Dan Fleshler recently published an expose of the Israel lobby, Transforming America’s Israel Lobby. His book is an argument for the Jewish peace movement to do what Aipac does only better, more truthfully and more fairly.
Instead of reviewing the book, as any professional publication would do, the Jerusalem Post ordered a hit on Fleshler’s book. They assigned it to Jonathan Schanzer, a former WINEP fellow, PR flack for the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, “counter-terrorism analyst” for the Treasury department (which one of his Jewish neocon connections–Feith, Wurmser, Perle, Wolfowitz–got him that job?), and one of Dan Pipes’ boys at the Middle East Forum. Schanzer’s current boss is Matt Brooks, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s director. That’s like asking Abe Foxman to review the Mearsheimer-Walt book about the Lobby.
Since Fleshler is highly critical of everything that Schanzer stands for and the organizations he works for and has worked for, any reasonable editor (except the Post’s of course) would understand that this would serve an insurmountable conflict of interest. Instead, they would assign the book to someone who knows something about the subject but has no specific axe to grind. But given the Post’s ideological proclivities, taking a hit on Dan’s book seemed the proper thing to do.
But should we expect any less of a faux journalistic enterprise like the Post, one which was recently hoaxed by someone claiming to be a Norwegian army officer. The hoaxster, who was not an officer, nor even in the army, and who used a fake name throughout the incident, brayed about the threat of Norwegian anti-Semitism. Turns out that most Norwegian Jews feel about as comfortable as any other European Jew and the Post’s reporter had been royally had. But did the Post apologize for their shoddy reporting? Did they fire their reporter or even discipline him? No. In fact, if Judy Miller had been writing for the Post instead of the N.Y. Times, she’d have been promoted to managing editor after her journalistic romance with Scooter Libby.
Here are some of the more erudite bits from Schanzer’s review. He calls the book “incoherent,” “mind-numbing,” and “vapid.” I assure you that while Dan and I don’t always quite see eye to eye, it is none of those things.
Schanzer also attempts to palms off pro-Israel fake fact #424 on his readers:
But no matter how much he attacks these groups [the Israel lobby], he will not be able to change the fact that they appeal more to Jewish Americans (and the general American public) than the fringe leftist groups he works with (Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and Israel Policy Forum).
In fact, every poll of American Jewish attitudes including one by the American Jewish Committee, a card-carrying member of the Lobby, indicates that Fleshler and the Jewish peace groups are far more in synch than Schanzer, Pipes and his other pro-Israel neocon chums, with mainstream American Jewish opinion. The favorability ratings of Aipac and the other Lobby groups are also surprisingly low considering how much they make a point of representing the entire community when it comes to Israel.
Here’s Dan’s response to Schanzer.