At this point, no one is much surprised by the right-wing skew of Shmuel Rosner’s coverage of Israeli politics as Haaretz’s Washington correspondent. But his Israel Factor campaign coverage hit a new low with this headline for today’s column. If you look inside at the column you’ll only be partially relieved to note that the panel Rosner appointed to rate the presidential candidates pro-Israel bona fides mostly dismisses the claim that Obama is pro-Palestinian. I say “mostly” because the score was 2.5 out of 5 meaning someone on the panel attributed at least some credibility to the charge.
But other questions about Obama rate disturbing responses. The panel only rated this statement 3.5:
There is a ‘constant virulent campaign’ against Obama regarding his position on Israel.
Here is how Rosner characterized the panel’s vote:
Six of the panelists believe this statement to be true, but not all of them strongly. Of the two who gave this statement a score of 1 or 2 – meaning they do not at all believe it – one of them believes Obama is overstating the degree to which there is such campaign. The other one told me that he found many of the allegations against Obama to have a kernel of truth in them.
To a statement that is patently true to any reasonable Jewish observer (and a story reported as credible by all the major Jewish media including Haaretz), two panelists don’t believe it at all and one of those (no doubt Dore Gold) actually believes the smear campaign. Some of the other six don’t believe strongly in the proposition that Obama is being smeared.
I think you’ve just heard everything you needed to know about how useful the Israel Factor is as a yardstick of anything serious related to juding the Israel policy of the various presidential campaigns.