There are times when writing this blog is tons of fun and tonight is one of those times. I feel this way when I get an opportunity to skewer the windbags and demagogues of the militant pro-Israel lobby–people like Jerome Kaufman, who had the misfortune to quote a memo that Morrie Amitay probably wished had not become public. But thanks to Mr. Kaufman, it did (see yesterday’s post).
Jerry could’ve responded in a variety of ways. I expected that he’d just delete the post, which was why I preserved it for posterity. The response he did chose was rather peculiar. In it, he tells us that he never learned how to use quotation marks and never learned how to distinguish between quotation and interjecting his own editorial opinion into a blog post. I think I’ll have to send him an html manual teaching how to use blockquotes! Or perhaps Kaufman thought he was having a mind meld with Amitay and didn’t need to distinguish between each of their ideas.
This is how he explained himself:
…The item sent to you yesterday, purportedly by Morris J. Amitay, should not have been distributed. It was taken without permission from a comment in his latest Washington PAC Newsletter—and included my own edits. The characterization of Jim Zogby as “fanatical” and as an “Arab American lobbyist” was my own, and should not be attributed to Mr. Amitay or the Washington PAC. If you have given this item distribution to your own list, Mr. Amitay and I would appreciate your informing them of this error on my part.
Jerome S. Kaufman
Don’t you just love the “purportedly by Morris Amitay?” I’ve never before read an author admit that he fabricated a statement by another author. Passing strange.
I also wondered why Amitay/Kaufman are especially sensitive to having called Jim Zogby “fanatical” while the other slurs, calumnies and insults hurled at J Street’s endorsees were kosher. As for calling him an “Arab-American lobbyist,” what’s wrong with that? He is one. Apparently, right-wing Jewish hawks are getting sensitive about slinging around anti-Arab slurs in certain contexts–though Clarion Fund apparently hasn’t received that memo since it’s still doing it with gusto.
I don’t yet have a copy of Amitay’s memo but hope to shortly. Then we should be able to tell whether Kaufman is a liar or merely an incompetent writer. Lest you say that this is much ado about nothing, I remind you that Mr. Kaufman holds the title of “national secretary” of ZOA, meaning he plays a role of no small stature in one of the national Israel lobby groups. Those of us who’ve observed the behavior of Mort Klein and ZOA over the years have certainly known of their tendency to embellish the facts or even lie if it suited them. So we’re not surprised by the latest development.