyptian police, civilians and tourists..

Goldberg quotes J Street President Jeremy Ben Ami on how over the last few years, beginning with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on the Iran nuclear deal, Democrats are now challenging Israel more, ending what for Goldberg was a “stultifying” consensus of American politicians supporting Israel. Ben Ami says now there is more talk by Democrats about settlements and occupation. Is Goldberg trying to suggest that Israel has settlers in Gaza or occupies the area? That ended 13 years ago. Israel turned the territory over to the Palestinian Authority in 2005, uprooting all of its Jewish communities. The PA promptly lost control to Hamas two years later, when Hamas murdered over a 100 Fatah members and seized power. Of course, maybe Hamas first sent peaceful demonstrators to the PA offices before throwing them off rooftops.

Goldberg is also way off base on the supposed consensus on Israel. Maybe she is too young or too lacking in basic foundational history on the subject to know about Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Casper Weinberger, or James Baker. But has she already forgotten how the previous President, one she supported,  worked to separate his Party from Israel almost from the beginning of his term?

Much of Goldberg’s article provides another opportunity for her to display her loathing of  all things Trump and of Christian conservatives.

The juxtaposition of images of dead and wounded Palestinians and Ivanka Trump smiling in Jerusalem like a Zionist Marie Antoinette tell us a lot about America’s relationship to Israel right now.

Really? What does it tell us? Is Ivanka Trump responsible for Arabs attacking Israel’s border and getting themselves killed in the process? Is she the symbol of the coming end of an ancien régime and the revolution to follow? Or is Goldberg just swinging and missing  in her obsessive desire to be as catty as she can with the President’s daughter, who has more class and dignity in a broken fingernail than Goldberg has in her entirety?

Goldberg argues that Trump’s move of the embassy has destroyed the two state solution. Really?  What negotiations were going on when Barack Obama left  office? Who walked away from Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, or never showed any interest in Olmert’s offer in 2008, or the Obama’s team’s proposals in 2014? The Palestinians have always walked away from any serious negotiation since they do not now and have never  accepted a Jewish state of any size .

Every nation has a right to pick where its capital is. Why alone among all the nations in the world do countries boycott the location of Israel’s capital and choose a city that is not its capital to house their embassies?  Is this rational?  How does having an American embassy in Jerusalem, prevent a Palestinian capital somewhere else in the area if the two parties ever resolved their differences?  Trump’s decision represents affirming reality. Does Goldberg oppose Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, since she does not believe any Jewish state should exist and that Israel will in the future control no part of the city?

If Goldberg is actually arguing that countries  should punish bad behavior of other countries  by their embassy location, why do countries have their Turkish embassies in Ankara?  After all, Turkey invaded Cyprus, ethnically cleansed the northern half of the  island, throwing out every single  Greek Cypriot, destroying all Greek official buildings, and moving their own people from Turkey to live in their new colony. Where are the Goldberg columns on this terrible historical record?  Why honor China and Russia with our embassies in their self-proclaimed capitals? When you treat Israel, the one Jewish state, differently from any other country in the world, you are an anti-Semite. Welcome to the club Michelle. There are many members to greet you.

Goldberg closes with an optimistic note from her perspective: more and more young people are growing up believing Israel is an apartheid state. And that has to mean that the Israel-US bond will be severely stressed in the future. That will surely be the case if the fake history and malicious commentary of the Goldberg variety goes unanswered. Millennials can learn the truth. They won’t from the New York Times, of course. 

Goldberg is entitled to her opinions about the Trump family or Middle East policy, shocking as it is that the New York Times would stoop so low as to publish this particular screed. But she is not entitled to her own facts.

Goldberg has visited Israel and the West Bank. While she was there, Israel’s defense forces and police protected her as they do everyone else in the country, despite her hatred for the country. And if they were not doing their job, the many killers in Gaza and the West Bank would not spare her because she is a lefty columnist/Palestinian sympathizer writing for the New York Times. If a suicide bomber walked into a restaurant or coffee shop or hotel where she happened to be, she would wind up dead as  anyone else caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, even with all her virtue signaling on being properly progressive on all things.  When Israel protects  its borders, it is keeping civilization intact, safe from those who would come to wreak havoc and death indiscriminately if they only had the opportunity.

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