Don’t get me wrong here. I like Muzzlewatch. I really do. And I understand that Muzzlewatch is different than Tikun Olam. It is the voice of Jewish Voice for Peace. As such it represents an organizational agenda where my blog represents a personal agenda.
JVP’s website’s weekly newsletter notes with pride that Ami Eden, JTA’s managing editor, would’ve included Cecilie Surasky, Muzzlewatch’s editor in the Forward’s Famous 50 list. I know as outsiders we Jewish progressives are all hankering to influence the mainstream political debate. We’re looking for that good word confirming that what we do impacts the mainstream. Hell, I’m even guilty of that myself. So I know how good it must’ve felt to JVP to get his praise. It means that maybe JVP could leverage such approbation to penetrate a wider audience–to get its voice heard by more people.
I mean it would be great to get onto the list–though you would share it with the likes of Michael Mukasey, Norman Podhoretz, Abe Foxman, Alan Dershowitz, Howard Kohr, Sheldon Adelson, Peter Deutsch (founder of the nation’s first “Jewish” public school), David Brog (Christians United for Israel), Charles Jacobs (David Project), Rita Katz (SITE Institute, anti-Muslim anti-terror group), Ronald Lauder, Michael Steinhardt, and Shlomo Cunin (Chabad). But I can’t help feeling awkward about Muzzelwatch basking in Ami Eden’s praise.
After all, this is the same JTA that published Mort Klein’s fake Desmond Tutu quote that supposedly equated Israel with Hitler. The same Ami Eden who called me a liar because I rightly noted that JTA had not apologized for smearing Tutu’s name. The same JTA which quoted a Maariv report which fraudulently claimed that Hamas called for the elimination of Jews from Palestine and never bothered to correct the report. The same JTA which couldn’t manage to find a single source to defend Danny Rubinstein’s use of the term apartheid to describe Israel’s Occupation policy. The same JTA which recycled fraudulent claims about the research of Barnard tenure candidate Nadia Abu El Haj and again couldn’t manage to find a single source to interview who would defend her. The same JTA which published a Ron Kampeas story about the Walt-Mearsheimer book asking whether they were “on drugs” when they wrote it.
It is really tempting to see Ami Eden’s comment as an indicator that Muzzlewatch has heft in the mainstream Jewish media. And it would be great news if this were so. But given JTA’s spotty (to say the least) journalistic record under Ami Eden–a record that predated him to be fair–the praise would give me as much pause as pleasure.