I have contributed a couple of previous guest posts to this site about Mondoweiss, the online extreme anti-Zionist site. After a period of ignoring it, the time has come to look once more at that execrable, albeit well-produced, and apparently well-financed, site.
What is the main conclusion one can draw from Israel's recent Gaza incursion? In my view, the most important conclusion is that there was virtually no erosion in mainstream support for Israel. I will go further, and say that there was no significant erosion in mainstream support for Israel, despite the near-universal one-sided and deeply hostile media depictions of its military activities in Gaza, normally without any account of the thousands of Hamas rockets fired at Israeli civilians.
(The normal formula for criticism was that Israel's response was "disproportionate". During World War Two, the United States dropped millions of tons of bombs on Nazi Germany. Germany dropped zero bombs on the United States. No doubt this was also "disproportionate".)
Mondoweiss has, time and again, tried to pretend that there is a groundswell of hostility against Israel in places high and low, that will result in a cataclysmic reorientation of Western, especially American, attitudes on the Israel/Palestine question. This is sheer fantasy, and, in the absence of real evidence, Mondoweiss highlights every piece of criticism of Israel from any American source, regardless of how obscure, trivial, or wholly predictable. Most of these critics have actually condemned Israel many times before, and would certainly condemn Israel regardless of what it did, apart from committing suicide.
Virtually all are components of the extreme left, usually of what Paul Johnson has termed the "fascist left", for whom Israel occupies a central position in their demonology, generally to the exclusion of everything else, remarkably similar to the position of Jews in Hitler's worldview.
Most of Mondoweiss in fact consists of the highlighting of trivial examples of anti-Israel agitation or demonstrations by students, political activists, already-committed leftists, and the like.
Occasionally, though, Mondoweiss goes so far over the top that the story in question deserves wider publicity. Some prime examples:
Steve Kloppman: "Judaism's Hijacking By Zionists Drives 70% of Secular Jews To Marry Non-Jews" (August 31, 2014).I kid you not – this was actually a Mondoweiss posting.
"Hillary Clinton Just Lost The White House in Gaza – Same Way She Lost It in Iraq the Last Time" (August 23, 2014).At first, I thought I had misread this story, and that Hillary Clinton had lost the nomination by not supporting Israel – but I got it right the first time: Hillary will lose the nomination by supporting Israel. "Yes, I know I'm going out on a limb", says its author.
"Chomsky and the BDS" (July 6, 2014).Noam Chomsky, the ultra-left guru known for his vituperative criticism of Israel over the past thirty or forty years does not support the BDS movement. The article consists of bucketing poor Noam for his residual Zionism – seems he's a neo-conservative in drag, as it were.
Mondoweiss has also highlighted many times the so-called Russell Tribunal on Palestine, most recently in
"Russell Tribunal Finds Evidence of Incitement to Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity in Gaza" (September 25, 2014).
The "Russell Tribunal" (named for Bertrand Russell, the famous phiosopher who, in his nineties, became an anti-Vietnam War activist but in 1949 – I'm not joking – recommended bombing Moscow if Stalin didn't give up the atom bomb) is a self-appointed group of ultra-leftist activists whose verdicts on Israel are just as impartial as were the trials of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, and the others sentenced to death at Stalin's show trials. Of the Russell Tribunal, Richard Goldstone (yes, the South African jurist whose anti-Israel eponymous Report, later retracted by him, received so much publicity a few years ago) wrote:
"It is not a 'tribunal'. The evidence is going to be one-sided and the members of the 'jury' are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well-known. In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute."Nor, obviously, are the recent bombings of Gaza, to destroy Hamas's structure of rockets and weapons, an example of "genocide".